Car registration in Dubai
Car and vehicle registration in Dubai information and procedure, documents needed, new and renewal registration locations.
Vehicle testing and registration services available at Belhasa Driving Center (BDC) (school) Wasel (tel +971-4-3245524), Shamil, Tasjeel, Tamam centers.
Documents required for car registration and renewal in the UAE
- Previous registration card (if renewing). Mulkiya (mulkiyah, mulkiah) is Arabic for the vehicle registration card (or number plates, or both)? Don't panic if it's out of date, even by a few years. The fine (as of end 2010) is relatively low.
- Insurance documents for vehicle, valid for 13 months (this is the standard period when insurance is issued). Usually you will need to register car within a week of obtaining insurance renewal. If it's delated by much more than this, you'll be sent back to extend insurance period.
- Results of vehicle inspection and test. It needs to be a pass, if it fails, then go away and fix your car first. Testing is usually done at the same place as registration.
- Bank clearance certificate (or sometimes called an NOC) if your car was bought with a vehicle loan from a bank in the UAE, and you have finished making loan payments. If you bought your car with a personal loan, you don't need to have finished payments, or need a clearance certificate.
- Money - allow about 700 dhs for testing, registration fees, new number plates (will be needed if format has changed).
- More money for fines, but if you're lucky, nothing. Most drivers in Dubai probably cop a few hundred dirhams worth during the year. Bring a couple of thousand dirhams just in case, or check your traffic fines in Dubai online first.
- Bring originals and copies of your UAE driving licence, and your passport including the UAE residence visa page. You probably won't need them for renewal but it's much less hassle to bring them than to have to go back and get them. You probably will need them for first time registration, or if transfering vehicle ownership.
- Emirates ID - unknown whether or not this is required. So far (as of 2013) we have succeded in renewing vehicles without needed to show it, a driving licence or passport has been sufficient for ID if asked.
It is possible to renew your vehicle registration without a valid residence visa. Unknown whether this is legal or not, and it will depend if you are asked for a copy of your visa or not - usually it seems you are not asked. We can't remember the last time we or anyone we know was asked.
RTA Trusted Agents (TAs) insurance and registration - Aug 2010
- Some insurance companies, called RTA Trusted Agents (TAs), apparently offer car registration services from August 2010 - AXA Insurance, Fujairah Insurance, Noor Takaful (and Noor Islamic Bank branches?), Oman Insurance, Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance (RSA)?
- Not clear how that works, we have registered cars insured with one or more of those insurance agents and still had to attend the vehicle registration office - the scheme might mean there is a direct computer link or something between the insurance agent and the RTA so you don't need to bring a copy of the insurance document when registering a car (new or renewal).
Unregistered cars confiscated in Dubai
- 01 Sep 2011 - Al Ittihad newspaper reported that Dubai Police were going to start tracking down unregistered cars in Dubai with registration expired more than 3 months, and impound them. Also possibly confiscating driving licences of the owners.
- Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director of the Dubai Traffic Police Department was reported as saying "We are tracking down all vehicles which have failed to renew registration to impound them as they endanger road safety"
- Unknown if the crackdown will apply only in Dubai, or only to Dubai registered vehicles.
Car registration in any emirate irrespective of emirate of residence
- Khaleej Times reported 19 April 2010 that Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of the Dubai RTA Licensing Agency, said "As the second phase of our project to link federal traffic system with Dubai's, we are working on the process to allow renewal of vehicle registration, licences or certificates etc. from any emirate regardless of where it was originally issued."
- The new system is expected to become available from August 2010. As with many bureaucratic procedures in Dubai and the UAE, implementation might be inconsistent, delayed, erratic, or nothing like what you expected. But try anyway, you never know your luck.
Car registration by telephone in Dubai
- The RTA announced they have launched a phone service for renewal of vehicle registration and driving licenses, and payment of traffic fines, starting 01 November 2010.
- Telephone the RTA Licensing Center toll-free in UAE on 800-9090 (8009090).
- Service appears to be only available for Dubai based residents and/or Dubai vehicle registrations and driving licences.
RTA to write-off unregistered cars
- The Dubai RTA has said they will write-off vehicles from October 2010 with registration expired more than 2 years (press release 20 August 2010).
- This doesn't necessarily mean that RTA personnel will drive around in bulldozers, demolishing cars with overdue registration, but if police find your car, it might be impounded until you pay a big fine and sort out new registration.
