Everything You Need to Know About Obtaining an Abu Dhabi Driving License

Are you looking to obtain an Abu Dhabi driving license? Obtaining a driver’s license in Abu Dhabi can be achieved with the proper preparation and guidance. Here, we have compiled all the information you need about obtaining your Abu Dhabi driving license. Learn what requirements are necessary for an Abu Dhabi Driving Licence, the steps to get one, the cost involved, and the types of licenses available. We also provide tips on quickly passing the tests required for obtaining a valid Abu Dhabi driving license.

Aspiring Drivers Must Meet Specific Criteria 

If you’re medically able and have reached the legal age, applying for a driving license in Abu Dhabi is an option. The type of vehicle you want to drive influences what the legal age requirement is; it’s broken down as follows:

  • Motorcycles and vehicles for people with special needs: 17 years
  • Cars and light vehicles: 18 years
  • Heavy vehicles and tractors: 20 years
  • Buses: 21 years

Abu Dhabi Driving License

Applicant’s Categories

When applying for a UAE driving license, you must determine which category applies to your situation. There are two sub-categories:

  • First-time Emirati applicants or expats;
  • Those who already possess a foreign driver’s license.

Depending on the group you fall into, different steps will need to be taken during the application process.


Cost of Obtaining an Abu Dhabi Driving Licence

The cost of obtaining an Abu Dhabi driving license varies depending on the type of license you are applying for. The fees associated with the process include a theory test fee, a practical test fee, and a license fee.

Theory Test Fee:

To take the RTA Theory Test in Abu Dhabi, applicants must pay AED 200. This includes both the registration and exam fees. It is important to note that this fee is non-refundable even if your application is rejected or you fail to attend your scheduled test date.

Practical Test Fee:

After successfully passing the theory test, applicants must take a practical driving test costing AED 500 per attempt. If you fail to pass this exam, you must re-take it at an additional cost of AED 500 each time until completing all requirements set by RTA Abu Dhabi Driving Institute (ADDI).

License Fee:

Once all tests have been passed successfully, applicants must pay a one-time licensing fee which costs between AED 150 – 250 depending on whether they are applying for a light vehicle or heavy vehicle license, respectively. Additionally, any applicant under 18 must submit proof of parental consent before their application can be processed and accepted by ADDI and provide valid visa copies from both parents if applicable.

In conclusion, obtaining an Abu Dhabi driving license requires payment for three different types of fees, namely, theory test fee (AED 200), practical test fee (AED 500), and licensing fee (AED 150 – 250). All documents should be prepared accordingly, such as passport copy/visa copy/emirates ID, etc., before submitting your application form to ensure it is processed quickly without any delays or issues.

The cost of procuring a permit for driving in Abu Dhabi may be hefty, contingent upon the vehicle class you request. Consequently, knowing the different license categories is essential to make an educated choice before attempting the practical exam.

Key Takeaway: To obtain an Abu Dhabi driving license, applicants must pay a non-refundable fee of AED 200 for the theory test and AED 500 per attempt for the practical exam. Finally, they must fork out AED 150 – 250 for their licensing fee before legally hitting the road.

Types of Abu Dhabi Driving Licences Available

The United Arab Emirates offers two driving licenses: a light vehicle (car) license and a heavy vehicle (truck) license. Before applying for a UAE driving license, one must know the distinctions between light and heavy vehicle licenses.

Light Vehicle Licence:

Light Vehicle LicenseA light vehicle permit authorizes you to drive cars, vans, pick-ups, and jeeps. To obtain a light vehicle driver’s license in Abu Dhabi, you must be at least 18 years old with valid identification documents, including your passport or national ID card. You must also pass the theory, and practical driving tests the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) administers.

Heavy Vehicle Licence:

A heavy vehicle or truck driver’s license permits you to drive large commercial vehicles, such as buses, lorries, trailers, tankers, etc., on public roads within the UAE. To obtain a heavy vehicle license in Abu Dhabi, applicants must be 21 years old and provide valid identification documents, including a passport or national ID card, plus proof of residence if applicable. Additionally, applicants must undergo medical tests before taking either the theory or practical driving test conducted by RTA’s authorized centers across all emirates in UAE.

