If you're from any of these 35 countries, you won't have to take a driving test for your UAE driver's licence
3 June 2018| Last updated on 8 November 2021
Getting your driver's licence in Dubai is arguably one of the most stressful parts of setting-up your life here, second to securing accommodation to live in and organising your residency visa.
For the majority of expatriates here, getting your UAE driver's licence is extremely stressful; largely due to the elaborate driving test you have to take, which includes a certain number of driving lessons and theory tests.
Thankfully, there's good news for expats from a select amount of countries, as they are able to apply for a transferable driver's licence in Dubai.
Licence-holders in 35 countries are able to swap their driving licence, which was issued in their home country, with a UAE driving licence, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's website.
Foreign countries which licences can be swapped for a UAE driving licence for residents
For UAE expats who hold a driving licence from any of the below mentioned countries, life is a little easier when it comes to getting your driver's licence when moving here.
A transferable driver's licence in UAE is available to expats from the following countries, for a small fee:
- United States of America
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
- The United Kingdom
Please note: expats from Canada will require a letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai to verify that the licence is genuine before transferring to a Dubai driver's licence.
Also, driving licence holders from Greece, Canada, Poland, Turkey, Japan and Korea will require translation of their driving licence from their respective consulates.
How to swap your home country driver's licence for a UAE driver's licence
If you're from any of the above 35 countries who live in Dubai and wish to transfer their home country's driver's licence to a UAE licence, you will need the following documents to convert your driving licence in Dubai:
- A valid driving licence
- Valid residence visa issued by Dubai
- A completed form of replacement of licence
- No objection letter (NOC) from sponsor to replace licence and optometry form accredited by the health authority in the emirate
Here are the steps to take to transfer your driver's licence to a Dubai driving licence:
Step 1. Get an Optician's Certificate
First, you need to have an eye test from an optician or clinic; for this, you'll need two passport photos and you'll need to inform them that the eye test is for a driving licence conversion. Most opticians do the test; some for free, some for a small fee.
Many of RTA's driving centres have opticians on site to help speed-up the conversion process for you.
Step 2. Visit the RTA Driving Licence Centre
You'll need to take all of the above required documents with you, as well as a copy of your passport, residency visa as well as your original passport. Don't forget your eye test certificate, as well as lots of passport photos.
The transfer fee and new driving file costs in Dubai start at AED 360. Expect extra fees for knowledge fees and a handbook manual, too.
Pro tip: Remember to go to the ladies section, it is less congested and much quicker!