- As the RTA is only in charge of vehicle registration in Dubai, unknown what happens to cars registered in other emirates with registration that has expired for more than 2 years.
Registering a new car in Dubai
- Usually the dealer will take care of this for you. You'll still need to supply them with all the relevant documents though - passport with residence visa, insurance papers (unless they're arranging that for you), and driving license. Otherwise, if you are doing it yourself, the procedure is almost the same as registering a used car - see below.
Registering a new or second hand car in Dubai
- This procedure is much the same for registering a new car. If you buy a second hand car from a dealer, they might do it for you. Otherwise ...
- Find an insurance company in Dubai and get the car insured first. You can't register it without insurance documents.
- Go to the RTA traffic department on the desert side of Sheikh Zayed Road, between the Garden Centre and Mall of the Emirates (or one of the other vehicle registration centers in Dubai). Both buyer and seller should go at the same time. Bring 500 dhs for registration fees (it should be less than that). The seller should bring extra money to pay for any accumulated fines, even if s/he thinks they've paid them all - sometimes fines seem to get lost in the system but you can count on them being found when changing registration.
- You'll need passport with residence visa, driving licence, insurance documents, and copies of everything.
- If your residence visa is from an emirate other than Dubai, bring your tenancy agreement and a copy to prove you live in Dubai. A telephone (not mobile) or DEWA bill in your name may be enough if the tenancy contract is not in your name.
- The seller will need their passport copy with residence visa and vehicle registration card.
- Tel +971-4-2172221 or +971-4-2172229 for the Vehicle Licensing Department at the Road Traffic Authority.
- Tel +971-4-3331510 for Tasjeel in Al Aweer.
Renewal of car registration in Dubai
- Registration has to be done annually. Insurance is for 13 months which gives you a month's grace period after registration expires to go for renewal. Don't wait more than a day or two after getting new insurance documents if you're into the 13th month - they'll send you back to update the insurance.
- If you're late with registration there may be a fine of 150 dhs or so. It doesn't seem to matter much how late you are though.
- See the previous section for details of which documents you need and where to go. Bring 500 dhs to cover testing fees and registration fees, allow extra for speeding and parking fines. Even if you think you have none, allow for a couple of each. You may not be asked for the passport copy when renewing car registration.
- If the car is two or more years old, get the car tested at the mechanical testing department of the police traffic department first.
- Choose a typist at the typing department there to type out various forms in Arabic (they'll have the correct forms). They'll send you to the next correct counter. Each counter will then send you to the next correct one (if you ask) until you pass Go, collect your 200 dhs and new registration card.
- On second thoughts, it's doubtful they'll give you 200 dhs.
- There's a service at Tasjeel (registration place) which speeds things up nicely. You pay extra money (100-200 dhs), and sit down with a coffee after taking the car for testing while someone else does all the paperwork for you.
- EPPCO (www.eppcouae.com) and Shamil (www.shamil.ae) (from Emarat) have details of locations and times where you can get your car registered or renew car registration.
- Shamil offers a service in Dubai where they'll come and pick up your car, register it, and return it to your home or office for an extra couple of hundred dhs. Tel 800-4559 in the UAE. They won't pick it up from another country.
Renewal of car registration in Dubai for cars registered in other emirates
If you have a car registered in one emirate but residence visa in another (for example you moved to a different emirate), try renewing registration in emirate of original registration. You might succeed without having to export the vehicle.
Update: An RTA press release 04 October 2010 about the implementation of a federal UAE traffic and licensing system in Dubai said These centers offer all vehicle and driver licensing services, except for registration and initial issuance transactions. So no vehicle registration in Dubai yet for cars registered in other emirates? It wasn't clear from the press release when that facility would be available. The Gulf News said on 07 October 2010: In a rare move, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that its offices will be able to renew vehicle registration and driving licences issued from other emirates. But still didn't give a date from when it would be possible to do this.
- The Khaleej Times reported on 25 August 2010 that owners of cars registered in other emirates would be able to renew their registration in Dubai. Date of implementation not supplied but sounded like perhaps in September or October 2010.
- Reciprocal arrangements with other emirates are expected eventually also.
