Getting your UAE driving licence in Al Ain

Once you get your residence visa, you then must get a UAE driving licence. (In other words, it is against the law to drive without one if you have a residence visa.)

A friend of mine called Paul told me that his wife got her residence visa the other day, so today he went with her to get a UAE driving licence for her.

He said the process took 6.5 hours from 9am this morning. Ouch!

Steps included…

Go to the Al Jimi area to get fingerprinted, palm printed and photographed for a UAE Identity Card. You will be given a receipt which you can then take to the traffic department to get a UAE driving licence. (Your Identity Card will be likely be delivered to you by motorcycle courier about 2 weeks later.)

Have your eyes tested at the traffic department. This is the only test you will need to undertake.

I will post all the steps once Paul has read my summary above of what I remember from our chat, and he has got back to me with more info.

31 Comment

  1. Siid says:

    Once eye testing is over, you will be directed to the Emirates Driving Company. Register for theory classes which may up to 1 week. Once theory class over you will get green signal for parking test. Try hard and next is your road test. Good luck!

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for that, Siid!

  3. manoj vutukuri says:

    hello, sidd can i take the driving classes form out side not form the driving school, if yes how many classes i’ve to attend for the final driving test

  4. prasad says:

    Getting your UAE driving license in Al Ain is simple or tough (like Dubai)???
    How long does it take????
    I heard that there are so many people trying to get driving license for years (like they took 4 years or so)
    I am planing to come al ain by next month (July 2011) so can any one help me by letting me know about the procedure.

    Thank you

  5. admin says:

    Hi Prasad,
    Do you already have a driving license from your home country? If so, the procedure should be straight forward.
    If you don’t have a license then you need to take lessons. Once you have taken lessons, you can apply for your test, and all being well you could pass it on your first try.
    The exact procedure for both of the above does change from time to time. You’ll find out more once you get here and ask around.

  6. When I lived in Al Ain between 2002 and 2007 I tried to get my license there. I didn’t have a UK license so I had to go the driving lessons route.

    I vaguely remember the theory test back then involved identifying a few signs. I took the parking test and passed it but I didn’t have the guts to go through with the practical. It was the thought of sitting in a car surrounded by foreign policemen! It didn’t work out for me, so I took my UK theory test during a visit in the Easter holidays and followed that up with an intensive driving course in the UK during the summer holidays. I took my test in the UK, passed and then was able to ‘convert’ my license that way.

    I know that some people struggle with learning to drive in the UAE. The approach to teaching driving skills can be very different to what happens in the UK. I would recommend doing an intensive in the UK if you have time and getting a license from home. I found the quality of teaching was far better in the UK, and safe driving was paramount compared to the way I was taught in Al Ain. Also, when you do return to the UK you won’t have to take the driving test there which you would have to do after a year on a foreign license.

  7. admin says:

    Thanks for this very helpful information Miranda!

  8. jamil says:

    my visa is from al ain and im living in i eligible to apply for driving lisence in ajman or dubai???????????

  9. admin says:

    I am sorry, Jamil, but I don’t know.

  10. adnan says:

    hi,i have uk learning license can i get uae license easliy or i have to go to learning school

  11. Deepu says:

    helo sir,
    i have already open file in ai ain march-2011,now i am in abudhabi,i want to transfer my file to abudhabi.or i want it possible??.what is the requirementsโ€ฆ.??please help me

  12. kishore says:

    which is the best driving school in alain,

  13. admin says:

    Hi Kishore.
    That’s a question I don’t believe anyone has a real answer to! ๐Ÿ™‚
    There are many driving schools here. Choose one based on price and/or recommendation from friends.

  14. admin says:

    Hi Deepu,
    I’m sorry but I don’t know the answer to your question. Please ask around. I’m sure you’ll soon have an answer.

  15. admin says:

    Hi Adnan,
    If you have a UK driving licence that is current, it is easy to get an Emirates one: you don’t need to go to a driving school.
    However if your UK licence has expired, you will need to go back to school! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Umar says:

    helo sir,

    i am a civil engineer.just came to al ain.i need to get a driving license.what procedure do i neeed to go i need a letter from my employer or i can apply directly.kindly direct me on that

  17. sachin says:


    I need to apply UAE driving license from Al ain for my wife who got Dubai residence visa sponsored by me.
    Can I open DL file for her in Al ain.Please let me know the documents required & procedure.
    She has Indian DL license more than 2 years old.


  18. admin says:

    Hi Umar,
    Sadly I don’t have all the answers.
    Pop along to the licensing department and you’ll soon have your answer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. admin says:

    Hi Sachin,
    Sadly, I don’t have an answer for everything.
    I’m just a humble Brit who created this site for fun!
    I recommend that you visit the licensing department and check there.

  20. saffi says:


    This is a good initiative and informative forum. I just wanted to know which is the best driving school in Al Ain? Can you please suggest some good schools & their contact details (if possible)?


  21. Max says:

    Good day. I’m living and working in Al Ain. I have license from my coutry (Moldova (i am sure that not everybody heard about this country. It’s close to Romania)) So the question is: “Have i to pass any exams? Or they will give the UAE license according the license from my country”

  22. Bhupesh giri says:

    I m working in al ain but my visa is from dubai can i open my driving file here and get the licence and i have got noc also

  23. admin says:


    Contact them directly: this is just a site I put together for fun! I am not an expert on licences! ๐Ÿ™‚


  24. admin says:

    Hi Max,

    That question is something I can’t answer. Sorry! So contact the licencing office directly.


  25. Abdul says:

    Hi Admin
    Could u plz let me know,whats the procedure to get the driving licence in UAE.If you already have a full driving licence from UK and having a INDIAN passport.early response will be appreciable.


  26. admin says:

    Hi Abdul,
    I’m sorry, I’m not an expert on driving licences. ๐Ÿ™ This site is something I set up in my spare time. Please contact the relevant municipality department.

  27. admin says:

    Hi Saffi,
    I can’t recommend any schools to be honest. I suggest you ask around.

  28. Shihabudeen Pakrudeen says:

    Dear Sir,

    We would like to know that one of my staff having the Labour Visa only. but he had K S A driving license and having Indial Valued Driving License.

    Is he able to do Driving license with Labour Visa?
    I heared that the one who having labour visa he is not able to open a traffic file?
    Please do advice..

  29. admin says:

    Hello Shihabudeen, I’m sorry I can’t help you: this blog is just a hobby of mine. Ring the municipality or go visit the staff there. Warmest, Chris

  30. norania says:

    i take exam dis day but my exam is failed.. im so sad!!! i feel more bad this day.. again i enrol my subject and try again.. so help me Allah.

  31. admin says:

    Hi Norania,
    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t pass this time. Better luck next time.

Leave a Reply