Legal View

Dubai: Will I have to pay traffic fines if friend breaks rules with my car?

Ashish Mehta/Dubai
Filed on April 4, 2021
Illustrative image:

Know the law: Can I have a vehicle under my name even if I reside abroad?

Question: I am leaving the UAE and going back to the UK due to some personal reasons. I intend to return in a year as I have business interests in the Emirates. Will it be possible to retain my car under my name even though I won’t be having a resident visa? If I let a friend use my car, I am afraid I will be held liable for fines or other traffic offences when I come back. Please advise.

Since you have not specified the Emirate in which the vehicle has been registered under your name, we assume it is in Dubai with the Road and Transport Authority (the RTA).

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In response to your query, it may be noted that an individual may continue having vehicles registered under his or her name, while residing outside the UAE and not having a residence visa. The vehicle is to maintained and kept in conformity with the applicable laws of the UAE. For instance, the vehicle must not cause any form of obstruction to anyone, it must not be in an abandoned condition and it must not be driven with an expired registration and without insurance coverage, to name a few.

Further, as you have mentioned that you plan on allowing your friend to use the vehicle, please note that you shall be responsible for the payment of all vehicle registration costs, parking fees, toll fees and fines, traffic and parking fines.

You are liable to pay the applicable fines for traffic violations such as driving the vehicle beyond the permitted speed limits; manoeuvring the vehicle in a dangerous manner; not giving way to pedestrians; obstructing the free flow of traffic; and parking the vehicle in undesignated areas, to name a few.

Should the vehicle be involved in an accident, you may be liable to pay the compensation amount through your vehicle’s insurance policy.

In view of the foregoing, you may choose to apply for the cancellation of the vehicle with the RTA, whereby the vehicle is delisted from the traffic system either by issuing an ownership certificate or a transfer certificate or an export certificate. You may contact the RTA for further clarifications.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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