- The CEO of the RTA Licensing Agency, Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, was quoted as saying "In comings weeks, probably soon after Eid, we will be allowing vehicles registered in other emirates to come and renew their registrations from three of our selected centres. This is being done in coordination of the Ministry of Interior and other emirates will reciprocate our initiative and will start accepting Dubai-registered vehicles soon,"
- And ... "Once all the issues concerned are resolved we will announce jointly with the Ministry of Interior the dates of launch in Dubai as well as other emirates."
- It does not sound like new or used car registration for the first time can be done in a different emirate though. You will have to do it in the emirate where your residence visa is issued, or where you live if you can prove that's where you live.
- And if you change employment and get a residence visa from a different emirate as a result, you will probably still have to export your car and re-register it in the new emirate.
Shamil vehicle testing and registration locations and opening hours in UAE
Shamil vehicle testing and registration centers are operated as a joint venture between Emarat, the UAE Ministry of Interior (MOI), and the Dubai RTA (Shamil first launched with Dubai Police in April 2003). Services available at Shamil VTCs:
- Traffic file opening
- Vehicle registration
- Transfer of vehicle registration
- Vehicle registration card re-issue if lost or damaged
- Number plate renewal
- Issue of clearance certificate, export certificate, or tourist certificate.
- Alteration of vehicle details
- International driving license
|Al Adhed, near Port Rashid
|Muhaisnah (Al Qusais/Al Ghusais)
|Nad, Nadd Al Hamar
|Al Hail/Al Hayl Industrial Area
|Lantern Roundabout, Al Qussaidat
||Ras Al Khaimah
||Umm Al Quwain
- Open 0900-1300 only on Thursdays.
- Shamil vehicle testing and registration services located at Emarat petrol stations.
- Shamil Ajman tel +971-6-7481316, Shamil RAK tel +971-7-2210901, Shamil Fujairah tel +971-9-2231968, Shamil UAQ tel +971-6-7671694.
- Fees approximately AED 50-60 for vehicle test, registration fee AED 100-200 for renewal, AED 250-400 for new, number plates AED 100-200.
- Shamil VIP Vehicle Testing and Registration service in association with Arabian Automobile Association (AAA) available for AED 200 - Shamil will collect your car, test and register it, and return it to you. Tel toll-free 800-4559 (13 October 2003 press release).
- Shamil facilities include insurance, number plate issue, traffic fine payment.
- International driving licenses available.
Tasjeel offices and contact details
- Al Awir tel +971-4-3331510
- Al Barsha tel +971-4-3476620
- Al Ghusais (Al Qusais) tel +971-4-2670290 or +971-4-2673940
- Jebal Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) +971-4-8830110
- Sharjah tel +971-6-5487111
- Warsan +971-4-3336470
Tasjeel locations in UAE and opening hours
|Al Barsha/Umm Suqeim near MOE
|Sharjah Auto Village, Emirates Road
- Open only to 1400 (2pm) on Thursdays (1430 for Jebel Ali). Update: from September 2005, opening hours extended to 2100 (9pm) according to Tasjeel press release 28 September 2005. Previous update was a change from 0700-1500 to 0700-2100 in April 2002.
- Working hours extended from 0700-2100 to 0700-2400 (midnight) in April 2010. Not clear if Thursday included. Extended working hours might be implemented at other Tasjeel centers in the UAE at a later date.
- Tasjeel started in 1999, and is a joint venture between Emirates Petroleum Products Company (EPPCO) (or Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) in emirates other than Dubai, who operates EPPCO petrol stations anyway) and the RTA in Dubai (and other UAE traffic police departments in other emirates - and Dubai Police in Dubai prior to the RTA) to provide vehicle testing and registration services. The whole process of registration and renewal should only take 30 minutes at Tasjeel centers according to them. But allow an hour or two to be safe.
- Tasjeel Manager, Ayas Bin Hendi, in a 25 May 2004 press release said "Tasjeel is now slated to open two new sites in Sharjah, in conjunction with Sharjah Traffic Police, and plans to have one or two test bay sites in Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah," but as of end 2010, the opening of new sites appears to be slower than expected.
- Tasjeel vehicle and registration centers are not open on Fridays (as of end 2010 at least).
- Fees and charges are approximately (as of 2009)
- Mechanical and vehicle testing fee AED 100-200
- Registration renewal fee AED 100-200
- New vehicle registration AED 250-400
- New number plate AED 100-200
- Fine for expired registration AED 50-100 per year overdue
- Express VIP fee AED 100-200 (if available) - Al Sayara Express Service.
