How to get an international driving license in Dubai

Are you looking forward to traveling abroad? Traveling abroad becomes more fun when you can discover new places on your own terms and be able to drive. Make sure you have an International Driver’s License (IDL) before starting your trip. An international driving license is an important document that allows you to drive legally in many countries around the world. You can also save yourself the hassle of booking taxis to get around the destination.

This guide will help you understand how to get an international driving license in Dubai, so you’re ready for your next trip abroad.

What is an international driver’s license?

An international driver’s license is a document that translates information from your national driver’s license into multiple languages. This document allows you to drive legally in several foreign countries. It is recognized in more than 150 countries and serves as a complement to its original license. This document streamlines the car rental process and allows you to explore different destinations at your own pace.

Why do you need an international driver’s license?

The UAE driving license you hold allows you to drive within the country. You need to have an international driving permit to drive legally in any foreign country. The IDP is a mandatory requirement based on the United Nations Convention allowing UAE residents to operate vehicles in foreign countries without the need for additional testing or applications. It serves as proof of a valid driving license in the individual’s country of residence. Obtaining an IDP guarantees a smooth and legal driving experience abroad. It also serves as a standardized form of identification in a foreign country.

Having an international driving permit has many benefits. Mainly, it allows you to easily rent and drive vehicles while traveling abroad. It serves as a complementary identification document in foreign countries. Eliminates language barriers for law enforcement agencies as the license can be printed in ten languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Scandinavian and Portuguese.

Who can apply for an international driving license in Dubai?

Any person, both citizen and resident, who holds a valid driving license issued in Dubai is eligible to apply for the international driving permit.

Where to apply for an international driving license in Dubai?

There are many entities in Dubai that will assist you in the process of applying for an international driving permit. The channels you can approach in the process are:

  • Automobile and Tourism Club of the UAE (ATCUAE)
  • RTA offices
  • Emirates Post Offices
  • Dnata office on Sheikh Zayed Road
  • Affiliate members of ATCUAE
  • Ministry of Interior United Arab Emirates Application

How to apply for an international driving license in Dubai?

The procedures to obtain an international driving license in Dubai are simple if you have a valid driving license. These are the steps you must follow to obtain your international driving permit in Dubai.

  • Visit the portal of your preferred website. You apply for IDL online through the ATCUAE website, the RTA online portal, and the MOI UAE application.
  • Fill out the IDL application form with truthful and relevant information.
  • Attach the required documents in PDF or JPG format. The file size must be less than 2 MB.
  • Make the necessary payments.
  • Submit your request.

Online processing may take up to 2 business days. You can pick up the original copy of your license at Customer Service centers or courier companies. An additional fee will be refunded if you choose a courier company as the delivery service.

Manual application is faster than online application. Carry the required documents and visit the designated office. Once there, you can submit the documents, pay the fees and pick up the original copy of the license in less than 60 minutes.

What are the documents required to apply for an international driving license in Dubai?

Free Job applicant passing his documents Stock Photo

While applying through online portals or offline channels, you need to submit the necessary documents. The documents required to apply for an international driving permit in Dubai are:

  • IDL Form (You can download it from the ATCUAE website)
  • A copy of the Emirates ID card.
  • A copy of the passport and valid residence.
  • A copy of a valid UAE driving license.
  • Two passport size photographs

Which countries require an international driving permit to drive legally?

More than 150 countries around the world allow tourists to drive with an international driving license. It is essential to check with the relevant local authorities or driving organizations in the specific country you plan to visit to ensure that an IDL is recognized and accepted for driving purposes. Countries that allow tourists to drive legally with international driving licenses are:

  • Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Águila, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria
  • Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde Islands, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic
  • Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia
  • Fiji, Finland, France and French Overseas Department, French Polynesia
  • Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gabon
  • Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong (People’s Republic of China), Hungary
  • Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy
  • Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan
  • Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (Rep.), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan,
  • Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
  • Macau (People’s Republic of China), Macedonia (FYROM), Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar
  • Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal (inc. Madeira; Azores)
  • Qatar
  • Russia, Romania, Rwanda
  • San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria
  • Taiwan (People’s Republic of China), Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey
  • Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay
  • Vatican City, Venezuela
  • Windward Islands
  • Zambia, Zimbabwe

Frequent questions

How much does the international driving license cost in Dubai?

The entire process of acquiring an international driving license in Dubai could cost you AED 177 + AED 20 (knowledge and innovation fee).

What is the validity of a a International driving license?

The international driving license is valid for one year from the date of issue.

How long does it take to apply for a licensesTaking IDL permit in Dubai?

For online applications, processing time is 3 business days. Delivery can take around two days, so you can allow 5 business days for online requests to arrive at your listed address. For over-the-counter requests, processing time is less than one hour.

Where can I drive with my UAE driving license?

Many countries have accepted UAE driving licenses. It is valid in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Visit the Ministry of Interior website to see the list of countries where you can drive with your UAE driving license.

Can I drive with an IDL in Dubai?

If you are a tourist visiting the city, you are allowed to drive legally using an international driving permit. However, if you are a resident of Dubai, it is mandatory to purchase a driving license issued in the United Arab Emirates.

Can tourists get IDL from Dubai?

No, you need to obtain your international driver’s license before arriving in the country. It is important to note that tourist visa holders cannot purchase a Dubai International Driver’s License.

Can the same IDL be used in two countries?

Yes, you can use the same IDL in more than one country. However, it is essential to ensure that each specific country recognizes and approves the use of the international driving permit.

Also read:

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