To ensure you have the right Abu Dhabi driving license for your needs, you must be aware of the different types available. 

Key Takeaway: To get behind the wheel in Abu Dhabi, you must be 18 or above (for light vehicles) and 21+ (for heavy ones), plus successfully pass the RTA’s theory/practical tests. You’ll also have to pass the RTA’s theory test and practical exams before obtaining your license and undergo necessary medical tests if required. In other words: no guts, no glory.

Residents with Foreign Licence

Abu Dhabi has a simplified process for residents with foreign driving licenses from an approved list of countries, making transferring your license that much easier. Are you lucky enough to be from one of the following countries? If so, then take advantage and swiftly transfer your license:

If you do not possess a license from any of these countries, your application will be seen as a first-time applicant.

Transferring Your International Driving License

If you possess a valid driving license from any of the countries indicated, no additional Abu Dhabi driving license is required–your foreign permit can be seamlessly transferred.

To transfer your international driver’s license, visit a translation or typing center to receive an Arabic translation of your foreign license. Afterward, take the necessary documents with you to the licensing center for the completion of formalities and eye testing. Once passed successfully, you will be presented with your driving license!


  • GCC Countries
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • South Korean
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • UK
  • USA

Steps to Obtain an Abu Dhabi Driving Licence

Required Documents

  • Single Passport-size photo
  • Passport original and photocopy
  • Emirates ID
  • Foreign driving license original and photocopy
  • A valid Abu Dhabi residency visa photocopy
  • NOC from your employer or visa sponsor
  • Arabic translation foreign driving license

Register: Obtaining a driving license in Abu Dhabi is straightforward and can be completed within a few weeks. Register for the theory test with the Emirates Driving Company (EDC) to get started. The EDCAD will provide you with an application form, which requires your passport copy, visa copy, and Emirates ID card. Once submitted and approved, you can book your theory test online or at any of their branches across Abu Dhabi.

Take Theory Test: The next step is taking the Abu Dhabi driving theory test itself. This consists of 50 multiple-choice questions covering road signs, traffic laws, and safe driving practices. You need to answer 40 correctly to pass the exam – so it’s essential to prepare thoroughly by studying books or taking practice tests online. After passing the theoretical exam, you are ready for practical driving lessons with an instructor from EDC or any other certified Abu Dhabi Driving School.

Practical Driving Test or Road Test: Once your lessons are complete and all paperwork is sorted out, it’s time to book your practical driving test appointment through EDC’s website or app. During this final stage of obtaining a license in Abu Dhabi, you must demonstrate basic skills such as starting on a hill properly; parking parallel/diagonally; making turns at intersections; changing lanes safely; performing emergency stops; following speed limits, etc. If you complete these tasks without committing any significant errors during the 30 minutes allocated for testing, congratulations –you have passed.

Collect The License: Finally, you can collect your license after completing both parts of the examination process. For this purpose, you should bring along valid identification documents such as a passport copy/visa copy/Emirates ID card plus a payment fee receipt issued by EDC when registering for exams. It takes around two weeks before receiving your permanent license via the post office. Remember that once obtained, it needs to be renewed every five years through the EDS website/app by submitting relevant documents, including a medical fitness certificate from an authorized clinic and an eye-test report from an optician center approved by the RTA authority. So drive safely and responsibly.

Completing the steps to obtain an Abu Dhabi driving license is relatively straightforward. Let’s delve into the financial aspect of procuring this same license.

Key Takeaway: To obtain a driving license in Abu Dhabi, applicants must first register for the theory test with the Emirates Driving Company (EDC) and pass it. Then they can take practical lessons before sitting their final practical driving test appointment to receive their permanent license – don’t forget to renew every five years.

