If you have recently moved to Dubai, navigating the regulations around getting a new driving licence can be confusing. Most people fall into one of two driver categories: beginners or existing licence holders, and the process is different for both.
If you are a beginner, you must register with a driving school in Dubai and take a minimum of 40 lessons. After this, you must take the driving school’s tests in addition to the Roads & Transport Authority final tests. The total cost of the process is around Dh5,500, assuming you pass everything at the first attempt.
You will need the following documents in order to learn to drive in Dubai:
- Emirates ID
- 8 passport sized photos
- NOC from sponsor
- Eye test results (this can be arranged by your driving school)
Transferring an existing UK licence
What if you were a regular car driver in your home country? The UK is included in a list of 32 countries that are permitted to transfer their licences in Dubai. The transfer fee is around Dh360.
The process is relatively simple too. All you need to do is present your licence and the following documents to the RTA:
- Residence visa
- Original driving licence
- Passport photos
- Eye test certificate
- No-objection letter from your sponsor
Once your documentation has been approved, you will be issued with your new licence and you will be entitled to drive legally in Dubai. Take your documents to the RTA center and you’ll receive your licence after a short wait.
Driving licence renewals
In Dubai, driving licences have a relatively short shelf life after which they then must be renewed. If you are under 21 years of age, you must renew your licence annually. Individuals over 21 must renew their driving licence every 10 years. For those over 65, it’s now necessary to renew every 3 years. You can renew your licence at any RTA office or online if you prefer.
You will need the following documents in order to renew your licence:
- Eye test certificate
- Copy of your passport
- Two passport-size photographs
- Passport photocopy with a valid UAE residence visa
- Original expired driving licence
Note that you will have to pay a renewal fee, together with any fines that may be outstanding before your new licence is issued.