Getting a driving license in Abu Dhabi doesn’t have to be complicated, but knowing where to begin can be tough. This guide aims to help you understand the entire process, from what you must do before applying to the costs, required documents, and regulations involved.

We’ll also answer common questions about getting an Abu Dhabi driving license. With this information, you’ll be ready to apply for your Abu Dhabi driving license confidently and quickly.

Types of Abu Dhabi Driving License

Abu Dhabi Driving License

In Abu Dhabi, you can get different types of driving licenses, each for specific vehicle types:

  1. Light Vehicle Driving license: Driving cars and light vehicles up to 3.5 tons.
  2. Heavy Vehicle Driving license: Driving heavy vehicles like buses and trucks up to 4.5 tons.
  3. Motorbike Driving license: For driving motorbikes with engines up to 400cc.
  4. Motorcycle Driving license: For driving motorcycles with engines over 400cc.
  5. Private Driving license: For driving private vehicles only, not for commercial use.
  6. Commercial Driving license: For driving commercial vehicles for business purposes.

Each license type has specific requirements and eligibility criteria you need to meet before applying.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Abu Dhabi Driving License?

People who are medically fit and above the legal age can apply for a new Abu Dhabi driving license. The legal age for driving varies depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive.

Vehicle TypeMinimum Age
Light Vehicle18
Light Bus21
Heavy Bus21
Light Mechanical Vehicle20
Heavy Mechanical Vehicle20
Heavy Truck20

Documents Required For an Abu Dhabi Driver’s License

  • A copy of your passport and residence visa page.
  • A copy and the original of your Emirates ID card.
  • Two photographs.
  • Eye test report.
  • NOC  from your sponsor (if required by the traffic department).

What are the Applicant Categories For a Driver’s License in Abu Dhabi?

Those applying for an Abu Dhabi driving license fall into two categories:

  1. First-time Emirati or expat applicants.
  2. Expats with a foreign driving license.

You need to identify your category, as the process differs for each.

How to Apply for Abu Dhabi Driving License for First-Time Applicants?

If you’re applying for an Abu Dhabi driving license for the first time, you’ll need to go through these steps:

  1. Training and lessons
  2. Theory test – Learner’s Permit
  3. Yard Parking Exam – Internal Test
  4. Road test
  5. License issuance

Here’s a simple guide to help you get your driver’s license in Abu Dhabi through TAMM:

Step One: Eye Test for a Driving License in Abu Dhabi

An eye test is the first step to getting your Abu Dhabi driving license. You will be required to bring your original Emirates ID. The test must be done by a licensed optician approved by the traffic department or the licensing authority in Abu Dhabi.

Step Two: Open a Traffic File

You can open a traffic file using the:

TAMM (the official services portal of Abu Dhabi)

    To use TAMM:

      Open a Traffic File for Abu Dhabi Driving Licence
      Open a Driving Licence File for Abu Dhabi Driving Licence
      Sign in with UAE Pass for Driving Licence
      • Enter your driving license file (a.k.a. traffic file)number.
      • Select your mode of transport.
      • Choose “New” as the category.
      • Pick a driving testing centre, a branch of the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Licensing Department. Mention whether you prefer manual or automatic transmission.
      • Enter your personal information, such as your Emirates ID number, birth date, and email address.
      • Complete the process by uploading the required documents and paying the fee of AED 200.

      Step Three: Internal Practice and Theory

      After opening your traffic file, go to the Emirates Driving Company (EDC) and register for the theory classes and the theory test using your traffic file number. Also, sign up for parking and yard training (internal practical training) at EDC.

      Bring these documents to EDC:

      • Traffic file number
      • Emirates ID
      • Copy of your passport
      • Copy of your residency visa
      • Personal picture

      If you are 17, you need your guardian’s No Objection Certificate (NOC). This is not required if you are 18 or older.

      After passing the theory test and completing the internal practical training, you will get a ‘Successful Completion of Theory Exam and Internal Practical Training‘ certificate.

      Step Four: Book a Test Date

      You need to book a road test date to start your driving lessons. Here’s how to do it through the TAMM portal:

      Open a Traffic File for Abu Dhabi Driving Licence
      Book Driving Test Date for Abu Dhabi Driving Licence
      • Choose ‘Start’ and log in using your UAE Pass.
      Sign in with UAE Pass for Booking Driving Test
      • Enter your traffic file number. (a.k.a driving license file number)
      • Confirm the driving test location you selected in Step 2.
      • Pay the required fee of AED 100 (for light vehicles and motorcycles) & AED 200 (for heavy vehicles)
      • After booking your test date through TAMM, you will receive an SMS confirming the date and location. Your training permit card will then be issued.

      Once your road test is scheduled, you can begin the necessary driving classes, ‘external practical training’ or ‘external road training. ‘

      Step Five: Minimum Hours for Training on the Road

      Next, you must enrol in and complete at least six hours of driving classes at any private driving school in Abu Dhabi.

      When signing up, provide these documents:

      • Traffic file number
      • Emirates ID
      • Copy of your passport
      • Copy of your residence visa
      • Personal picture
      • Training permit
      • Certificate of successful completion of the Theory Exam and Internal Practical Training

      After completing your driving lessons, you will receive a certificate for the ‘successful completion of External Practical Training.’

