A Guide to Getting Your Dubai Driving Licence | ExpatWoman.com

A Guide to Getting Your Dubai Driving Licence

It's simple... If you're a resident of Dubai, you need to have a Dubai driving licence

Posted on

30 July 2013

Last updated on 3 June 2018
Getting your Dubai driving licence

If you have a driving licence from your home country, then obtaining a UAE driving licence is a bit easier than starting from scratch.

Plus, you cannot drive on your home country's driving licence or an international licence after you have received your UAE residency, hence why a conversion will now be necessary.

How to convert your driving licence

If you are from one of the following countries, you can just convert your driving licence without much hassle, and in just one day! Here's how to go about getting your driving licence converted to a Dubai driver's licence...

1. Many countries are given an option of a straight conversion, the list is as follows:
Belgium, Spain, France, United States of America, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Ireland, Austria, Greece, Sweden, China, Poland, Canada*, Turkey, Norway, Latvia, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Lithuania, Singapore, Hong Kong, Romania, Japan, Korea, The United Kingdom and Australia.

SEE ALSO: A complete guide to renewing your Dubai driving licence

*Canada: a letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai to verify the licence is genuine is required, before transferring your licence.

2. Driving licence holders from Greece, Canada, Poland, Turkey, Japan and South Korea will require a translation of their driving licence from their respective consulates.

The procedure for converting your licence to a Dubai driving licence

Here's the steps to follow in order to convert your existing driver's licence from your home country, to a new UAE and Dubai driving licence.

1. Gain an optician's certificate
First of all you will need an eye test from an optician or clinic. You will need to take with you two passport photos and will need to tell them the test is for a driving licence conversion. Most opticians do this test- just ask the one nearest you. Some do it for free some charge 50 AED or so.

2. Visit an RTA driving licence centre
When you go to an RTA office, you will need the following with you:

  • Emirates ID copy
  • Passport and residency visa copies, as well as original passport
  • Eye test certificate for the required category
  • Copy of your driving licence along with original licence (plus translation of licence if from one of the above countries)
  • Letter from sponsor as per occupations
  • Passport photos (at least 2, you can take more if you feel necessary)
  • The total cost is up to AED 410, which covers AED 10 knowledge fees + AED 150 issuing new driver licence fees + AED 200 opening new traffic file + AED 50 handbook manual.

    Other tips when converting your driver's licence

    • Go to any clinic or optician or hospital with two passport photographs and inform them that you need an eye test for a driving licence.
    • Go to the Dubai Traffic department driving licences section between 07:30 and 14:30 and fill out necessary forms and submit all documents to the officer on duty.
    • Take the signed documents from the officer and pay the appropriate fees to the cashier.
    • Submit all documents and payment receipt and wait for your name to be called out.
    • Thereafter you will be photographed and your UAE driving licence will be issued to you.
    • Remember to go to the ladies section; it is less congested and much quicker.

How to get a new UAE driving licence

Unless you can convert your existing driving licence from your home country, you must apply for a driving licence from the RTA. The easiest way to do this is to let your driving school hand all of the necessary documentation.

1. The documents required for a new UAE driving licence

  • Passport, original and copy
  • No objection certificate from your sponsor
  • 8 passport sized photographs
  • Eye test certificate, this can be done at any hospital or clinic or even at your driving school, just inform them it is for the purposes of obtaining a new driving licence

2. Get an optician's certificate
First of all you will need an eye test from an optician or clinic. You will need to take with you two passport photos and will need to tell them the test is for a driving licence conversion. Most opticians do this test- just ask the one nearest you. Some do it for free some charge 50 AED or so.

3. The procedure of getting a new Dubai driver's licence
The driving school will handle all the paperwork with the RTA like opening a file for you. You will receive your temporary driving licence, which you must carry with you at all times when learning to drive.

If you already have an existing driving licence you will need to take 20 classes at the driving school. If you are applying for a brand new licence you will have to take 40 classes. Once you complete all the classes you will have to pass the driving schools internal tests. Once you have taken and passed all internal tests required by the RTA your school will apply for your theory and road tests.

SEE ALSO: Expats from these countries don't need to take a UAE driving test

4. Time for your theory tests
Bring all the documentation that you have to your theory test along with your valid id and AED 200 fee. There are a total of 40 questions divided into different segments on the theory test. Five questions will test your ability to assess risks on the road and how you respond to these risks, the next section comprises of general traffic situations which you need to get above 65% to pass, and the final section is concerned with driving licence related questions and candidates need a minimum of 67% to pass.

The first five questions are five videos that last 25 seconds each, and they depict different environmental conditions and a set of unique associated road risks, posing the question how the driver-to-be would cope with them. Conditions include rainy weather, highways, school zones, desert areas, densely populated or market areas with high pedestrian traffic, residential areas and night driving.

The purpose of the theory tests is to ensure graduate drivers have a high sense of safety, traffic awareness and skills in order to reduce traffic accidents on Dubai's roads.

Theory tests can be conducted in three basic languages. i.e. Arabic, English and Urdu.

5. ...and finally, the road tests!
The road test date will be assigned to you once you have completed the designated number of classes and passed your theory test. On the date take your passport, driving file, AED200 fees and two photos to the RTA licensing section. Apply and submit the fees. When your name is called out go with the inspector to the designated car. You will have a few minutes to demonstrate your driving skills to the inspector so make the most of them.

If you do not pass you will have to have a few more classes to attend at the driving school and a new test date will be set for you.

If you have passed collect an approval paper from your instructor and go to the appropriate counter. You will need to pay an additional fee. Now all you have to do is wait until your name is called, your photo is taken and you are handed your new licence.

To find out more about licencing in Dubai, visit the RTA website at www.rta.ae