The steps to get a driving license in Dubai

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  • Passing the UAE driving license test is worth celebrating.
  • The steps to get a license often requires patience.
  • You may not pass the test on the first attempt, but we have answered some of the common questions that may help you ace it.

Passing a driver’s license test marks a significant milestone for those living in the UAE. Yes, a UAE driver’s license is literally earned. So, it’s no surprise that in a city like Dubai, you go full-on celebration mode to embrace the good news of becoming eligible to drive. A glass of bubbly, anyone?

If you’re from one of 36 countries from the approved list, then you’re entitled to transfer your existing and valid driving license from your home country.

The countries from which citizens can transfer their driving licenses (and we hope you’re among the lucky exempted ones) are:
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, 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, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Denmark, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Singapore.

Now for the not so lucky bunch, let’s get down to business and answer some common questions on getting a driver’s license in Dubai with a step by step guide through the entire process.

How much does it cost to get a license in Dubai?

Assuming you would pass the final road test for the first time, getting a license can cost you between AED 4,500 and AED 7,000 depending on your driving institute of choice.
However, if you do not pass the test on the first attempt, you will have to pay up to AED 1,500 for a second attempt at the final road test.

You know you’re a good driver. You’ve been technically driving for more than a decade now. How many hours of classes do I need?

Yes, it does depend on how long you’ve been driving. In addition to eight hours of theory lectures that applies for everyone regardless of their driving experience (or 9 for those who need or wish to operate heavy motor vehicles), training hours are divided under three categories:

  • 20 hours of practical training for those with up to two years of driving experience
  • 15 hours’ training for those with two to five years’ experience
  • A minimum of 10 hours’ training for people with more than 5 years’ experience

Where do I take my theory lessons?

If you have applied for light motor vehicle license (as is the case with the majority), then you have the option to either attend your chosen driving institute for lectures or take your courses via the institute’s online learning platform. Heavy motor vehicle learners need to attend their chosen driving institute.

In what languages are the theory classes available?

Lessons are usually offered in 3 main languages: Arabic, English, and Urdu. Some driving institutes do offer the courses in a few additional languages. E-learning languages consist of Arabic and English only. For those who cannot take the theory lessons in any of the three main languages, a Remote Interpretation Services (RIS) in partnership with Microsoft and Skype for translation services could be an option for you.

What documents do I need to register for the course?

To register for your driver’s license, you need to open an RTA by providing the following documents to your institute of choice:

  • 8 passport sized photos
  • Passport copies
  • Original Emirates ID card (for verification)
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer or sponsor (if expatriate). If your sponsor is your spouse or parent, you’ll need their passport and visa copy as well. Also, check the list of 66 exempt professions which do not require a NOC.
  • Eye Test. You can either do the test at an optician or your driving school

What are the authorized Dubai driving institutes?

driving license dubai

  • Al Ahli Driving School
  • Dubai Driving Centre
  • Belhasa Driving Institute
  • Galadari Motor Driving Centre
  • Emirates Driving Institute

So now that you’ve passed the theory lectures, internal assessments, and road test, what are the next steps? Collect the approval paper from your inspector and go to the appropriate counter to get your license processed!

Ah, that feeling of passing the test! Congratulations in advance!


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