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Expats Guide to Get a UAE Driving License 2021
Tamsila AliApr 20, 2021 3 min read

Expats Guide: How to Get UAE Driving License 2024

If you plan to stay long-term in the United Arab Emirates because of your job or extended vacation time then there are a lot of advantages to getting a UAE driving license. There are also several reasons why you need a UAE driver’s license, especially if you are here not as a tourist, but as studying or permanently living or working in the UAE because you cannot use your home country’s driving license then it will be great and convenient to get a UAE driving license.

Why You Need a UAE Driving License

If you are working or permanently living in the United Arab Emirates, you cannot use your home country’s driving license to drive in the UAE. There are several conditions before you can get a driver’s license like your home country and the current type of driver’s license that you have.


Exchanging Your Driver’s Licence for a Local UAE License

If you have a license from an RTA-listed country, then you can quickly exchange your home country’s license for a local UAE with minimal fuss and effort. Here is a list of countries that are eligible for exchanging their driver’s licenses



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


North America:

United States Canada  



China South Korea  
Hong kong Australia  
Singapore New Zealand  



South Africa    



Bahrain Kingdom of Saudi Arabia  
Oman Kuwait  

If your country is not listed, then you cannot exchange your driver’s license. However, you can apply for a new driver’s license.


Steps to Exchange Your Driver’s License

If you are a citizen or a resident with a valid driver’s license in the listed countries above,  then you can exchange your Driver’s license using these steps.


1.   Prepare Your Documents

The first step is to prepare the necessary documents and papers to help exchange your driver’s license. Here are the necessary documents that you need to prepare. We recommend that you compile the documents before setting an appointment with the RTA to avoid delays and cancellations.

  • Valid Passport of the same Country as your Driver’s License
  • Your Valid Driver’s License (must be the same country as a passport)
  • Valid residence visa issued by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • A completed form of a replacement license
  • No Objection letter (NOC) from a sponsor
  • Resident Permit
  • For residents with a visa issued in another emirate (working in Dubai)

Here is a downloadable checklist to help you with your application, Download here.


2.   Get an Optometry Exam

 Optometry test Dubai

After you have prepared the necessary documents, the next step is to set an appointment with an Optician to get an Optometry test needed by RTA. The RTA requires two specific documents from your Optician, the Optometry form from a clinic accredited by the UAE Health Authority, and the eye test certificate together with two passport photos. Here are some of RTA’s trusted Opticians; Barakat Optical, Grand Optics, Magrabi Optical, Yateem Optician, Al Jaber Optical, and Belhasa Motor Driving School.


3.   Visit the RTA

The next step is to set an appointment in the RTA on their website and visit on the day of the appointment to process your request. The transaction is typically completed within one visit to the RTA.


Frequently Asked Questions


How much does it cost to exchange your license (excluding Optometry Test)?
    • 200 AED for opening a file
    • 600 AED for issuing a license
    • 50 AED for the handbook manual
    • +20 AED Knowledge and Innovation fees.

If you are from GCC countries and have a driving license, do I need to exchange it, or can I use it to drive in Dubai?

  • A GCC national is allowed to drive with his own driving license as long as he is on a visit trip,  but if he is working and living in the UAE, then he must exchange the driving license.


For more information visit this page.

If you have any questions or need help processing your license feel free to contact us and Ezhire will help point you the right way. Once you have your driving license, the easiest way to get a car as an expat is to rent long-term, discover our great long-term packages straight from your smartphone with the eZhire app. It is available for both Apple and Android devices.