How to Transfer Car Ownership in UAE


The cost of car ownership in the UAE is becoming expensive. You can easily spend over AED 1,500 per month on gas, insurance, and car note payments. It’s understandable why you would want to pass this bill on to someone else.

But before you make the decision to sell, there are a few things you need to know. This guide will walk you through the process of transferring car ownership and explain how it works in the UAE. You’ll save money, avoid fines, and make the process easier on yourself.

Let’s dive in!

How to Change Car Ownership in the UAE

In the UAE, you can transfer ownership of a vehicle if you’re the verifiable owner. In other words, you can sell your car but not one belonging to a friend or family member. Even if you have a person’s permission to transfer ownership on their behalf, doing so is illegal in the UAE.

The vehicle should be registered in your name and have insurance. Now that we’ve taken care of some legal matters, here’s how to go about selling your car:

Step 1: Check Online Status

Before selling your car, you must check the RTA status of your vehicle. This will ensure that all outstanding fines and insurance charges are settled. You can use the Roads and Transport Authority app for this purpose. If there are any pending fines or if a new annual registration fee needs to be paid, then you must settle these before transferring ownership of your vehicle.

Step 2: Submit Required Documents

Several legal documents are required when transferring ownership of a vehicle, so you’ll want to make sure that you have everything in order. First and foremost, have your Emirates ID with you, as well as your passport. You’ll need to prove your identity.

Another essential document you’ll need is the vehicle’s original registration card (mulkiya). You can use this as proof of car ownership. Insurance papers and your driver’s license are also required.

You’ll also need to bring a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you’re a diplomat transferring vehicles.

The new owner has to submit some documents as well. Their original Emirates ID and a copy of their passport are needed if you’re selling to a resident. If a diplomat is purchasing your vehicle, collect their valid diplomatic card and a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If you have lost one or both of your license plates, then bring along a police report.

When you’re not sure exactly what to bring, then it’s best to ask your dealership or insurance provider. They’ll be able to tell you which documents are required for a successful transfer in Dubai.

Step 3: Pay Transfer Fees

You can transfer ownership of a vehicle by going to either the Dubai Traffic Police HQ or an RTA licensing center. The current owner and new owner must be present for the transaction to take place.

As the seller/current owner, you must handle the transfer fees. You will pay these at the time of the transfer. The total can vary depending on your vehicle.

Once you cover the fees, the RTA will issue a receipt upon your request.

What Are the Fees for Ownership Transfer?

You will have to pay AED 350 as a transfer fee, which is strictly for light vehicles—any motor vehicle under 3 tonnes. If you’re selling a heavier car, here are the transfer fees you can expect to pay:

For a vehicle between 3 and 12 tonnes, the fee is AED 400. For public vehicles with a gross weight of over three tons but not exceeding twelve, the charge will be AED 650.

Private cars that are over 12 tonnes will cost AED 800. This fee rises to AED 1000 if it’s a public vehicle of the same weight.

Furthermore, you will incur a sales fee of AED 50 and an innovation fee of AED 20.

License Plate Fees

The new number plates will cost you AED 35 for the smaller ones and up to AED 500 if yours is extra-large. The price depends on which category your plate belongs in (long, luxury, etc.). Here’s a breakdown:

  • Small plates: AED 35

  • Long license plates: AED 50

  • Dubai branded car plates: AED 200

  • Luxury plates: AED 500

Is It Possible to Change the Ownership of the Car in Another Emirate?

Yes, it’s possible to change the ownership of a car in another emirate. However, the car must be driven onto a truck, which will transport it from one emirate to another. Because the car is unregistered, its number plates are missing—making it illegal to drive.

You and the buyer must submit the same documents mentioned above during this process. In addition, the new owner must register the vehicle in that emirate.

How Long Does It Take to Transfer Car Ownership?

You can complete a sale in 30 minutes, but a total transfer can take anywhere from a week to a month. The RTA needs time to process the documents, but they will notify you when it is done. You can check online or via SMS if the transfer is complete.

Can You Transfer Car Ownership Online in the UAE?

There is no online vehicle ownership transfer option in the UAE, but you can still apply for one by uploading documents to the RTA’s website. You can also settle transfer fees in this same portal.

Follow UAE Car Ownership Transfer Laws

If you are about to transfer car ownership in the UAE, it’s not as simple as just signing the documents. There are many legal requirements that you must adhere to. Follow the rules set by the RTA and Dubai Police, as well as their respective websites.

In addition, it’s highly recommended that you work with a registered car buyer in Dubai. Cash Your Car UAE offers the best online platform for selling your car.

Use our evaluation tool to get a fair estimate for your car. Then, cash it out in 30 minutes or less.