- Most, or all, Tasjeel centers will have a petrol/service station, tyre/tire retail shop, oil change service, car battery shop, small supermarket/grocery store, vehicle insurance supplier, car wash, document typing, number plate production, bank ATM.
- International Driving Licences can be issued at Tasjeel Centers from July 2005.
Tasjeel Mobile Inspection and Registration service
- Instead of bringing your car to a Tasjeel center, they can come to your home or office (for an additional fee of AED 200-400?).
- Book a Mobile Vehicle Inspection Service (MVIS)
appointment at tel +971-4-3336679 or mobile +971-50-5388135.
Al Sayara Service
- Phone toll-free 800-4258 or tel +971-4-3479662 to book the Al Sayara pick-up and delivery service - they will collect your car, complete documents and testing for registration, and return it to you. Fee is an additional AED 200-400?
Importing and Exporting cars between emirates
- If you're registering a 2nd hand car in a different emirate, you have to export it from the original emirate (go to traffic department with money, passport, driving licence, copies) and then import it to the emirate where you want to register it (go to traffic department with money, passport, driving licence, insurance, copies).
- Procedure in all emirates is much the same. Start at the typing counter of the Police Traffic Department and tell them you need to export your car, then follow their directions. When you get to the new emirate, start again at the typing counter of the Traffic Department.
- When you export a car, the number plates will be replaced by blue export plates. You have 2 days to get it imported and registered in the next emirate or you get fined each day over that.
- In Dubai you're not supposed to drive a car with export plates - it has to be transported. You will occasionally see people try though. If you try and succeed in getting to the traffic department without penalty, it's unlikely that they'll penalise you on arrival.
Importing cars from overseas
This is possible but a clumsy process, and generally not worth it given that car prices in the UAE are relatively competitive. If you have a rare or unusual car that you are particularly fond of, then it may be worth doing so from an emotional perspective. Export procedure is not detailed here since every country has different rules and procedures for export. Consider the costs of the following before bringing your car to the UAE though:
- Transportation costs (allow several thousand US dollars - of course if you ship a container with household goods, you may be able to fit in a car at no extra cost).
- Insurance costs
- Documentation costs - export certificates, copies of your cats TV license, and so on and so on.
- Modification costs - especially if your car is RH drive (from Asia, UK, Australia, NZ)
Exporting cars from the UAE
As with importing cars, this is possible, and tempting. For many expats, UAE car prices are cheaper than comparable models in their home country, but note that due to depreciation, that difference decreases as time goes on. On the downside, taking that big car home to Europe will drain your wallet every time you fill the tank and quickly negate cost savings on the car's value. Every country has different requirements when importing a car. See the heading about importing cars to the UAE list of cost considerations.
A possible unexpected hiccup may be the requirement for the vehicle owner to have a UAE residence visa and UAE driver licence before they can export a vehicle (unconfirmed).
Car registration in Abu Dhabi (and Al Ain)
- Procedure and costs are much the same as in Dubai.
- Tel +971-2-4195555 for the Abu Dhabi Traffic & Licensing Department.
Car registration in Sharjah
- Similar to Dubai. There's a Tasjeel Auto Village on Emirates Road where you can do everything. Tel +971-6-5487111.
- Sharjah Traffic Department tel is +971-6-5381111.
Car registration in Ras Al Khaimah
- Turn right just after KFC as you come in to RAK from Dubai direction and follow the signs to the Traffic Police Department (there's a U-turn a few hundred meters down the road). This may change to the new Traffic Police building on the main road back towards Dubai. Update: go to the new location on the RAK-Dubai road, large building on the desert side of the road between KFC and the Emirates Rd roundabout (tel +971-7-2356666), open 0730-1430 Sun-Thu. Or ...
- New testing and registration department opened at the Lantern Roundabout Emarat service station Shamil center. Everything can be done within 30 minutes according to the sign outside, but allow an hour or two.
- Procedure is much the same as Dubai but cheaper - 300 dhs should cover everything and leave you with change.
- One annoyance is that some traffic fines have to be paid at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Depends which emirate they're from. You won't know till you get to the Traffic Department. As usual, start with the testing department and go where you're told. Update (2009): it should be possible to pay all traffic fines at the registration department now.
Car registration in Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah
- Similar procedures and costs as in Dubai. Find the relevant Traffic Police Department and start there.
Last update Wednesday 01-Jan-2014. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.