Driving License

Getting a driving license in Dubai

In Dubai you must be at least 18 years of age in order to obtain a driving licence, although if you are under 18 you can learn to drive but will not receive your licence until you turn 18. Before 2006 the police were in charge of driving tests, however, since the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) have taken charge they have made the driving test more difficult to pass.

Driving License

Driving test

A theory exam and a road test make up the driving test in Dubai. You can take the theory exam in one of the five driving schools in Dubai. You will need relevant ID, 2 passport photos as well as a RTA fee (AED 200). The test is made up of 35 multiple choice questions regarding road signals, hazards and road safety, the second half of the test is focused on the specific driving license you require.

You will need your passport, driving file and 2 photos which you need to present to the RTA License Section in order to take your practical test. Along with the RTA examiner, there will be other candidates in the car with you who will also be taking their test. After a short drive the RTA inspector will make the decision as to whether you have passed or failed your test.

Valid driving license

In order to have a valid driver’s license in Dubai you must be a resident of the UAE, along with a residence visa issued in Dubai. However, there is an option to transfer your driver’s license if you are from one of the GCC countries or the following: 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, United Kingdom, United States.

If you are eligible, and you have a valid driving license from one of these countries, you will not have to take a driving test or go to a driving school to obtain a license in Dubai. Nevertheless, Canadians will require a letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai in order to verify their license before it can be transferred. Those with a driving license from Greece, Canada, Cyprus, Poland Turkey, Japan & South Korea will also need a translation of their license from their consulates.

In order to receive a transferred driver's license you will be required to undergo an eye test at a hospital, clinic or optician. An optician will not charge you for this test if you provide 2 passport sized photos and explain that it is for a driver’s license. You will also need to have the original and a copy of your passport, residence permit copy, current driving license, a passport photo, the eye test certificate, AED 360 and a no-objection letter from your sponsor. These documents must be taken to the Dubai Traffic Department Driving License Section in Al Ghusais, which is open from 7:30 till 14:30. You will receive your transferred license the same day.

If you are not planning on driving a private vehicle, but a rental car, you will not need a temporary driver’s license, as an International Driving Permit will be sufficient.

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