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Can I convert my country’s driving licence to a UAE driving licence?

Golden visa holders can benefit from certain provisions for easily getting the licence

Dubai: If you are a new resident in the UAE, one of the first orders of business to life in the UAE is getting a driver’s licence. Not only do you need to take a number of theory and driving classes, you also need to pass tests in order to get a licence. But what if you already had a licence in your home country, or the country you were living in before you moved to the UAE? Can the licence be converted to a UAE driving licence? Here is all you need to know.

What is the process of home country licences being converted to UAE licences?

If you already have a driving licence issued by another country, you may be able to convert it in some cases. Driving licences issued by certain countries to its citizens can be converted directly to a UAE driving licence.

The list of countries, according to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authroity (RTA), includes:

• GCC Countries
• Lithuania
• Portugal
• Hungary
• Bulgaria
• Latvia
• Serbia
• Luxembourg
• Iceland
• Estonia
• Cyprus
• Slovakia
• Malta
• Albania
• Romania
• Germany
• Italy
• Switzerland
• Poland
• Finland
• Spain
• Holland
• Greece
• Sweden
• Belgium
• Ireland
• Turkey
• Denmark
• Austria
• France
• Britain
• Norway
• The Republic of Montenegro
• United States of America
• Canada
• Japan
• South Korea
• Hong Kong
• People's Republic of China
• Australia
• New Zealand
• Singapore
• South Africa

If your driving licence was issued by one of the countries within the exempted category, but your nationality is not from the listed countries, you would need to visit a driving institute in the UAE to clear the following tests:

• Knowledge test
• Driving test
• Yard test

The advantage of having a driving licence issued, then, is that applicants can directly take the road test, without the need to take driving classes.

What if my home country is not on this list?

If your home country, or previous country of residence is not listed above, you can still let a driving institute know that you already have a driver’s licence from another country and you may be given the option to enroll for fewer driving lessons, before you are eligible to take a road test.

Are you a Golden Visa holder?

If you are a Golden Visa holder, you do not need to take classes and can directly take a test, regardless of where your earlier driver’s licence was issued.