Tips for Passing the Abu Dhabi Driving Tests Easily

Passing the Driving TestsPreparing well for the theory test is essential to passing the Abu Dhabi driving tests. Knowing the rules and comprehending their application in various circumstances is imperative. A great way to do this is by taking advantage of free online resources such as www.theorytest.ae, which provides a mock RTA theory test that can help you prepare for the exam. Additionally, studying road safety topics like proper signaling techniques and speed limits will give you an edge when it comes time for your practical test.

Practicing regularly before taking the practical test is also vital to success when it comes to obtaining an Abu Dhabi driver’s license. Make sure you have plenty of practice behind the wheel to be comfortable navigating different roads and situations, from roundabouts and intersections to motorways and highways – not forgetting reverse parking. This will help build confidence in your ability to perform at your best during your driving assessment.

Finally, being familiar with road rules and regulations in UAE is crucial if you want to pass both parts of the Abu Dhabi driving tests easily. This is especially true since some may differ from those found elsewhere around the world or even within other emirates in UAE itself. It is important to read up on any local laws or traffic signs specific only to Abu Dhabi before attempting either part of your driver’s license exams; understanding these details could make all the difference between passing or failing.

Key Takeaway: It is imperative to be well-prepared for the Abu Dhabi driving tests, which means taking advantage of online resources such as www.theorytest.ae and getting plenty of practice behind the wheel to ace both parts of the exam. Additionally, brushing up on any local road rules or traffic signs specific only to Abu Dhabi pays off before attempting either part; having the edge over other drivers could make all the difference between passing or failing.

The time it takes to get a driver's license in Abu Dhabi depends on the type of license you are applying for. A normal light vehicle/motorcycle license can generally be obtained within 30 days. However, an International Driving License (IDL) obtained through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can take 3-4 weeks.

Obtaining a driving license in Abu Dhabi necessitates passing theoretical and practical tests, which evaluate one's knowledge of traffic rules and ability to drive safely. To acquire a valid UAE driver's license from Abu Dhabi authorities, one must pass theoretical and practical tests evaluating an understanding of traffic rules and regulations and driving competency. The theory test consists of multiple-choice questions about road signs, safety precautions, vehicle control techniques, etc.. In contrast, the practical test involves demonstrating driving skills such as turning correctly at intersections and changing lanes appropriately. Passing these tests will enable you to obtain a valid UAE driver's license from Abu Dhabi authorities.

No, you cannot drive in Abu Dhabi with a US license. In Abu Dhabi, all drivers must possess an Emirati driving license issued by the TLD to drive on public roads legally; diplomatic licenses are accepted in certain parts of the UAE as a sole exception. This includes residents and visitors from abroad who wish to drive while visiting or residing in Abu Dhabi. The only exception is for those holding diplomatic licenses, which are accepted for use within certain parts of the UAE.

No, a UAE driving license is not valid in the United States. To drive legally in the US, you must acquire an IDP from your home country and fulfill other requirements for obtaining a state-issued driver's license. Additionally, some states may require additional documents, such as proof of identity or residence, to be eligible for a driver’s license. Before driving, it is essential to consult the DMV in your destination state.

The UAE driving license is a valuable asset that provides numerous benefits. It allows individuals to drive legally and safely in the country while providing access to better job opportunities, as many employers prefer candidates with valid licenses. In addition, having a UAE driver's license can be advantageous for financial matters such as opening bank accounts or obtaining loans. Lastly, having a driver's license can provide more independence and freedom of movement within the UAE.


Getting an Abu Dhabi driving license is a great way to make your life easier. It may seem daunting initially, but with the proper preparation and knowledge of what’s required to obtain an Abu Dhabi driving license, you can easily pass the tests and become a licensed driver in no time. We hope this article has helped provide all the necessary information about getting an Abu Dhabi driving license so that you can hit the roads safely.

Take the first step towards getting your Abu Dhabi driving license by practicing with our free online mock RTA theory test. Get familiarised with the questions you will likely be asked on the theory test and increase your chances of success!