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Car registration in Dubai
Car registration in Dubai
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Test fees are about AED 150 in Dubai and other emirates. Standardised fees applied from end of 2017. Previously there was some variation between providers and emirates.
- Maximum permitted tire (tyre) age is 3 years according to the RTA, and 5 years according to ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology) (no, not Meteorology). The apparent conflict makes sense from the perspective that the Dubai RTA is setting their own limit for Dubai within the ESMA 5 year maximum. Which explains why your 4 year old tyres might fail if you test your car in Dubai but pass if you get it checked in another emirate. The 3 year limit does not appear to be applied strictly in Dubai. We’ve had both pass and fail experiences with tyres 3-4 years old.
- Check the manufacturing date when you buy new tyres, if they are already more than a few months old off the shelf, ask for a newer set or a bigger discount, or go somewhere else.
- New regulations from ESMA, published 29 Feb 2012 to be implemented from 28 Sep 2012, specified a maximum tire age of 5 years.
- Eng. Badri said the tyres have a lifespan of “normally five years. The manufacturers label them, and we will not allow them to be used beyond their time span.” . from ESMA 19 Mar 2012, www.esma.gov.ae/en-us/News/Pages/SH-Tyres.aspx (Second-hand tyres to be banned from 1st Sept).
- “What is the validity of the tyres when renewing the ownership? The validity of the tyres is 3 years if they are new . “. Reference RTA FAQs from www.rta.ae Home page > Contact Us > Help and Support > Plates and Registration (undated but footer says “Page last modified: 28/12/2017“, checked on 28 Dec 2017).
- “The RTA recommends replacing tires no later than 5 years,” – www.roadsafetyuae.com/tire-safety/ (undated, checked 20 Dec 2017, conflicts with RTA official website which says 3 years).
- “Another important regulation is that the total lifespan of each tyre is restricted to five years from the date of manufacture.” – Gulf News, “Safety norms for tyres to be tightened in UAE” 18 Mar 2012. Obviously referencing the ESMA press release, but does not mention the RTA 3 year rule. Khaleej Times and The National made similar statements.
- Legality of buying second-hand tyres changed in Sep 2012 (delayed but new date unknown) from legal to illegal (ESMA decision #75-4/2012). Our opinion is don’t buy used (or retreads). No, we don’t know how the testing stations or police know if the tyres on your car were purchased new or used.
- From ESMA 19 Mar 2012, www.esma.gov.ae/en-us/News/Pages/SH-Tyres.aspx (Second-hand tyres to be banned from 1st Sept):
- The country’s standardisation body announced that cars and motorcycles in the UAE will not be allowed to use second-hand tyres with effect from Sept.1, 2012
- Still, Esma does not allow importation of retreaded tyres. “This has been in place for the past two years.” He said the UAE has 25 places where tyres are retreaded.
- Other reports said that retreads are only permitted for buses and trucks but this was not stated in the ESMA news release.
- “Buying used tyres is not illegal . ” – Abu Dhabi Police/MOI 999 magazine, Mar 2012 . changed to . “Resale of used tyres is banned in the UAE.” – Abu Dhabi Police/MOI 999 magazine, Jul 2015.
- From ESMA 19 Mar 2012, www.esma.gov.ae/en-us/News/Pages/SH-Tyres.aspx (Second-hand tyres to be banned from 1st Sept):
- 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.
- 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
- 24 hr testing centers no longer operating. Al Barsha (Tasjeel) and Jaddaf (Wasel) testing centers open to 2300 (1130pm) but get there before 11pm or you might be turned away.
- Testing center hours in Dubai and other emirates vary depending on where you go, but most locations are at least open 0730-1700 from Sun-Thu.
- Shamil Ajman timings 7am to 8pm Sun-Thu.
- Shamil Fujairah timings 0700-1500 Sun-Thu.
- Shamil Ras Al Khaimah: Lantern Roundabout timings 0700-1900 Sun-Thu.
- Shamil Umm Al Quwain timings 0700-1700 Sun-Thu (updated Dec 2017).
- Some centers open Saturdays.
- Shamil Dubai timings: Al Qusais (Ghusais) 0800-2200 Sat-Thu, Bur Dubai (Mankhool) 0700-2100 Sat-Thu, Nad Al Hamar 0700-2200 Sat-Thu.
- Some centers open Fri afternoon and/or evening.
- [Not 24 hrs since 2015] Al Barsha Tasjeel (ENOC station) testing and registration center open 24 hours starting 01 April 2014. After about 9pm it’s very quiet, car registration procedure can be easily completed in under an hour, maybe even 30 minutes. Other 24 centers open at Al Twar ENOC, Wasel (Jadaf), Quick [check].
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 delayed by much more than this, you’ll be sent back to extend the 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 (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 are more likely to 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 res >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||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 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|
- 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
June 2014 updated Tasjeel locations in UAE and opening hours – changes in blue text, see old table further below in grey text
|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|
- 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)
- 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.
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 s >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 Thursday 28-Dec-2017 . Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
Related websites (new window)
- www.eppcouae.com – EPPCO UAE website, has (old) Tasjeel information. Note that www.tasjeel.com and www.tasjeel.ae are both spam, or at least not official Tasjeel websites (checked Dec 2010).
- www.shamil.ae – Shamil website for car registration and testing at Emarat petrol stations. Limited information, timings not given, not all locations listed (checked Dec 2017).
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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