How to Register a Car in Dubai – A Guide for Expats

Relocating to another country is not an easy process. You have to take care of a lot of things. Buying a car in Dubai is one of the first aspects you have to take care of once you have moved in your new accommodations. You will need to drive everywhere you go, so it is best to be prepared. It is extremely easy to select and purchase a vehicle given the abundance of choices and the easily available and affordable car loans. Once you have become an owner of a car, your first task is to register it.

In order to register a car with the Vehicle Licensing Department at the Road Traffic Authority, you will need a number of papers. You have to present a passport with a valid residence visa in it. You should have a copy of this document as well. If you have a visa issued by another UAE emirate, you will have to present a tenancy agreement for your Dubai rental. You should have a copy of this document as well, just in case you are asked to leave it at the traffic department.

You will need to have car insurance in order to register your vehicle. You can readily purchase a policy from any of the major insurers in Dubai. You should definitely research all the available insurance policies in order to make sure you are making a favorable deal. You also ask the car seller for advice and assistance.

You have to present a valid driver’s license for the registration of the car. You should have arranged for this document in advance. Nationals of GCC and Western European countries as well as US nationals are entitled to receiving an UAE driver’s license after presenting their original document and paying a fee. Expatriates coming from other parts of the world will have to sign up for a driving course in order to obtain driver’s license.

You have to go and register your car in the traffic department together with the seller of the vehicle. You will have to incur the cost for the registration fee. The sum varies depending on a number of factors including the type of vehicle you will be driving. You can expect to pay no more than 500 Dhs for car registration, so make sure you have that sum with you just to be on the safe side. If you have bought a pre-owned car, you have to ask the seller to pay any speeding, parking and other fines. It is their responsibility to cover these accumulated costs upon the registration of the car in your name. 

In Dubai you have to register your car annually. Once you have obtained registration it will expire in 12 months. Your insurance will be valid for 13 months, however. Therefore, it is best to renew your policy and re-register your vehicle immediately after doing so. In this way, you will spare yourself all the hassle of having to go back and forth to the local traffic department. Keep in mind that upon registering your vehicle, you will have to pay the registration fee plus any fines you have accumulated.


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