Dubai: Holders of the long-term UAE Golden Visa are not required to undergo training before they can acquire a driver’s licence in Dubai, if they already have a driver’s licence from their own country, according to Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Eligible Golden Visa residency holders, who are above the legal age and medically fit, just need to submit their valid driving licence and pass the knowledge and road tests as they are no longer required to attend driving classes.
RTA tweeted on Monday: “Did you get the Golden Visa and want to get a driving license in #Dubai? Present your previous driving license approved in your country and issue a new one from #RTA at the driving institutes after passing the knowledge and road tests without needed training.”
The move will benefit Golden Visa holders – such as those coming from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and other countries – who were not previously covered by the exemptions on swapping foreign driving licences.
Previously, only licence-holders from select countries (including Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA) can swap their driving licence issued in their home country with a Dubai driving licence.
Filipino expat and Golden Visa holder Dr Marvin Felix welcomed the move as it “will lessen the cost for eligible expats to acquire a UAE driving licence.” He added: “I think, however, it would be better still for some to attend driving lessons so they will be more familiarised with UAE roads and driving system.”
Dr Felix acquired his driving licence by attending driving classes. Dr Mona Iris Janairo agreed with her colleague on going for driving lessons “for the sake of reinforcing road safety.”
Another Golden Visa holder, Dr Ian Victor M. Aquino, welcomed the initiative by RTA. He said: This latest announcement by the RTA is great news indeed for Golden Visa holders. I remember when I had to take several driving lessons to acquire a licence. Now, those with Golden Visa no longer had to attend any class and it would save them a lot of time and money.”
Meanwhile, Emirates Driving Institute (EDI) announced it is now offering fast-track driving courses for Golden Visa holders.
Amer Ahmed Belhasa, chairman of EDI Group of Companies and vice chairman of Belhasa Group of Companies, said: ‘”The fast-track driving course and direct test for experienced and non-experienced Golden Visa holders helps them become safe and skillful motorists. Golden Visa holders with original car drivers’ licenses issued from their home country can directly appear for the knowledge test and final road test by RTA without attending training. The non-experienced Golden Visa holders can sign up for a beginner driving course by selecting their choice of training schedules and driving packages available.”
According to RTA website, one can apply for the Knowledge Test after opening a traffic file and paying the following fees: Dh200 for RTA test fees, plus Dh20 knowledge and innovation fees. The cost is Dh320 if someone would like to book an appointment within 48 hours after presenting the request.
For the road test, after passing the Knowledge Test, the service fees are: Dh200 RTA test fees, plus Dh20 knowledge and innovation fees. It is Dh320 AED someone want to book an appointment within 48 hours after presenting the request.
Dh100 for issuing a driving learning permit for the following categories: motorcycle - light vehicle - light automatic vehicle
Dh200 for opening a traffic file
Dh50 for the handbook manual
The electronic eye test at eye test centres: Dh140 minimum and Dh180 maximum
Driving licence fees
Dh100 for issuing a new driving licence if the customer is younger than 21 years old
Dh300 for issuing a new driving licence if the customer is 21 years old and above
Dh20 Knowledge and Innovation fees
RTA website: Five minutes
Driving institutes: 10 minutes