Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: If you are a new resident in the UAE and hold a driving licence from your home country, you may be eligible to directly exchange your previous licence for a new UAE licence without having to undergo any driving classes or tests.

To find out if you are eligible to swap your exisiting driving licence with a UAE driving licence, and for details on how you can complete the process, here is all you need to know.


It is important to note that you can only exchange your current driving licence for a UAE driving licence, if you have driving licence issued by a country approved by Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

List of countries authorised by RTA
If you are a national of the following countries, and have a driving licence issued by the country, you are eligible to swap your licence for a UAE driving licence:

1. GCC Countries
2. Lithuania
3. Portugal
4. Hungary
5. Bulgaria
6. Latvia
7. Serbia
8. Luxembourg
9. Iceland
10. Estonia
11. Cyprus
12. Slovakia
13. Malta
14. Albania
15. Romania
16. Germany
17. Italy
18. Switzerland
19. Poland
20. Finland
21. Spain
22. Holland
23. Greece
24. Sweden
25. Belgium
26. Ireland
27. Turkey
28. Denmark
29. Austria
30. France
31. Britain
32. Norway
33. The Republic of Montenegro
34. United States of America
35. Canada
36. Japan
37. South Korea
38. Hong Kong
39. People's Republic of China
40. Australia
41. New Zealand
42. Singapore
43. South Africa

According to the RTA website, to exchange a Singapore driving licence, the customer must take a Knowledge Test in one of the registered driving institutes.
The website also states that driving licences issued from the following countries cannot be used for this service:
• Puerto Rico (USA)
• North Mariana (USA)
• Guam island (USA)
• Liechtenstein island (Switzerland)
• Monaco island (France)
• Jersey island (Britain).

Required documents

To apply for a driving licence through RTA, you must submit the following documents:

• Original driving licence from one of the approved countries
• Eye test
• Original valid Emirates ID
• Legalised translation of the licence if it was not in English or Arabic

Steps to follow

Step 1: Apply for the licence online

1. Visit this link: and click on ‘Apply Now’.

2. Next choose your driving licence origin country

3. Then, enter your licence category

4. Enter the licence issue date and expiry

5. Select yes or no if the original licence is in your possession

6. Next, select your nationality.

7. After that, select your driving licence category: Light vehicle automatic, Light vehicle manual, motorcycle or heavy vehicle.

8. RTA will provide a list of documents you need to provide to apply for the licence, if you qualify.

9. Click on the Apply Now button at the bottom of the screen.

10. Enter your Emirates ID information.

11. After that, type in your personal information, such as full name, mobile number, date of birth and address.

12. Upload a copy of your original driving licence. You may also need to upload the translated copy of your driving licence.

13. Submit the application and pay the fees electronically through a debit/credit card. You will then receive a reference number, which you should have with you to complete the rest of the process.

Step 2: Get an eye test

You woud then need to undergo an eye test, which you can get done at the RTA Customer Happiness Centre, too.

Step 3: Receive your licence

You can then get a token for the service at the RTA customer happiness centre. Provide the application reference number, your eye test result, and your home country driving licence to the officer. Your licence will then be issued.


• Dh200 for opening a file
Dh600 for issuing a licence
• Dh50 for the handbook manual
• Dh20 Knowledge and Innovation fees.

For Singaporean licence holders

• Dh200 for opening a training file
• Dh100 for issuing a learning application
• Dh50 for the handbook manual
• Dh400 for instant knowledge test
• Dh400 for issuing the driving licence
• Dh20 Knowledge and Innovation Fees

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Police’s traffic and licencing department has approved driving licences from 44 countries that can be used to apply for a UAE driving licence directly.

List of countries approved by Abu Dhabi Police:
• GCC countries
• Turkey
• Iceland
• Poland
• Germany
• Portugal
• New Zealand
• Denmark
• Hong Kong
• Cyprus
• Ireland
• United Kingdom
• Estonia
• Finland
• Belgium
• Albania
• Serbia
• Spain
• Montenegro
• Bulgaria
• Canada
• Japan
• Singapore
• Australia
• Switzerland
• Luxembourg
• Slovakia
• South Korea
• United States
• China
• Slovenia
• Italy
• Malta
• Austria
• Greece
• Latvia
• Lithuania
• Norway
• France
• Romania
• South Africa
• Netherlands
• Hungary
• Ukraine
• Sweden

Required Documents:

• Eye test done through an optical store accredited by Abu Dhabi Police’s Traffic Licensing Department.
• Valid original foreign licence
• Legal Arabic translation of foreign licence
• Emirates ID
• Passport copy
• Personal photos (two copies)

How to exchange your licence online in Abu Dhabi

You apply to replace your foreign driving licence for a UAE driving licence through Abu Dhabi government’s official online platform – To access the service you must be an Abu Dhabi Resident.

Step 1: Start the application online

1. To apply for any service on, you must log in using your UAE PASS.

2. Next, visit this link: and click on ‘start’

3. Then, enter the country that has issued your licence and your driving licence number.

4. Next upload, the Arabic translated version of your driving licence. Don’t have an Arabic translation of the licence? Read this.

5. After that, settle the fees through the payment channel.

Step 2: Undergo an eye test

Once, you have submitted the application, undergo an eye test.

Step 3: Get your licence issued

You would then need to visit the traffic licensing department of Abu Dhabi Police, with your reference number from Your new UAE driving licence will then be issued by Abu Dhabi Police.


Eye test – Dh100
Driving licence – Dh600

Northern Emirates

If you live in one of the Northern Emirates – Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah, the authority that will replace your foreign driving licence will be the Ministry of Interior (MOI).

Required documents:

• Legal translation of the foreign driving licence
• Emirates ID
• Eye test


1. Visit this link: and click ‘start service’

2. Log in via UAE Pass.

3. Enter the country that issued the licence and your driving licence number. The system will then tell you if you qualify for the service of exchanging your home country licence for a UAE driving licence.

4. Upload the required documents.

5. Enter your Emirate or region, address and mobile number and click ‘next’.

6. Pay the fees online.

7. Go to the traffic licensing department in your Emirate, and present the receipt.

8. After that your driving licence will be issued.


The cost for replacing a foreign driving licence is Dh600.
Eye test – Dh100