Process of Registering A Vehicle In Abu Dhabi
There are many challenges to shipping a vehicle to another country and one the major concerns most people have is how to register it once it arrives. After finding the right auto transport company to do the job for you, you’ll have to get the car cleared through customs and registered before you’ll be able to legally drive it.
Depending on the shipper you work with, they may offer a lot of help in this regard, or they may leave most of it up to you. In either case, it’s helpful to understand the process and requirements for registering a vehicle you’ve shipped to Abu Dhabi.
Requirements For Registering A Car In Abu Dhabi
- Registration application form
- Gold registration card
- UAE identification (with copy)
- UAE driver license (with copy)
- Insurance certificate
- Test certificate (if required—see below)
- Foreign license & passport with copies (must be from same country)
Other items that may sometimes (though not always) be requested include proof of passing an eye exam and a letter of non-objection from your employer.
A couple of important notes about importing vehicles into Abu Dhabi: the owner must be present for customs inspection and the vehicle must be for personal use only and cannot be sold.
Those with a valid license and passport from the United States will not have to take a road test to qualify for a local license, which also holds true for those with an international driver license. You will need your foreign license translated into Arabic for this portion of the registration.
Vehicle Inspection Test
Imported vehicles in Abu Dhabi will need to be formally inspected by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) if they are more than three years old, or if there is a change in ownership. This will be one of the first things you will need to address if your car falls in the inspection window.
If your car does not pass the inspection, the necessary repairs will need to be made to pass before going forward with the process. Any repairs must be made within 31 days of the initial test.
For information about shipping a car to Abu Dhabi and a more big-picture look at the steps involved, you can visit our international car shipping page for Abu Dhabi by clicking here.
Vehicle Registration Process
Once you have applied for registration, gotten your license, and your car has passed inspection, the formal registration process can begin. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult or time consuming from this point forward.
Take all the required documents listed above to the Roads and Transport Authority, of which there should be several local options. If you have any existing traffic fines due, either on the imported vehicle or another, you will have to pay them at this point.
Once all of your documents have been inspected and approved, you will receive your registration card, which is then presented to receive your license plates. You will receive your registration card back and you should keep in the car at all times. Place the registration sticker on the rear license plate of the vehicle and you’re ready to go!
Vehicle Registration Resources | Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Vehicle Services - An online portal that offers help with a number of different vehicle related issues, including registration, importation, and license plate information.
Abu Dhabi Police - A number of traffic, driver, and vehicle services are available on this page, as well as information about resolving and paying traffic fines.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.