Dubai is a hub for international travellers and expatriates. Whether you’re here to explore the city’s wonders or for a long-term stay, having the ability to drive can significantly enhance your experience; that’s where the International Driving License comes into play. This document is your permit to drive in foreign countries, translating your existing driving license into multiple languages. Today, we’re diving into the essential steps to obtain your International Driving License in Dubai, ensuring you’re ready to hit the road and explore all that this magnificent city and beyond have to offer.

Understanding the International Driving License

International Driving License

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Suppose you’re from the UAE and plan to drive in another country. In that case, you must get an International Driving Permit (IDP) before leaving. Think of the IDP as a special driver’s license that lets you drive in different countries without taking more driving tests or filling out extra paperwork. It’s based on a global agreement made by the United Nations, making it a must-have for UAE citizens and residents wanting to hit the road abroad. So, remember to apply for your IDP while you’re still in the UAE to ensure a smooth and legal driving experience in foreign lands.

How to Apply for International Driving License in Dubai

Via Online

  1. Start online: Visit the ATCUAE (Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE) website to begin your application.
  2. Please fill out the form: Look for the IDL request form on the website and fill it in. Make sure to enter accurate and relevant information as requested on the form.
  3. Attach documents: You’ll need to provide certain documents with your application. Scan or take clear photos of these documents and attach them in either PDF or JPG format. Remember, the file size should not exceed 2MB.
  4. Pay the fee: Payment is done online. Have your credit or debit card ready for this step.
  5. Submit your application: Once everything is in order, hit the ‘Submit’ button to send your application for processing.

Your application is typically processed in about three days. However, allow up to five days for the IDL to be delivered to the address you provided.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can also apply through the Ministry of Interior by downloading the MOI UAE app, available for both iOS and Android devices. This method is just as convenient and offers another option for those seeking an IDL in Dubai.

Via Designated Offices

  1. Collect your documents: Before anything else, gather all the documents you’ll need for the application. It’s like preparing for a big trip—you want to make sure you have everything!
  2. Choose your location: You can apply at several places:
    1. Automobile & Touring Club of UAE (ATCUAE)
    2. Affiliate members of ATCUAE
    3. Emirates Post Offices
    4. DNATA Office on Sheikh Zayed Road (E11)
  3. Submit your application: Once at the office, hand over your documents. It’s like checking in for a flight – ensure all your information is correct to avoid delays.
  4. Pay the fee: Just like buying a ticket, there’s a fee involved. Pay it at the office.
  5. Receive your license: If everything goes smoothly, your IDL will be delivered to your address.  

Opting for delivery by a courier company, with fees depending on the service speed:

  • Normal delivery within Dubai: 20 AED
  • Same-day delivery within Dubai: 35 AED
  • Express delivery within 2 hours in Dubai: 50 AED
  • International delivery: 50 AED 

Please note that the validity of IDL is one year. 

Eligibility Criteria for International Driving License 

Those with valid Dubai-issued driving licenses, including individuals, citizens, and residents, are qualified to apply for this service.

Required Documents for International Driving License in Dubai

You will need the following documents to apply for an IDL:

  1. Emirates ID
  2. A valid driving licence issued in Dubai

International Driving License Fees

When you use this service, you’ll pay 177 AED as the main cost. On top of that, there’s an extra charge of 20 AED for what’s called “Knowledge and Innovation fees.” So, think of it as paying for the main service plus a little extra to support smart and creative ideas. In total, you’ll need to budget 197 AED. Knowing these details upfront is good so you can plan your expenses wisely. Always remember to check for any additional fees like this when using services.

Important Things to Remember

When getting an international driving licence, it’s important to remember a few key things to make the process smooth and easy to understand. Here’s some advice:

  • Make sure your driving licence is valid. It needs to be valid to apply for an international one.
  • Where you can use it: You can drive in any country with your international licence, except where your original licence comes from.
  • Not for temporary licences: You can’t get an international licence if your current one is temporary or interim.
  • Changing your photo: To update your photo, you’ll need to pick up your international licence in person at the Customer Happiness Center in Deira—Al Barsha. The photo should have a white background, and you should be looking straight ahead.
  • No cancellations: Once you’ve applied and paid, you can’t cancel.
  • Application review: If you change your photo, the support team will check your application within two working days.
  • Photo problems: If you attach your photo incorrectly, the support team will contact you to request a new one.
  • Get the original licence: You need the actual licence to drive abroad. Digital versions are not accepted internationally. 
  • Clear any fines: Make sure all penalties on your driving licence are paid off, including those that seem unpayable.

Frequently Asked Questions about International Driving Licenses

Can I use my photo for my international driving license?

Absolutely! You’re welcome to use your photo for your international driving license. If you prefer not to, the system will simply use your Dubai driving license photo.

Is it possible to use the international license in multiple countries?

Yes, indeed! Your international driving license is valid in multiple countries as long as it remains valid. This means you can explore various countries without a separate license.

Can I drive in Dubai with an international driving license?

Sure thing! Suppose you’re visiting Dubai on a visit visa. In that case, you can drive light vehicles or motorcycles with your international driving license.

As a visitor to Dubai, can I drive a Dubai-registered vehicle to Oman or other GCC countries?

It’s best to check first. Suppose you plan to drive a vehicle registered in Dubai to Oman or any other GCC country. In that case, you should verify with the authorities in those countries first.

Can someone on a transit visa drive to Dubai?

Yes, with conditions. If you’re on a transit visa, you can drive a vehicle registered in Dubai with a valid international driving license and approval from the insurance company.


Acquiring an International Driving License in Dubai is a straightforward process that opens up opportunities for exploration and adventure. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the freedom of the open road in Dubai and beyond. Remember to drive safely and enjoy the journey that awaits you.

About Author

Rizalie Gumalog

About Author

Rizalie Gumalog is a digital storyteller known for her eclectic writing styles that captivate audiences. With her almost 3 years of experience, she crafts engaging articles that build meaningful connections between brands and their audience. Drawing inspiration from nature and music, Riza is committed to creating enriching experiences and is always ready for new digital explorations.