Driving Licence

If you’re in Dubai on a visit visa you can drive a rental car so long as you have a valid driving licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). Once you have your residence visa, however, you must apply for a UAE driving licence (apart from GCC nationals who are allowed to drive on their existing GCC licences). This licence is then valid for 10 years. Many countries are given the option of an automatic licence transfer (see below). However, if you are not eligible, you will have to completely re-sit a theory and practical driving test. Obtaining a motorcycle licence follows the same procedure.

Applying for a licence
To get your UAE driving licence, you need to take an eye test and submit the following documents to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA): existing foreign licence, passport with residence visa, resident ID, No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor or employer, and Dhs.410. The licence is produced within minutes and is valid for 10 years. 
 
If you are a resident with a UAE driving licence and you cancel your visa and leave Dubai, and then return later on another visa, your UAE driving licence will still be valid (as long as it hasn’t reached the expiry date on the licence).

Eye Tests
To get a UAE driving licence, you'll need to take an eye test at a government-approved opticians. These opticians are approved to upload eye test results electronically to the RTA and renew driver licences: Barakat Optical, Grand Optics, Magrabi Optical, Yateem Optician and Al Jaber. Just go to an optician and tell them you need the driving licence eye test; most will do it there and then for around Dhs.100. You’ll need two passport photos. Once passed, you’ll receive a stamped form that can be used in your licence application.

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