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Taking Driving Lessons in Dubai

Many expats will be surprised when they arrive to Dubai and learn that they have to take driving lessons again.  This will be the case if you hold a driving license that unfortunately is not on the approved list of 36 countries that can trade in their license. Even if you have a passport from a country on that list, but hold a driving license from a country which is not on that list, then you will still need to take lessons.   Driving lessons need to be taken at an RTA authorized driving school in Dubai.  If you have never driven before and are between 18 and 21 years of age, then you can apply for a probationary license.

In order to apply to a driving school, you will need your original passport as well as a copy, a No-Objection (NOC) letter from your employer (or spouse/sponsor) and 8 ID photos.

Depending on your driving experience, you will be assigned a number of classes you need to take in order to qualify for the road exam.

Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) Classes
LMV 40 classes – Beginner drivers who have never driven before
LMV 30 classes – Drivers with a valid license from their home country which is more than 2 years old but less than 5 years.
LMV 20 classes – Drivers with a valid license issued for more than 5 years from their home country

Steps to getting a driving license in Dubai:

  • Eye test at your driving school.
  • Paperwork will be sent to RTA by your school who will then send them back your temporary driving license (you must carry this temporary license with you at all times during your training).
    You will then take your classes with your driving instructor.
  • Once your classes are completed, you will take some internal tests with your instructor.
  • Once these tests are passed, then your driving school will sign you up for the theory test.
  • Once you have passed your theory test, you will then take your road test.

The theory test is carried out by the RTA at the authorized schools.  The test can be taken in English, Arabic of Urdu.  The test has a total of 35 questions on road signals, hazards and guidelines on safe-driving.   The test is taken on a touch-screen computer and is split up into 2 parts:  the first part is questions on general traffic situations (student must answer 11 correct answers out of 17), and the second part relates to light motor vehicle driving license (student must answer 12 correct answers out of 18).

The road test will be conducted at the RTA License Section.  You will be doing your examination with 3 other students, each taking your turn for a few minutes.  You will find out immediately if you have passed or failed.  If you fail, then you must take extra driving lessons.  If you pass, you will have your photo taken and your driving license issued within a few minutes.

Check out our list of RTA authorized driving school in Dubai to book your classes!

If you do not need to take driving lessons but are looking to get your UAE license, please read our article:  Obtaining a License in the UAE.

2 Responses to “Taking Driving Lessons in Dubai”

  1. Wendy says:

    I had to go through this when we moved to Dubai last year. I had previously lived in Hungary and had to trade in my Canadian license for a Hungarian one. When we moved here, we found out that Hungarian license wasn’t valid to trade in, so we had to take 20 lessons. Hubby went through it too. So we now have taken driving lessons in 3 countries… we are now expert drivers… lol

  2. Sam says:

    oh god… I am dreading this!

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