      Step Six: Road Test

      After completing your external road training, go to the traffic licensing branch you selected in Step Two. Your driving skills will be assessed in a road test. If you pass, you will receive your driving license.

      Step Seven: Get Your License

      You can get your driving license card by visiting your driving school or the Customer Happiness Centres of Abu Dhabi Police.

      There are two ways to receive the card:

      1. E-driving license card: This will be sent to your registered email address or via SMS. You can also access a digital copy using the Abu Dhabi Police app.
      2. Physical driving license card: This will be issued within 10 days.

      How to Get a Driving License For Expats With a Foreign Driving License in Abu Dhabi?

      Residents with foreign licenses from approved countries can transfer their licenses to Abu Dhabi. If you have a foreign driving license, your process might be simpler. The government provides an easier process for people with licenses from these countries:

      GCC CountriesIreland
      CanadaNew Zealand
      GreeceSouth Africa
      ItalySouth Korea
      New ZealandTurkey

      Process And Requirements For Getting an International Driving License in Abu Dhabi:

      If you already have a driving license from any approved country, you don’t need to get a new Abu Dhabi driving license. You can transfer your existing foreign license.

      StepRequirementsFees/Est. CostRelevant Entity
      Conduct an eye examEmirates IDAED 100An eye examination centre accredited by the licensing authority
      Translate your licence into Arabic (if necessary)Valid Original Foreign LicenceVaries depending on the language and service providerA translation office accredited by the licensing authority
      Visit the licensing department and exchange your licence(Valid Original Foreign Licence) – (Legal Arabic Translation of Foreign Licence) – (Emirates ID) – (Passport Copy) – (Residency Visa Copy) – Personal Photos (2 copies)AED 600Abu Dhabi Police

      You can also apply online through TAMM in the same way.

      If you don’t know where to start, here’s our guide on getting your international driving license..

      Required Documents:

      • One passport-size photo
      • Original and photocopy of your passport
      • Emirates ID
      • Original and photocopy of your foreign driving license
      • Photocopy of a valid Abu Dhabi residency visa
      • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer or visa sponsor
      • Arabic translation of your foreign driving license

      Abu Dhabi Driving License Check Online

      To view your Abu Dhabi driving license information, go to the official Abu Dhabi Police website and enter the necessary details. Keep in mind that only people in Abu Dhabi can access this website.

      Here’s how to check online:

      • Visit the official Abu Dhabi Police website.
      • Navigate to the “Driver License Services” in the bottom right corner. Click on it.
      • If you are a new user, register yourself using your Emirates ID.
      • If not, you can directly log in with your UAE pass. 
      • After you have logged in successfully. Navigate to the “Drivers licensing” and click on more below.
      • Scroll down; you will see the option of “Driver license info” click on it.
      • You can see the data on your Driver’s license.

      License Validity and Renewals

      The validity of your license depends on your age and nationality. If you are under 21, your new license will be valid for one year. If you are over 21, your first license will be valid for two years. When you renew, the license will be valid for 5 years if you are a resident and 10 years if you are a UAE national or a GCC citizen. The renewal fee is AED 300. If you renew after the license expires, you will be charged an additional AED 10 for each month of delay.

      Replacing a Lost or Damaged License and Amending an Existing License:

      You can replace a lost or damaged UAE driving license or update information on your existing license. Replacing a lost or damaged license costs AED 300 while updating information costs AED 100. You must submit your current license card to get a replacement with the updated information.

      Final Takeaway:

      Getting an Abu Dhabi driving license is straightforward and focused on ensuring road safety. Following this guide and preparing properly can easily complete the process and get your license. Study the traffic rules, practice driving regularly, and stay calm during the tests to increase your chances of success. Additionally, consider taking up driving classes, as they offer comprehensive training that can be beneficial even if you get your license in Abu Dhabi.

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

      Q. Can foreigners drive in Abu Dhabi?

      Yes, tourists can drive legally in the UAE if they possess a valid international driving license or a license from their home country (for GCC citizens). The license should be in English or Arabic; if not, the tourist must get it officially translated.

      Q. How long is an Abu Dhabi license valid?

      Driving licenses are valid for 10 years for UAE and GCC citizens and 5 years for residents. You can renew your Abu Dhabi driving license online in most emirates. Before renewing, you must pay all your traffic fines.

      Q. What is the golden chance for a driving license in Abu Dhabi?

      The “golden chance” allows you to take the written and practical driving tests without attending classes if your current driving license cannot be automatically converted. If you pass both tests, you receive your UAE driving license.

      Q. Is the Abu Dhabi driving test hard?

      Getting a driving license in Abu Dhabi or anywhere in the UAE can be challenging, especially for expats. It’s common for candidates to attempt the driving test multiple times before passing.

      About Author

      Pragya Banerjee

      About Author

      Pragya is a content writer with over 2 years of experience who thrives on the power of storytelling. She crafts clear, engaging content that resonates with audiences and transforms ideas into fresh, compelling pieces. When she's not writing, Pragya might be found curled up with a good book, exploring a new coffee shop, or seeking inspiration in nature. This constant curiosity fuels her creativity, allowing her to bring fresh perspectives to every project.