- Eligibility Criteria
- Applicant Categories
- Documents Required
- License Cost
- First Time Applicants
- Driving Schools and Courses
- Theory Test
- Practical Course and Test
Have you been scouring online sources for ‘driving licence Abu Dhabi procedures’? Worry not, we have all the information you need right here! Getting an Abu Dhabi driving licence is a huge milestone. If you are a resident of Abu Dhabi, having a licence makes life extremely easy as you don’t always have to rely on public transportation for your commute. If you are looking at the step by step process for getting a driving licence in Abu Dhabi, we have all the information you need here.
Most people want to get their driving licence Abu Dhabi made as soon as they turn 18. Having a driving licence not only makes your life much simpler, it can even add to your professional profile, especially if you are looking at jobs in sales roles.
However, it is not always a simple exercise. Many people from various countries come to the UAE to work. It is vital to understand the whole process before starting out to ensure you get your Abu Dhabi driving licence without any hassles.
This Abu Dhabi driving licence guide provides the step-by-step process, which will help you obtain your Abu Dhabi driving licence.
The complete guide to getting a driving licence Abu Dhabi
From the legal driving age to the number of tests one must take, this guide covers the details of the Abu Dhabi driving licence procedure to help you make an informed decision.
Eligibility criteria for a driving licence Abu Dhabi
People who are medically fit and above the legal age can apply for a new driving licence Abu Dhabi. The legal age for driving in Abi Dhabi depends on the vehicle you want to drive. The division is as follows:
- Motorcycles and vehicles for people with special needs: 17 years
- Cars and light vehicles: 18 years
- Heavy vehicles and tractors: 20 years
- Buses: 21 years
Applicants categories for a driving licence Abu Dhabi
Those applying for a driving license in Abu Dhabi are divided into two sub-categories:
- First-time Emirati applicants or first-time expat applicants
- Expats who have a licence from a foreign country.
You need to identify in which category you belong, as the process for both can be different.
Residents with foreign licence from a list of approved countries can transfer their licence in Abu Dhabi
If you already have a foreign driving licence, chances are your process is simpler. Abu Dhabi government offers an easier process to people who have a driving licence from the following countries:
- GCC Countries
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korean
* If you don’t have a licence from any of these countries, you will be considered a first-time applicant.
Transfer of international driving licence Abu Dhabi
If you have a driving licence from any of the countries mentioned above, you need not apply for a new Abu Dhabi driving licence as your foreign licence can be transferred.
The first step is to visit any official typing or translation centre to get an Arabic translation for your foreign licence. Next, visit the licensing centre with the necessary documents (details below). Here, you can get your eye test for driving licence Abu Dhabi and other formalities will also be conducted. If your eye test is successful, you will be given your driving licence in Abu Dhabi.
Documents Required for Driving Licence in Abu Dhabi
- Single Passport-size photo
- Passport original and photocopy
- Emirates ID
- Foreign driving licence original and photocopy
- A valid Abu Dhabi residency visa photocopy
- NOC from your employer or visa sponsor
- Arabic translation foreign driving licence
While submitting a copy of your residency visa, make sure it has minimum six months’ validity. Here is how you can seek for the UAE visa status enquiry.
Total cost to convert driving licence in Abu Dhabi
The entire process will cost you AED 250.
If you are one of the lucky ones, this process will wrap up your Abu Dhabi driving licence guide. However, if you are about to get your first Abu Dhabi driving licence or don’t have a driving licence from the aforementioned countries, continue reading our Abu Dhabi driving licence guide.
How to get a driving licence in Abu Dhabi for first time applicants
First time driving licence applicants have to pass the following stages before they can obtain a licence:
- Training and lessons
- Theory test – Learners Permit
- Yard Parking exam – Internal Test
- Road test
- Abu Dhabi driving licence issuance
In Abu Dhabi, you have to visit the Emirates Driving Company (details below) and open a driving file in your name to start your training.
Emirates Driving Company
EDC is the first certified driving school and road safety institute in Abu Dhabi. It is a public entity jointly owned by the Abu Dhabi government. EDC has a set of competent trainers who cover courses in various Abu Dhabi driving licence categories including Light Vehicle, motorcycle, Heavy Vehicle and Heavy Bus. They operate centres in Mussafah in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Driving School location and contact
Emirates Driving Company is the only school in Abu Dhabi. The address is Street no. 17 Mussafah Industrial Area, Abu Dhabi and the contact number is +971-6-0058-8880.
Documents Required for Training at Emirates Driving Company
Local applicants only have to present their Emirates ID. Foreigners living in Abu Dhabi, however, have to present the following documents:
- Emirates ID (copy and original)
- Passport with visa page (copy)
- Passport size photos (at least 8)
- Your eye test results
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor
Emirates Driving Company Courses
Emirates Driving Company (EDC) course is based on eight units (lessons) which you need to learn and pass the theory test. Each unit comprises of a 2-hour class.
