Driving on the roads of Dubai is definitely an experience like no other. After all, there are only a few cities in the world where you get to see Ferraris and Lamborghinis casually stuck in traffic.
But before you get giddy, make sure that you can drive legally in Dubai first, and that means getting your Dubai driving license.
Fret not because we have the steps covered for you.
How to Apply for a Driving License in Dubai
|TIme required||2-3 months|
|Things you need||Emirates ID, passport with a visa page, passport-sized photos, no objection letter from sponsor and eye test results|
To obtain a Dubai driving license, you need to sign up with an accredited driving school, pass the written tests, and eventually, take the RTA road test before getting your license.
Read on to learn about the specific steps in this process.
Step 1: Check if you’re qualified for a Dubai driving license.
The first step to securing a Dubai driving license is to know if you’re qualified for one.
According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), a resident of Dubai is qualified to apply for a driving license if he/she meets the following qualifications:
- Applicant should be at least 17 years and six months of age at the time of the application
- Applicant should be medically fit to drive
- Applicant should enroll in a training and qualification prgoram provided by one of the accredited driving institutions by the RTA
- Application should pass both the theoretical and practical tests
- If an applicant wants to apply for a commercial driving permit, he/she should undergo the Driver’s Medical Test
Additionally, applicants between 18 and 21 years old would be qualified for a probationary driving license, which will be changed once they reach legal age.
So, what if you’re not a resident of Dubai yet?
If you just moved to the city and you have an existing international driving license, you can use that until you get your residence permit.
You can also transfer your driving license to a Dubai driving license if you’re from one of these countries:
|South Africa||South Korea||Spain|
|United Kingdom||United States of America|
If you’re not a resident in one of these countries, you’ll be required to take classes and pass the tests to qualify for a Dubai driving license.
If you’re from Canada, you need to secure a letter from the Canadian consulate in the UAE to be eligible for a driving license.
On the other hand, you need to get your certificate translated into Arabic or English if you’re transfering a license from Greece, Japan, Poland, South Korea or Turkey.
Step 2: Fulfill the requirements for a Dubai driving license application.
The requirements for a Dubai driving license will vary if you’re a local or expat living in the city.
Emiratis are only required to bring their Emirates ID when applying for a Dubai driving license.
On the other hand, if you’re an expat, you need to secure the following documents before filing for an application:
- The original and a copy of your Emirates ID
- A copy of your passport with the visa page
- At least 4 passport-sized photos
- A no objection letter from your sponsor (If required)
- Your eye test results
Of course, you need to prepare between $1,225 to $1,906 for the driving license cost.
Fees will vary depending on your driving school of choice, but it’s best to train with a reputable institution to get a better chance of passing your tests.
Step 3: Enroll with an accredited driving school
The first step to your Dubai driving license application is to register with an RTA-approved driving school in the city.
You can choose from one of the best driving schools in Dubai to make sure that you’ll get the best chance at passing your driving tests.
Required Training Hours for a Dubai Driving License
- 20 hours – Beginners with zero driving experience
- 15 hours – Applicants with two to five years of driving experience and a holder of a valid driving license or a license that has been expired within the last 10 years
- 10 hours – Applicants with over 5 years of driving experience and a holder of a valid driving license or a license that has been expired within the last 5 years
After submitting your requirements with the accredited driving school, you’ll be given a temporary driving license or learner’s permit while you’re still training.
During your training, you’ll need to:
- Attend theory classes in person or online depending on your arrangement with the driving school
- Pass the theory test before completing your practical classes
- Take the internal assessment and move on to highway and city road lessons
- Take the internal parking test before the driving school can apply for an RTA test
Step 4: Take the tests needed to obtain a Dubai driving license.
Before you could secure a Dubai driving license, you need to take and pass all these tests first:
The Theory Test
You can’t get behind the wheel without learning the basic rules that will help you navigate the roads of Dubai safely and avoid any trouble with the authorities.
This is why all applicants are required to take the theory test as the first step in securing a license.
The Theory Test
- Segment 1 – You need to answer at least 11 out of the 17 questions correctly about different traffic situations to pass.
- Segment 2 – You need to answer at least 12 out of the 18 questions correctly about your driving license to pass and move forward to the final road test.
- Segment 3 – Also called the Risk Recognition test, you’ll be asked to present your solutions in handling different road situations shown on video and identify the risks present in them.
On the day of your theory test, you need to bring your Emirates ID, two passport-sized photos and your driving file from the school.
Theory tests are available in English, Arabic and Urdu.
The Internal Parking Test
Before you could proceed to the RTA road test, you need to pass the internal parking test conducted by your driving school first.
Here, you’ll be asked to perform the following parking maneuvers:
- Parallel parking
- 90-degree garage parking
- Slope or hill parking
- 60-degree angle parking
- Emergency brakes
You will be given five attempts to pass the internal parking test. If you fail five consecutive times, you’ll be required to take the internal assessment again.
The RTA Road Test
All that training will boil down to the RTA road test, which will determine if you get a Dubai driving license or you’re back to square one.
This test will be conducted by an examiner from the RTA and you’ll be on the wheel for up to 12 minutes during the test.
After your driving school submits your application, you’ll be given a schedule for the RTA test.
On the day of the test, you’ll need to bring your Emirates ID, two passport-sized photos and your driving file.
You’ll be assigned a car and an examiner who will assess your driving skills on the road.
This is why it’s very important to be prepared physically and mentally for the test to ensure that you’ll pass it and obtain your driving license.
Test results are released immediately and after your examiner gives your approval paper, you can process your license at the Pass Counter with your documents and the driving license fee.
You’ll need to take a photo and after a few minutes, you can already claim your Dubai driving license.
Unfortunately, if you fail the RTA test, you need to attend seven more classes before you can re-apply for another driving test.
How to renew your Dubai Driving License
The Dubai driving license should be renewed every 5 years for residents and 10 years for UAE and GCC citizens.
Taking note of your renewal date is crucial in avoiding penalties and getting in trouble with the police.
Keep in mind that you’ll be charged a $3 penalty for each month that you failed to renew your license.
On the other hand, you’ll need to undergo all the mandatory classes and tests if your driving license expired more than 10 years ago.
To renew your driving license, you need to generate a request through the RTA’s official website and pay the service fee of $33 if you’re 21 and under or $87 if you’re 21 and older.
If you incurred any traffic violations throughout the validity of your driving license, make sure to settle those first before sending a renewal application.
Never drive around Dubai without a valid driving license to avoid fines and even jail time.
Finally, if you’re a frequent traveller and you’d want to drive while you’re out of the country, you can apply for an international driving license through the RTA website.
This process will take only 5 minutes. Just present your valid Dubai driving license and Emirates ID.
You’ll also need to pay a $48 service fee and a $5 knowledge and innovation fee for your international driving license application.
If you have no traffic infractions, you can get your driving license quickly and use it wherever you go around the world.
Are you ready to secure your Dubai driving license?