x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Registering your car

If you have bought from a private seller you will have to transfer the car’s registration into your own name before you can legally drive it on the UAE’s roads.

Any outstanding traffic fines attributed to the vehicle will have to be paid before the registration process can be completed. You can check for any penalties on both the Abu Dhabi and Dubai police websites.


In May 2010, Emirates Identity Authority announced that a national ID card would be needed to apply for a driving licence or register a car. The EIA than announced a grace period of 'a few weeks' after an unexpectedly large response. At the time of writing it is not clear when the rules will be enforced.


Motorists should take their vehicle to the Traffic and Licensing Department on Airport Road and fill in the designated form.

But before doing this make sure you are carrying the correct documents, which for expatriates - and according to the Abu Dhabi Government website - are:

1. Vehicle registration card

2. Vehicle technical inspection certificate

3. Vehicle insurance policy

4. Passport copy and visa

5. Employment certificate

In Abu Dhabi, new private use vehicles are exempt from inspection for the first two years unless specifically requested by the licensing authority.

The inspection can be done at the licensing department or at designated Adnoc stations in the emirate. The cost of the inspection rose from Dh60 to Dh 120 in February this year.

Once the inspection has been passed, any outstanding fines have been paid and the paper work has been submitted you should check with the delivery counter to receive the new registration.

Fees vary but for private vehicles that weigh less than three tonnes the charge is Dh200.


In Dubai, both the buyer and seller must be present. According to the government’s website, if the seller is not able to attend, a sale deed letter from an authorised showroom or dealer is required. If the vehicle is from another emirate, the vehicle registration should have been cancelled there.

In Dubai you will need:

1. Both your original passport and a copy of your Dubai driving licence.

2. The insurance policy, although you may be able to transfer the old policy.

3. If the car has been financed through a bank, take the finance documents and a ‘No Objection Letter,’ if applicable.

4. The old registration card is needed but, if that has already expired, the car should be tested at the Traffic Department or testing centres in Tasjeel Eppco or Emarat Shamil.

5. The original licence plates are also required.

To register the vehicle, first go to the Traffic Department or the two other testing centres. Fill in the form and pay the fees, which are Dh50 for a car test and Dh420 for registration.

Settle any outstanding fines and wait for the new registration card, valid for one year.

Get the plates attached to the car and send copies of your registration card to your finance and insurance company.