How to Get a Driving License in Dubai Easy Guide

Complete Details on How to Get a Driving License in Dubai

Living in Dubai without a driving license is like missing out on a big part of the city. A driver’s license can give you access to various mobility options. Although the process of getting a driving license in Dubai is a little hectic, it’s worth applying.

In this article, you’ll learn all the procedures and license renewal requirements. Moreover, this guide covers the process for both permanent UAE citizens and foreign residents living temporarily in Dubai. 

So, without any delay, let’s see what you can do to get a driving license in Dubai!

Legal Age for Driving License in Dubai

Whether you’re an Emirati or an expat, you must be legally and physically fit to get your driving license in the UAE. Here are the minimum age criteria for different types of vehicles;

  • 17 years old for motorcycles.
  • 18 years old for cars and light vehicles.
  • 20 years old for heavy vehicles (e.g. trucks) and tractors.
  • 21 years old for a driving career in buses.

Necessary Legal Documentations 

If you’ve successfully met the minimum age limit for a driving license, you need to gather the required documents to proceed to further procedures. Now check the document list below;

  • Copy and original passport and residence visa page 
  • Copy and original Emirates ID
  • 2 Passport-size photographs
  • Eye test report
  • NOC (no objection certificate) from sponsor or employer

Complete Process to Get a Driving License in Dubai

Make sure you’ve successfully passed the first two criteria of “minimum age limit” and “required documents” to move forward with the process. 

We will give you a brief overview of the complete process so you can understand :

  1. Open a traffic file at a driving school, and that school should be approved by RTA.
  2. Go to any RTA-approved eye testing centre and take your eye test.
  3. Take driving classes at the driving school and complete theoretical and practical driving classes. 
  4. Take all tests at the driving institute 
  5. Finally, receive your UAE driving license.

Step 1: Open a Traffic File

The first step to initiating the process of getting a driver’s license is opening a traffic file. Below are the necessary documents you need to have for opening a traffic file:

  • passport copy and copy of visa page
  • Emirates ID 
  • 2 photographs
  • Eye test report
  • NOC from sponsor

Step 2: Learn Driving

Obviously, you’ll have to learn to drive before applying for a driver’s license. In fact, you need to make sure that your driving skills are good enough to pass the test exams; otherwise, you’ll not get the license. 

In Dubai, there are many good driving schools where you can take classes and learn how to drive. Here are some of the best schools you can choose;

They will provide proper driving classes with everything you need to know and learn, such as driving rules, government laws, road safety tips, and more. Make sure you attend both theory and practical classes to learn quickly and get your license early.

Step 3: Book a Test Driving Slot 

Please note: Before you book for the test driving slot, make sure to have an eye test. Because the driving license authority will ask you for 3 things for the application;

  • Eye test report
  • Emirates ID proof
  • And application fees

If you already have these 3 things, you’re good to apply for the test drive. You can submit your application online on the official website of  The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) or in the RTA Smart App. And for offline mode, you can visit the Customer Happiness Centre in Deira.


Step 4: Give The Tests

In Dubai, you’ll have to pass types of tests to get your driving license finally. 

  1. Theory test
  2. Parking test (or Yard Test)
  3. RTA Road Test
  1. First, the RTA theory test will test your theoretical knowledge of driving and road rules, safety concerns, and some license-specific questions. You are required to answer 35 questions. Hence, make sure you’ve read all the road laws and instructions you’ve learned from the driving school. The questions will be asked in English, Arabic, or Urdu. They will provide you with a touchscreen device to answer questions, if you don’t know how to use it you can verbally give answers. After completing the theory test, you can take practical driving classes. Normally, you need to take 40 classes if you have never had a license before. Candidates having a 2 to 5-year-old licence from their home country have to take only 30 classes instead of 40. If you had a license for more than 5 years from your home country, then your classes would be reduced to 20 only.

  1. The second one is the parking test, also called the yard test, which is mainly conducted to test your driving skills for parking a vehicle. This will check various skills, such as parking on a slope or hill, angle parking (60 degrees), garage parking (90 degrees), garage parking, parallel parking and emergency breaks.
  2. The last one is an RTA Road Test. This is a driving test in real traffic, where you’ll ride in a vehicle and follow all the traffic rules in real life. If you successfully pass all these 3 exams, you need to pay your fees at the counter, submit your ID documents and get your photo taken and then RTA will give you a driving license valid for 2 years

Important Things about Driving Licenses in Dubai

  • Renewal of driving license

Remember, your new driving license is valid for only 2 years. You’ll have to renew it once the tenure ends. After renewal, the validity increases depending on your citizenship. If you’re a permanent UAE or GCC citizen, you’ll get 10 years of validity, and for residents only, it’s 5 years. 

However, if by any chance you delay the diving license renewal date for over a month, you’ll be charged 10 ADE per month as a fine.

  • What happens if you fail the tests?

First of all, you should not worry if you can’t pass the driving test for your license. RTA allows you to retake the test if you have successfully passed the driving classes at the certified driving school. You can sharpen your driving skills by taking a few more classes and applying again to win it. 

  • What if you’re not a resident of Dubai yet?

Dubai allows citizens, temporary residents, and even non-residents to drive freely on the road. But you must follow the rules and regulations. If you’re on a tour or on business purposes in Dubai, you’ll need an international driving license to drive here. 

You can apply for an International Driving License (IDL) in the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) or the MOI UAE app (Ministry of Interior UAE).

Moreover, you have to option to visit an RTA or ATCUAE office nearby. They will ask you to submit some necessary documents, such as a valid copy of your passport, your photographs, a copy of your original driver’s license, and the required fees.

If everything goes well, you can expect your international driving license within 3 working days, which is valid for only one year. However, if you get a residency visa in Dubai after getting your international driving license, you’ll have to apply for a new Dubai driving license. 

  • What if you have a diving license from your home country?

If you are already a driver’s license beholder from your home country, then it’s good news. Because the UAE allows residents from certain countries to easily get their driving licenses without taking driving tests. This will require just a submission of the necessary documents.

Note: Check this list of counties if you’re eligible. 

  • Total cost to get a driving license in Dubai

The total cost of obtaining a driver’s license varies between 4,500 ADE and 7,000 ADE all over UAE. This const includes everything from driving schools to applying for tests and even the eye test. However, the cost varies for some obvious reasons, such as

  • Type of license you want to apply.
  • Schools you’re applying to learn driving.
  • Number of attempts for the test. 


Is it hard to pass the Dubai driving test?

Passing Dubai’s driving test requires preparation. Though not impossible, many factors like road unfamiliarity and strict regulations contribute to a moderate difficulty level. However, many good driving schools are there to help you pass the tests. 

How can I check my driving license status online in Dubai?

In Dubai, you can check your license status on the official RTA Dubai website. However, if you belong to other cities in the UAE, you can check the status on the official websites of the Ministry of InteriorAbu Dhabi Police or TAMM.

Which country is valid for a Dubai license?

The UAE Ministry of Interior has officially published a list of 73 countries in two categories: “National” (27 countries) and “Non-National” (46 countries). The list includes countries like Poland, the Netherlands, Japan, China, the USA, and others. You can visit the official UAE Ministry of Interior to check the list.