- Traffic rules, road markings and road signs.
- Inside city limits
- Outside city limits
- Driving under difficult conditions
- Dealing with critical situations
- Driving behaviour and road manners
- Vehicle knowledge
Once you have completed the training, prepare for the theory test.
Abu Dhabi Driving Licence theory test
There are 35 questions in all, designed to gauge your understanding of the laws of driving in the country. The test has three segments:
- 17 Questions about traffic situations – Passing criteria: 11 correct answers minimum.
- 18 Questions about Abu Dhabi driving licence specifics – Passing criteria: 12 correct answers minimum.
- The third segment is about Risks Recognition – You are shown a series of videos with environmental conditions and you have to propose solutions.
* The test is conducted either in English or Arabic. If you are unfamiliar with both languages, you can go for an oral exam.
Theory Test Tips
- Follow the driving handbook
- Remember all road and traffic signs
- Take the online mock test to prepare yourself
Cost of training and theory test
The cost of the lessons is AED 830. Moreover, the test charges are an additional AED 50.
Practical driving course
Following the theory test, applicants undergo rigorous training for practical session suing simulators and other practical lessons. The first test after the theory test is the parking test. Following this you are required to undergo a road test. The number of sessions depends on how much work you need to reach the desired level. All lessons are conducted in a driving rink, which is designed to be secure for first-time drivers.
Cost of driving course in Emirates Driving Company
As per the number of sessions required, the cost range could be from AED 650 to 2250. Generally, for beginners, it takes 30 hours. Those who have prior driving experience can learn in 10 to 20 hours.
The Practical Test
When the instructor feels that you are ready for your test, you will be given a “certificate of readiness”. The certificate is necessary to register for the Road or Practical Test.
The practical test is the most challenging part of this journey to acquire your Abu Dhabi licence. You will get 10 to 12 minutes, in which you have to prove your driving skills to the examiner. The examiner will inform you of the result straight after. In case you fail, you have to undergo 7 more hours of training.
If you pass, an approval paper will be provided, which you can then submit to the Pass Counter with ID documentation and the Abu Dhabi Licence fee. Get your photograph taken from the photo area and voila! You will have your Abu Dhabi driving licence in the next fifteen minutes.
Abu Dhabi Driving Licence Practical Test fees
The total cost for the test would be AED 250, including AED 50 for registering the practical test and AED 200 for the issuance of the licence.
Documents required for Practical Test
You will be assigned a time and a date for the test. Please reach on time with the following documents
- Relevant Emirates ID
- Driving File
- 2 passport sized photographs
Practical Test Tips for driving licence Abu Dhabi
- Be formally dressed.
- Don’t wear sunglasses as examiners monitor your eye movements during the drive.
- Don’t talk to the examiner unnecessarily.
- Obey instructions.
- Adjust seat, mirrors and put on the seat belt before you start.
- Check the handbrake and the gear right before you start.
- Drive moderately, below the speed limit.
- Follow road signs.
- Maintain a safe distance between your car and the car ahead of you.
- Check lanes with side and rear view mirrors before switching lanes.
- Use the indicator before changing lanes.
- Don’t apply brakes unless it’s an emergency.
- Park the car on the side when instructed.
FAQs about driving licence Abu Dhabi
I already have a foreign/international driving licence, can I drive in Abu Dhabi?
Residents cannot drive on a foreign driving licence. If you are visiting for a short period of time you can, however, drive on your international driving licence.
How many hours of classes are required for someone with prior driving experience?
If you are an expat with prior driving experience from a non-exempt country, you have to take driving classes. The hours depend on your driving experience.
- More than five years: Minimum 10 and Maximum 20 hours
- Two to five years: Minimum 15 hours and Maximum 30 hours
- Less than two years: Minimum 20 hours and Maximum 40 hours
Obtaining an Abu Dhabi licence is not an easy job. However, if you go by the book and follow the aforementioned steps and tips, your chances of getting it the first time are enhanced greatly.
What is the procedure to renew a driving licence in Abu Dhabi?
The UAE driving licence has to be renewed periodically. For UAE and GCC citizens, the renewal term is for every 10 years. For other foreign expats the licence needs to be renewed every 5 years. This can be done easily online in most emirates, including Abu Dhabi. One of the things to remember is that to renew your licence you need to settle all your traffic fines. If you delay the renewal, a fine of AED 10 is imposed every month after the grace period of one month.
While many of the rules are similar across the UAE, there are far more accredited driving schools in Dubai than in other parts of the country. If you live in Dubai, it’s also worthwhile to check out some of the second-hand car dealerships and car servicing companies to keep your wheels running smoothly.
*Fees and costs mentioned can vary with time