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Car registration in Dubai

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Car registration in Dubai

Car and vehicle license 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 Vehicles Testing (tel +971-4-3245524), Shamil, Tasjeel, Tamam vehicle mechanical fitness testing centers.

Updated procedure (as of 2017)

For a vehicle license you'll need several documents, and complete a vehicle inspection. Don't confuse vehicle license with driving licence (yes, some people have). Some car insurance companies will do the registration renewal for you but with restrictions ... only for Dubai registered vehicles for Dubai based insurance companies for example, and you still have to pay the fees and fines of course.

  1. Emirates ID for new vehicles and licence renewal. You might not have to show it but it will probably need to be valid. In the past we have managed to renew vehicle licences despite canceled residence visa and lack of emirates ID but don't count on it.
  2. Insurance for your vehicle. Can be done by phone, online, or at some testing and license issuing centers. You'll need money, Emirates ID, and details of car being insured. Proof of ownership is not necessary. Insurance is theoretically valid without registration but if you crash without valid registration, the police might not give you an accident report, without which you'll find it difficult to make an insurance claim, or get your car repaired.
  3. Vehicle mechanical fitness test result. It must pass. If it fails you'll have a grace period of a few days to get things fixed and do a retest before you have to go back to Go and start again with updated insurance. Different emirates have different rules. For example, the RTA in Dubai from 2015 or 2016 started failing cars with (too many) stickers on windows. Other emirates don't have or don't apply this rule so if that's the only reason you failed in Dubai, try going to another emirate if you don't want to remove the stickers. Vehicles can be tested at any approved testing facility in the UAE irrespective of which emirate they are registered in.
  4. Pay any traffic fines. Online or when you do the license card application part. Which means online only eventually, or at RTA payment machines for Dubai registered vehicles or Dubai issued fines.
  5. Apply for registration card or renew the card. At an RTA renewal facility in Dubai, with the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in other emirates. A counter or machine is usually at a testing facility. Note a change in 2017 means you can only physically renew the licence card in the emirate in which your car is registered. Otherwise it's online only at MOI website or app, or RTA for Dubai vehicles. Eventually expect manual registration in all emirates to be unavailable (Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain are online only for all customers as of end 2017).

Testing center and vehicle license issuance timings

Archive information

Information below needs update, last updated Jul 2014.

Documents required for car registration and renewal in the UAE

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
Unregistered cars confiscated in Dubai
Car registration in any emirate irrespective of emirate of residence
Car registration by telephone in Dubai
RTA to write-off unregistered cars
Registering a new car in Dubai
Registering a new or second hand car in Dubai
Renewal of car registration in Dubai
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.

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:

Location Emirate Times Days Tel Date open Notes
Al Adhed, near Port Rashid Dubai 0800-2100¹ Sat-Wed¹ +971-4-3986006 Dec 2003  
Muhaisnah (Al Qusais/Al Ghusais) Dubai 0800-2100¹ Sat-Wed¹ +971-4-2671117    
Nad, Nadd Al Hamar Dubai 0900-1300, 1600-2000¹ Sat-Wed¹ +971-4-2894440    
Al Jurf Ajman 0700-1500 Sat-Thu +971-6-7430599 2010?  
Al Hail/Al Hayl Industrial Area Fujairah 0700-1500 Sat-Thu +971-9-2231968 2010?  
Lantern Roundabout, Al Qussaidat Ras Al Khaimah 0700-1500 Sat-Thu +971-7-2210901 June 2008  
Al Salma Umm Al Quwain 0700-1500 Sat-Thu +971-6-7671694 April 2010  
  1. Open 0900-1300 only on Thursdays.
Tasjeel offices and contact details
June 2014 updated Tasjeel locations in UAE and opening hours - changes in blue text, see old table further below in grey text
Location Emirate Times Days Tel Date open Notes
Al Awir (Al Aweer) used car complex Dubai 0700-2100 Sat-Thu +971-4-3331510    
Al Barsha, Umm Suqeim near MOE Dubai 24 hours Sat-Thu +971-4-3476620    
Al Ghusais (Al Qusais) Beirut St Dubai 0700-2100 Sat-Thu +971-4-2673940    
Hatta, at EPPCO station Dubai 0730-1500 Sat-Thu +971-4-8528121 Dec 2009  
JAFZA, enter Gate 5 or 7 Dubai 0730-1700 Sat-Thu +971-4-8830067    
Warsan, behind Dragonmart Dubai 0700-2100 Sat-Thu +971-4-3336470    
Sharjah Auto Village, MBZ Road Sharjah 0700-2100 Sat-Thu +971-6-5487111 May 2006  
Khorfakkan, EPPCO station near police HQ Sharjah 0730-1500 Sat-Thu +971-9-2383480 Sep 2009  
ENOC House Dubai Dubai 0700-1500 Sun-Thu +971-4-3133614    
Al Twar (Al Tawar), Al Nahda Rd [24hrs?] Dubai 0700-2100 Sat-Thu +971-4-2573778    
Wasel (Jadaf) [Check]   24 hrs        
Quick [Check]   24 hrs        

Information changes

Tasjeel locations in UAE and opening hours (old information)
Location Emirate Times Days Tel Date open Notes
Al Awir Dubai 0700-2100¹ Sat-Thu +971-4-3331510    
Al Barsha/Umm Suqeim near MOE Dubai 0700-2100¹ Sat-Thu +971-4-3476620    
Al Gusais Dubai 0700-2400² Sat-Thu² +971-4-2670290    
Hatta Dubai       Dec 2009  
JAFZA Dubai 0730-1530¹ Sat-Thu +971-4-8830110    
Warsan Dubai 0700-2100¹ Sat-Thu +971-4-3336470    
Sharjah Auto Village, Emirates Road Sharjah     +971-6-5487111 May 2006  
Khorfakkan Sharjah 0800-1500 Sat-Thu   Sep 2009  
  1. 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.
  2. 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 Mobile Inspection and Registration service
Al Sayara Service
Importing and Exporting cars between emirates
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:

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)
Car registration in Sharjah
Car registration in Ras Al Khaimah
Car registration in Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah
Last update Thursday 28-Dec-2017. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
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Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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