International Driving License in Dubai

How to Obtain an International Driving License in Dubai 

Dubai, a dynamic metropolis known for its bustling streets, modern infrastructure, and cosmopolitan allure, is a magnet for residents and tourists alike. Dubai’s bustling streets and modern infrastructure make it a desirable destination for both residents and tourists. With its well-maintained roadways and the allure of exploring the city’s myriad attractions at your own pace, driving in Dubai is an appealing prospect. However, for those who hold a foreign driver’s license, the process may entail obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) to ensure that your travel on Dubai’s roads is not just enjoyable but also legal and trouble-free. 

In this extensive guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive roadmap detailing the step-by-step process of securing an international driving license in Dubai. This indispensable document will not only serve as your key to exploring the city’s diverse landscapes but also ensure that you are in full compliance with the local regulations. 

Understanding the International Driving Permit (IDP) in Detail: 
The International Driving Permit (IDP) is a critical document that plays a pivotal role in ensuring your legal ability to drive in Dubai and over 150 other countries around the world. It essentially serves as a translation of your existing driver’s license into multiple languages, providing both local and international authorities with a standardized understanding of your driving credentials. 

The Significance of an IDP in Dubai: 
In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) recognizes the IDP as a valid and indispensable form of identification for both tourists and residents who hold a valid UAE residence visa. This recognition is not just a formality; it underscores the importance of the IDP in facilitating seamless and legally compliant driving experiences in this cosmopolitan city. 

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining an IDP in Dubai: 
To embark on the journey of acquiring an IDP in Dubai, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. These criteria are in place to ensure that applicants are adequately qualified and compliant with the local regulations. Here are the detailed eligibility criteria: 

Hold a Valid UAE Residence Visa: An essential prerequisite for obtaining an IDP in Dubai is holding a valid UAE residence visa. This visa serves as your legal authorization to reside in the UAE, and it is a fundamental requirement to be eligible for an IDP. 

Possess a Valid UAE Driver’s License: To qualify for an IDP, you must hold a valid UAE driver’s license. This license signifies that you have undergone the necessary training, testing, and evaluation to operate a motor vehicle in the UAE. 

Age Requirement: To apply for an IDP in Dubai, you must be at least 18 years old. This age requirement aligns with the legal driving age in the UAE, ensuring that applicants have reached the appropriate age for safe and responsible driving. 

By meeting these eligibility criteria, you demonstrate your readiness to embark on the process of obtaining an IDP in Dubai. This vital document, once in your possession, not only grants you the privilege of legally driving in the city but also opens doors to exploring the wider world with confidence and peace of mind. 

Step-by-Step Process: 

Step 1: Gather Required Documents:  

Before venturing further into the process of obtaining your International Driving Permit (IDP) in Dubai, it’s crucial to ensure that you have all the required documents prepared and ready. The accuracy and completeness of your documentation play a pivotal role in expediting the application process. Here’s a comprehensive list of the essential documents you’ll need: 

  1. Valid UAE driver’s license. 
  2. A copy of your passport and valid UAE residence visa. 
  3. Passport-sized photographs (usually 2 to 4, as per RTA guidelines). 
  4. Completed application form (available online or at RTA customer service centers). 

Step 2: Choose Application Method: 

In your journey to acquire an International Driving Permit (IDP) in Dubai, you’ll reach a pivotal crossroads where you must decide how you want to proceed with the application process. Fortunately, Dubai offers flexibility in this regard, and you have two distinct options to choose from. Select the method that aligns most seamlessly with your preferences and circumstances. Here are the two available options: 

Option 1: Online Application: 

  1. Visit the RTA website. 
  2. Navigate to the “Driver and Car Owner Services” section. 
  3. Select “Driving License Services” and choose “Apply for International Driving License.” 
  4. Fill out the required details, upload scanned documents, and make the necessary payments. 
  5. A courier will deliver your IDP to your registered address within a few days. 

Option 2: In-Person Application: 

  1. Visit any RTA customer service center or affiliated typing center. 
  2. Fill out the application form. 
  3. Submit the completed form, required documents, and photographs. 
  4. Pay the applicable fees. 
  5. Receive your IDP on the spot. 

Step 3: Pay the Fees: 

Financial considerations are an integral part of the process when obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) in Dubai. The fees associated with acquiring an IDP can vary based on two key factors: the validity period you select (either 1 year or 10 years) and the chosen application method (online or in-person). 

It’s essential to keep in mind that fees are subject to change, and it’s advisable to refer to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) website or consult with a customer service center for the most up-to-date information regarding the specific fees applicable to your IDP application. 

By choosing the validity period that best suits your needs and aligns with your travel plans, and by carefully reviewing the applicable fees, you’ll be better prepared to fulfill this crucial aspect of the IDP application process. This financial investment paves the way for a seamless and legally compliant driving experience in Dubai, ensuring that you can explore the city and its surroundings with confidence and peace of mind. 

Step 4: Receive Your IDP:

If you opted for the convenience of applying for your IDP online, you can look forward to the ease of having it delivered directly to your registered address. The process is as smooth as the ride you’ll soon enjoy on Dubai’s roads. On the other hand, those who chose the in-person application method will experience a swift and immediate reward for their efforts. It’s the kind of instant gratification that reflects Dubai’s efficiency. Upon payment of the applicable fees at the licensing authority’s office, you’ll receive your IDP on the spot. 

Important Notes: 

  1. The IDP is valid for one year from the date of issuance, or up to the validity of your UAE driver’s license, whichever comes first. 
  2. The IDP does not grant you the right to drive in the UAE. It is specifically meant for driving in foreign countries. 
  3. Make sure to carry your original UAE driver’s license along with the IDP while driving abroad. 
  4. Different countries have varying regulations regarding the acceptance of IDPs. Research the driving regulations of your destination country before traveling. 


Obtaining an International Driving Permit in Dubai is a straightforward process that allows you to drive legally in numerous foreign countries. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-prepared to acquire an IDP and embark on your international driving adventures with confidence. Remember to stay informed about the latest regulations and requirements to ensure a smooth and enjoyable driving experience abroad. 


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