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Getting a driving license in the UAE usually involves going to a driving school and taking a driving test. However, did you know that there are exceptions to this? Citizens coming from certain countries can easily convert or transfer their existing driving license to a UAE driving license.

ALSO READ: How to Register a New Car in Dubai

If you come from an exempted country and you would like to have your driving license converted, then this article is for you. Here, we present the required documents and procedure, as well as the list of countries whose citizens are exempted from driving classes and tests in the UAE.

How to Convert (Transfer) License to a UAE Driver's License 1

Guide to Transferring your UAE Driving License

The UAE driving license is valid for one year to those who are below 21 years old. Meanwhile, it is valid for two years for those who are 21 years old and above.

Documents Required
To have your existing driving license converted or transferred to a UAE driving license, prepare the following documents:

  • Emirates ID
  • Original and photocopy of driving license from an exempted country (see below for list of exempted countries)
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsor, except for 66 professions (visit RTA website for list of exempted professions)
  • Eye test certified by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
  • Medical screening certified by the DHA (for senior residents age 65 and above)
  • Letter from consulate or embassy (for citizens of Greece, Japan, South Korea, and Quebec – Canada)
  • Legal translation of driving license (for citizens of Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia, and People’s Republic of China)
  • Theory test taken at Deira Licensing Department (for Singapore driving license holders)

Notably, if you hold a diplomatic passport, be sure to present:

  • Original and photocopy of driving license
  • Original and photocopy of diplomatic passport
  • Eye test certified by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
  • Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (valid for at least 6 months from date of submission)
  • Diplomatic card from embassy, consulate, or international organisation (in lieu of Emirates ID)

Meanwhile, if you are of GCC nationality with a driving license from an exempted country, then make sure that you have your:

  • Emirates ID
  • Original and photocopy of driving license
  • Eye test certified by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

Service Fees
The fees for having your license transferred are as follows:

  • Opening a new file – AED 200
  • Issuing a license – AED 600
  • Handbook manual – AED 50
  • Knowledge & innovation fees – AED 20

How to Convert (Transfer) License to a UAE Driver's License 2

List of Countries that Can Swap their Driving License to UAE Driver’s License
As cited earlier, there are certain countries whose citizens can convert their driving license to a UAE driving license. These countries include:

GCC: Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

North America:Canada and United States of America.

Asia & Pacific:Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, Singapore, and South Korea.

Africa: South Africa

Procedure for Converting to UAE Driving License
Once you have gathered all the required documents and fees, take note of these steps:

  1. Get an eye test at any clinic, hospital, or optician certified by the DHA.
  2. Go to an RTA customer centre.
  3. Fill up an application form and submit all your documents.
  4. Wait for your application to be verified.
  5. A new file will be opened with your information.
  6. Pay the necessary fees at the cashier.
  7. Wait for your name to be called and your photograph taken.
  8. In a few minutes, you will receive your license!

DISCLAIMER: The above details are presented for information-sharing purposes only. For more information about converting your existing driving license to a UAE driving license, please visit the RTA official website.

ALSO READ: How to Register a Used (Secondhand) Car in Dubai


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