UAE driver’s license: Benefits and countries that recognize it

Drive with confidence while traveling
UAE driver’s license: Benefits and countries that recognize it
UAE driver's license is widely accepted around the world

The UAE driver’s license is recognized in many countries around the world. With its wide acceptance, license holders can drive with confidence while traveling abroad.

In this guide, we have compiled a list of countries where the UAE driver’s license is recognized. In the meantime, explore a few details about your license, including how you can get one in the UAE.

Benefits of having a UAE driver’s license

  • Ease of travel: A UAE driver’s license eliminates the need for an international driving permit when traveling abroad, saving time and money.
  • Convenience: This driver’s license allows you to navigate foreign countries easily and without the limitations of public transportation or taxis.
  • Job opportunities: A globally recognized driver’s license from the UAE can potentially enhance your chances of securing international employment.
  • Exploration: This driver’s license allows you to visit numerous regions worldwide and experience your destinations more fully.

Legally drive in several countries

Here’s the good news. When traveling abroad, you do not need to obtain an additional international driving permit to drive in these countries:

Algeria France Liechtenstein Saudi Arabia
Armenia Gabon Lithuania Serbia
Australia Georgia Luxembourg Seychelles
Austria Germany Macau Singapore
Azerbaijan Ghana Madagascar South Africa
Bahrain Greece Malta Slovakia
Bangladesh Guatemala Malaysia Slovenia
Belarus Hungary Mexico South Korea
Belgium Honduras Mongolia Spain
Bosnia & Herzegovina Hong Kong Montenegro Sri Lanka
Brunei Iceland Morocco Sweden
Bulgaria India Netherlands Switzerland
Canada Indonesia Nicaragua Taiwan
China Iran Norway Thailand
Colombia Iraq Oman Trinidad & Tobago
Costa Rica Ireland Panama Tunisia
Croatia Italy Paraguay Turkey
Cyprus Jamaica Peru Ukraine
Czech Republic Japan Philippines United Kingdom
Denmark Jordan Poland United States
Ecuador Kazakhstan Portugal Uruguay
Egypt Kenya Puerto Rico Uzbekistan
El Salvador Kuwait Qatar Venezuela
Ethiopia Latvia Romania Vietnam
Finland Lebanon Russia Yemen

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How to get a UAE driver’s license

UAE residents who are above the legal age and medically fit can get a driving learning permit and then apply for a new driver’s license. The age requirement depends on the vehicle type:

Type of Vehicle Minimum Age Requirement
Motorcycles and vehicles for people with special needs 17
Cars and light vehicles 18
Heavy vehicles and tractors 20
Buses 21

Required Documents and Procedures

To open a traffic file and start the process of obtaining a license, the following documents are required:

  • Copy of passport and residence visa page
  • Copy and original Emirates ID card
  • 2 photographs
  • Eye test report
  • No objection letter from the sponsor (if required by the related traffic department)

The procedures to learn how to drive and obtain a UAE driver’s license include:

  1. Opening a traffic file at one of the registered driving centers in the respective emirate.
  2. Conducting an eye test at any center approved by the traffic department.
  3. Completing all required driving classes.
  4. Passing all tests set by the related traffic department.
  5. Obtaining the driving license from the traffic authority.

In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority offers two services related to driving licenses. First, they allow you to get a new driving license by exchanging your existing license from other countries. Second, they issue new driving licenses after successful completion of the requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an International Driving License?

When driving in a foreign country not listed above, UAE citizens and residents must obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in the UAE. It is a legal requirement and is recognized under the United Nations convention.

It acts as an internationally recognized translation of the UAE driver’s license. In addition, it allows them to drive legally outside of the UAE without additional tests.

Q: Do I need to carry an IDP along with my UAE driver’s license while driving internationally?

It depends on the country you are visiting. While some countries accept UAE driver’s licenses without an IDP, others require you to carry both. It is always best to check with the embassy of the country you plan to visit or with a reputable travel agency.

Q: How can I renew my UAE driver’s license?

Driving licenses in the UAE have varying validity periods based on residency status. Existing license holders, however, can renew their driving license for up to 10 years.

Renewal services for driving licenses are available online in most emirates. Before you can renew your license, you must pay all outstanding traffic fines. Delaying the renewal by more than one month will result in a monthly fine of $2.73.

Q: Can I use this license for identification purposes in foreign countries?

While a UAE driver’s license may be accepted as a form of identification in some situations, it may not be universally accepted for all identification purposes in foreign countries. It is best to carry other identification documents, such as a passport when traveling abroad.

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