Dubai: Step-by-step process to convert driving licence issued abroad

Reader asks: Can visit visa holders drive in UAE with Bahrain licence?


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 31 Jul 2022, 11:17 AM

Last updated: Sun 31 Jul 2022, 3:52 PM

Question: I am an expat based in Bahrain and will visit the UAE next month. Is it legal for me to drive on UAE roads with my Bahrain-issued licence? Can I drive my brother's car while there? Also, I am considering a job offer from Dubai. Can I swap my Bahrain licence for a UAE one if I decide to move there?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are an Indian national and will reside in Dubai soon. Upon obtaining the UAE residency, you may open a traffic file with the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai, (the ‘RTA’) online or by seeking assistance of any one of the recognised driving school centres.

Once you open your traffic file with the RTA, you need to undergo an eye test at an RTA-approved centre. Upon receipt of your eye test report, you need to submit your original Bahrain driving licence and your original Emirates ID to apply for theory, parking and driving test through one of the recognised driving schools. You will receive your UAE driving licence once you pass the mandatory tests such as theory, parking and driving tests and pay the relevant fees to the RTA.

However, if you are travelling to the UAE on a visit visa, you may drive your brother’s car in the UAE with your Bahrain driving licence.


Further, if you are national of one of the countries mentioned under exempted countries categories by the RTA, then there is no requirement to take any driving, parking or theory test to avail a driving licence in the UAE. You may have to only submit your original Bahrain driving licence along with Emirates ID and open a traffic file with the RTA. Thereafter, you may conduct your eye test in RTA-approved eye test centres and based on the results of your eye test, you may pay relevant fees to the RTA and obtain a UAE driving licence.

For more clarifications, you may contact the RTA.

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