Step by Step Guide to getting a Driver’s License in the UAE

Driving in the Emirates may seem like a cakewalk but getting the privilege to do so is daunting. Although UAE offers an extensive network of public transportation, nothing can beat the freedom of having your own car and a valid driver’s license.  You can choose where you want to go, how and when; without being dependent on anyone else.

If you are 18 or above, you may apply for a Driver’s License. If you have a valid license from any of these 31 approved countries, the process to getting a license here in the UAE is very simple. The countries being, 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.

However, if you are a first time driver or your driver’s permit is not from the approved countries, you must have to undergo certain training.

Here are the 5 steps to your Driving Freedom: 

Step 1: Register for your driver’s permit in any driving school in the UAE by opening an RTA file. Provide the below mentioned documents to your Institute.

  1. 5 Passport sized photos
  2. Passport copies
  3. Original Emirates ID card (for verification)
  4. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor (if expatriate)
  5. Eye Test receipt. You could take the RTA eye test either at an optician or at the driving     school

Step 2: Your license application will be sent to the RTA and you will be provided with your temporary Driver’s Permit.

Step 3: Attend the 8 mandatory theory classes

Step 4: After being thorough about the theoretical part of the training, apply and take the theory test. You can take this test in any of the authorized driving institutes which are:

  1. Al Ahli Driving School
  2. Dubai Driving Centre
  3. Belhasa Driving Institute
  4. Galadari Motor Driving Centre
  5. Emirates Driving Institute

Step 5: After passing the theory test, attend the practical training.

  1. If you don’t possess any driving license (from any country) register for 40 classes and attend one session of stimulator.
  2. If you possess your country's license which is 2-5 years old you’ll have to take 30 classes.
  3. If you possess your country's license which is more than 5 years old you’ll have to take 20 classes.

Step 6: Upon completion, take the parking test. During your parking exam, you will be tested on 4 types of parking

  1. Parallel Parking
  2. Garage Parking
  3. Angle Parking
  4. Hillside Parking

Step 7: Take the assessment test. Here you will be tested on your driving skills in the driving institute premises. You will have to avoid some obstacles to see your driving and anticipation skills.

Step 8: Attend highway classes.

Step 9: Take the final road test. On the assigned day attend the Institute at least 30 minutes prior to the exams and bring the following documents

  1. Passport
  2. Driving File
  3. Two passport sized photos (which are to be given to the RTA License Section as advised by your driving school.)

Fill up the given application form and submit the fee (approx. AED 200). When your name is called out, go along with the other three candidates and the RTA inspector to the designated car. You will be given just a few minutes to demonstrate your driving and anticipation skills.

Step 10: If you fail, you will have to register with your driving school for at least seven more classes and get a new road test date.

If you pass, you will be given your driver’s license after completing a few steps. Congratulations! Enjoy your newfound license by either renting a car or buying a new or used one for yourself!

All that being said, keep in mind that you may spend a minimum of AED 5000 which covers your application fee, training and exam fees. So keep an eye out for discounts and make sure to take this seriously and study as failing and retaking lessons will cost more.

Now that you know all the steps to obtain a driving license, check out some driving schools and enroll in one near you today!

Drive safely!

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