Existing licence holders unaffected by one-year rule

DUBAI - Existing driving licence holders in the emirate will remain unaffected by the new Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) rule, which stipulates that -from next year- a driving licence will initially be issued for one year only.

By Joy Sengupta

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Published: Tue 26 Aug 2008, 1:18 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

Engineer Mohammed Al Jasim, Director of Licensing Department at the RTA, told Khaleej Times on Sunday that the new rule applies to new licenceseekers only.

“Under the new rule licences will be given for one year, which will be renewed only if the person has a clean driving record,” he said.

“The new licence will be renewed each year for two consecutive years, after which the licence will be renewed for a period of 10 years based on the person’s driving record. In case of a major traffic offence, the person will be directed to undergo a re-training session in any of the driving institutes,” said Al Jasim.

“Through this system, we aim to reduce the number of roadmishaps caused due to rash driving.” Al Jasim said the new rule will apply only to those who apply for a driving licence from next year onwards.

Currently, those who pass the driving tests are issued licences which are valid for 10 years.

However, the new rule, when implemented, will make Dubai the first in the region --and probably in the world-- to issue driving licences for just a year.

When asked about an increase in paperwork for the Licensing Agency due to the new rule, Al Jasim said they were prepared for it. "This will not be a problem for us. We have an electronic system in place; we have all information on every licence holder in Dubai. There will be a proper monitoring system too," he assured.

Meanwhile, many licence-seekers were caught off guard on hearing of the new rule. As Rahman W. Qadir, a Pakistani national said, "I have never ever heard of such a law. This will amount to a lot of pressure on licence-seekers. And pressure is also one of the main causes of accidents. Being extra careful can sometimes lead to disaster. I don’t think it's a good idea."

Kedar Shastri, an Indian national, agreed: "The black points system is one of the best ways to curb rash driving. The new system is only going to make things complicated. I think this is a bid to reduce the number of cars in the emirate."

Pallavi Dayal, who works with a Dubai bank, said, "I shall anyhow apply for my licence this year only. And there will be a lot more people thinking on the same lines. This means a flood of wannabe drivers at the driving institutes, and this will for sure cause further delays in tests and re-tests. I want to know what happens if a person applies for his licence in December this year and his test date comes up only in January next year?" -


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