How to obtain a driver's license in the UAE?

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Obtaining a driver's license is a must for a comfortable life in the Emirates. The country does not recognize an international document. Having a driver's license in the UAE is a preventative measure that will save you from fines and arrest.

What are the requirements?

You must be a UAE resident over the age of 18. Apart from that, you will have to pass a driving exam in the emirate where your visa was approved.
To sign up for driving school you need:

  1. Eyesight examination: This can be done in a driving school, or at an optometrist.
  2. Provision of documents: Each emirate has a different set of documents. Usually, this is a passport, five 3x4 photos, copies of the resident visa, Emirates ID, and a letter translated into Arabic from your employer who is not against your schooling. In addition, sometimes they require a driver's license issued in your country.
  3. Keeping a student file after submitting documents for schooling.
  4. Classes: You can choose English, Arabic or Urdu. There is also an option to select the teacher's gender.

The Driving Test

As in all countries, to obtain a license in the Emirates, it is necessary to pass theoretical lectures and practical exercises with an instructor. The theory exam includes 35 questions, 17 on general traffic situations and 18 on traffic rules. After passing the theoretical test, your driving skills will be assessed, and the number of hours of practical lessons will be determined.
The driving test is the final step. If you pass, you will receive your UAE driver's license within a month. If you fail, you must retake the test and take another 7 driving practice lessons before you can retake the exam.

Countries in which citizens can exchange their driver's licenses without attending driving school include USA, Germany, Italy, Australia, United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Canada, France, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, India, South Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, New Zealand. In this case, to obtain a license, you need to apply to the Dubai Traffic Department from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays. Fill out the form and bring the original and a copy of your international passport, a copy of your resident visa, and the results of an eye examination with you.
The below countries require additional documents:

  • Canada: A letter from the Canadian Consulate in Dubai which confirms the authenticity of the driver's license.
  • Greece, Turkey, Canada, Poland, Cyprus, South Korea, Japan: translated license certified by the consulate.

With the questionnaire and documents signed by the road department, you need to pay 350 dirhams at the box office. After that, you will receive a driver's license in the UAE.

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