To get a driving licence in the UAE, you are required to undergo lessons and pass a driving test. However, you may be also able to swap your existing driving licence for a UAE driving licence, while others can go straight to the test, without the need to take classes.
Here are the details:
Driving licence for Golden Visa holders
If you have a Golden Visa, you can directly apply for the knowledge (theory) and road test. According to an announcement by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in 2022, if you pass both these tests, you will get your UAE driving licence issued. However, you must first enrol at a driving institute in Dubai to start the process.
• Dh200 for opening a traffic file
• Dh50 for the handbook manual
• Dh140 to Dh180 for electronic eye test
• Dh200 test fees
• Dh300 for issuing driving licence
The overall cost can vary depending on the driving school.
List of driving schools in Dubai
2. Belhasa Driving Centre
3. Dubai Driving Centre
4. Dubai International Driving Centre (Drive Dubai)
5. Galadari Motor Driving Centre
6. Emirates Driving Institute
7. Emirates Transport Driving Institute
8. Excellence Driving Centre
9. Bin Yaber Driving Centre
10. Eco-Drive Driving Institute
2. Convert your home country’s driving licence to a UAE driving licence
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 UAE licence without having to undergo any driving classes or take any tests.
• Original driving licence from the countries listed above
• Holders of paper driving licences must submit a letter from the consulate
• Electronic eye test
• Original, valid Emirates ID
• Legalised translation of the licence if it is not in English or Arabic
How to exchange your licence in Dubai
You can apply to convert your licence through the RTA website – rta.ae, and submit the documents online. You must then undergo an eye test at one of the eye test centres accredited by RTA.
You can then go to one of RTA’s customer service centres to get your new UAE drivers licence. For a step-by-step guide on how you can complete this process, click here.
Driving licences eligible for exchange
1. GCC Countries
33. The Republic of Montenegro
34. United States of America
37. South Korea
38. Hong Kong
39. People’s Republic of China
41. New Zealand
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)
• Dh200 opening a traffic file
• Dh600 for issuing the licence
• Dh50 for the RTA handbook
• Dh20 Knowledge and Innovation fees
3. ‘Golden Chance’ driving test
If you do not have a Golden Visa and have a valid driving licence issued from a country which is not eligible for conversion, you still have a shot at obtaining a driving licence without having to take lessons.
The RTA’s ‘Golden Chance’ initiative allows expatriates to take a knowledge test and road test without having to attend lessons.
Once you pass the knowledge and road test, your driving licence will be issued.
If you fail either of these tests, you will have to go through the standard process for acquiring a licence, which includes theory and practical lessons.
According to the RTA website, the estimated overall cost is Dh2,000. However, the final price can vary based on the driving licence details and the driving school.