Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: WikiCommons

Dubai: If your UAE driving licence is about to expire, it is quite easy to apply for a renewal in the UAE. In fact, whether you apply for it online or in person, the process does not take more than a few minutes.

But what happens if your driving licence expired years ago? A former UAE resident, who has now returned to the country, wrote in to Gulf News inquiring about whether her driving licence can be renewed or if she would need to take a complete training course instead, and apply for a new licence.

She asked: “I had been a resident of the UAE over a decade ago and have recently come back to live in the country. I previously had a driver's licence issued in Dubai, which has long since expired. I would like to know whether I can simply renew it or I would have to take a number of driving classes in order to renew it again. My licence was issued back in 1992 and it expired in 2009.”

While Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has an online service for renewing a driving licence, according to the RTA, if the drivers’ licence expired over 10 years ago, the applicant can only renew it after passing a road test.

Firstly, let’s take a look at what happens if you do not renew a driving licence when it is due for renewal.

Late renewal fees

According to the RTA, the fine for a delay in renewing a driving licence for less than 10 years is Dh10 per month, with a maximum fine of Dh500 being levied on the holder of the driving licence.

In such situations, an individual can apply for a driving licence renewal by paying the late renewal fees.

However, if it the licence expired over 10 years ago, the customer is only allowed to renew it after passing the Road test, according to the RTA.

To start the process for renewing your driving licence, follow these steps:
1. Visit a driving institute in Dubai and inform them about your case. Your traffic file will then be checked and depending on your experience as a driver, you may either be asked to take a few classes before you take the road test, or you will be allowed to book a road test on the next available date.
2. Eye test – you would then need to take an eye test, which is part of driving licence renewal process for all applicants.
3. Take the road test – You will be issued a driving manual and given the date for the road test. Once you have successfully completed the road test, you can apply for the renewal online, at an RTA centre or at a driving institute.


As per the details provided by RTA, these are the service fees a person needs to pay if the driving licence has not been renewed for over 10 years:

• Dh200 for opening a training file
• Dh100 for issuing a learning application
• Dh50 for the handbook manual
• Dh200 RTA test fees
• Dh500 for the delay in renewing the driving licence
• Dh300 driving licence renewal fee
• Dh20 Knowledge and Innovation fees.

Total cost: Dh1,370

Applying for renewal online:

Regardless of when your driving licence expired, you can complete the renewal process online.

If your licence expired less than 10 years ago, you would simply need to pay the late payment fees (maximum Dh500).

If it expired over 10 years ago, you would also need to upload the certificate for passing the road test.

Once you have all the documents in place, follow these steps to renew the licence online:

1. Log in to the RTA website or set up an account by using your email address and mobile number.
2. Visit the online service here: https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/home/rta-services/service-details?serviceId=3704299&lang=en
3. Click on ‘Apply now’.
4. You will then need to enter your traffic file number, following which you will be directed to the portal for the renewal application.
5. Upload the required documents.
6. Pay the fees.
7. You will then receive a temporary driving licence through the email to print while waiting for the original licence, which can be delivered through two channels:
• Customer Happiness Centres in Deira or Al Barsha
• By courier, with an additional charge of Dh25.