Classifieds powered by Gulf News

Expat Guide: Getting your driving licence in Dubai

Your existing licence, its validity and your citizenship are important factors for your new licence

3472625558
Image Credit: WikiCommons
A valid UAE driving licence is an asset for expats but the process of getting it differs based on your nationality and other factors

For new residents of UAE, the rules, regulations and fees to get a driving licence can get confusing, especially as all Emirates have their own processes for this. This guide pertains to Dubai only and other Emirates’ licence guides are soon to follow.

Note: Contact RTA at 8009090 for all your individual queries. This is an informative guide only.

Here are the various scenarios that expats usually face and what the procedures are for each.

No Valid Licence


If you are a beginner, you will need to register with a driving institute or school in Dubai and attend a minimum of 40 classes. You can then attempt the school's driving tests and the RTA final tests. The total cost to obtain a licence, given the applicant passes all tests in the first attempt, is approximately Dh5,500 (including all classes and tests; taken as an average from different schools and their fees). 

Required documents

- Emirates ID (Original and copy)

- Passport (Photocopy of personal details and relevant visa page)

- Passport size photographs (8 or more)

- NOC (No Objection Certificate) from sponsor – Depends on individual cases, so call ahead and confirm

- Eye test results for preferred category (Can be arranged by preferred driving school)

For valid driving licence holders, the country from which your licence was issued and your citizenship determine the transfer of licence to a UAE licence.

Transferred licences


33 countries are listed by the RTA for transferrable licenses in Dubai including GCC countries and co-operative countries.


33 countries listed by RTA for transferrable licences
Saudi ArabiaSpainSwitzerland
BahrainGermanyDenmark
KuwaitFranceUnited Kingdom
OmanIrelandPoland
QatarNorwayRomania
South AfricaHollandFinland 
CanadaItalyPortugal
United States of AmericaSwedenSingapore
AustriaTurkeyHong Kong
BelgiumGreeceSouth Korea
JapanNew ZealandAustralia

 *The ones in green require translation of the existing licence into Arabic and/or English by the relevant embassy or legally approved translation agents.

Exempt country: Licence and Citizenship


If you are a citizen of one of the above countries and also have a licence from one of these countries (same or different), the process is very simple. For example, if you are a Japanese citizen with a valid Japanese driving licence or a Japanese citizen with a Saudi driving licence, you can go straight to RTA and get your UAE licence in less than 20 minutes if all your required documents are in order. The cost for this is Dh420.

Required documents

- Original licence and copy

- Passport copy with relevant visa page copy

- Emirates ID original and copy

- Eye test results for preferred category (from DHA approved test centres only)

(Call 8009090 for any other documents required)

Different country: Licence vs. Citizenship


If you are not a citizen of one of the above countries but have a valid licence from a country from this list, for example, if you are an Indian citizen with a valid driving licence issued in Saudi Arabia, you need to register with a school for your licence procedures.

Enrol in a driving school in Dubai and register for the RTA test procedures. Carry your required documents with you and you can directly schedule an appointment for your RTA tests. Combined with the school’s registration fees and the RTA fees, the total cost can come up to Dh2,200. This may differ based on your preferred institute. If you fail your final test, you will have to attend a minimum of eight classes to retake the test.

Required documents

- Original licence and copy

- Passport copy with relevant visa page copy

- Emirates ID original and copy

- NOC (No Objection Certificate) from sponsor – Depends on individual cases, so call ahead and confirm

- Passport size photos (8 or more)

- Eye test results for preferred category (Can be arranged by preferred driving school)

Licence from countries not included in RTA list


If you have a licence from a country not included in the list, it cannot be transferred for a UAE licence. However depending on the validity of your existing licence the number of classes you are required to take will differ.

If your existing home-country licence has been valid for a period of more than five years, you can get your UAE licence after completing a minimum of 20 classes before your tests. If your licence has been valid for two years to five years, the minimum required is 30 classes, while licences which have been valid for less than two years require you to take a minimum of 40 classes.

Required documents

- Existing licence and copy

- Emirates ID (Original and copy)

- Passport (Photocopy of personal details and relevant visa page)

- Passport size photographs (8 or more)

- NOC (No Objection Certificate) from sponsor – Depends on individual cases, so call ahead and confirm

- Eye test results for preferred category (Can be arranged by preferred driving school)

The fees depend on your preferred institute and the validity of your license. 

Loading...