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Applying for an International Driving License in the UAE: Fees and Process Explained

Applying for an International Driving License in the UAE: Fees and Process Explained
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Dreaming of a cross-border road trip with your family or gearing up for an upcoming work trip? Whether it's business or pleasure, having an International Driving License (IDL) is crucial for driving in most countries.

For UAE citizens and residents, obtaining an IDL is essential when planning to drive abroad, as it is a legal requirement aligned with a United Nations convention. Similarly, visitors intending to drive in the UAE must secure an International Driving Permit (IDP) in their home country or country of residence before traveling.

Benefits of an International Driving Permit (IDP):

  1. Legal Driving: An IDP enables motorists to legally drive their vehicles outside the UAE without the need for additional tests or applications.
  2. Translation: Serving as a translation of your local driving license, the IDP helps authorities understand your driving credentials in various countries.
  3. Validity Confirmation: Valid for one year, the IDP confirms the validity of your driver's license in your home country, providing peace of mind while driving abroad.
  4. Protection: In case of accidental vehicle damage or loss of legal identification, such as a passport, abroad, the IDP offers a layer of protection.
  5. Global Recognition: Recognized globally, the IDP is available in 10 languages, ensuring ease of use and overcoming language barriers.
  6. Communication Aid: By presenting your license in their language, the IDP facilitates communication with law enforcement and authorities in other countries, streamlining interactions during travel.

Acquiring an International Driving License (IDL) is a straightforward process and can be completed through various channels:

  1. Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) website.
  2. Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), with offices in multiple locations including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, RAK, Ajman, Fujairah, Um Al Quwain, and the Western Region.
  3. Affiliate members of ATCUAE.
  4. Ministry of Interior via the MOI UAE app, which is available on iTunes and Google Play.
  5. Emirates Post offices.
  6. Dnata office, located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

The necessary documents for obtaining an IDL include:

  1. Completed IDL form.
  2. Passport, valid residency, and Emirates ID.
  3. Copy of a valid UAE driving license.
  4. Two passport-sized photos.

The fees and processing time for obtaining an IDL are as follows:

  • Cost: Dh177, plus Dh20 Knowledge and Innovation fees.
  • Online applications: Completed within three working days of receipt, with delivery to the requested address within five working days.
  • Over-the-counter applications: Completed within half an hour.

Procedure through the RTA website:

  1. The customer applies for the service on the RTA website.
  2. The system verifies the customer’s identity by sending an OTP to the phone number registered in the system.
  3. The customer settles the required fees.
  4. Within 2 working days, the customer receives an SMS with a link to display the digital international driving licence, which serves until the original copy is received.
  5. The original copy of the new licence can be obtained through two channels:
    • Customer Happiness Centre in Deira or Al Barsha
    • Courier company with additional charges:
  • Normal delivery charges: Dh20
  • Same-day delivery: Dh35
  • Delivery within 2 hours: Dh50
  • International delivery: Dh50

Things to remember:

  • Obtain an IDL prior to travel.
  • The IDL allows motorists to drive in multiple countries.
  • The IDL is valid for one year and must be renewed upon expiry.

The International Driving License (IDL) is distinct from your UAE driving permit; in the Emirates, possessing a valid local license is mandatory. Additionally, it's advisable to consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to ascertain which countries recognize a valid UAE driving license. Moreover, the website of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE provides a list of 174 countries that necessitate an International Driving Permit (IDP).

News Source: Khaleej Times

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