Vehicle Registration Process In The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Just like any other overseas location, vehicles imported into the UAE must first go through customs clearance before being registered locally. Make sure that you hang onto any paperwork you receive during customs clearance since most (if not all) of it will be needed during the process of registration. Any foreign vehicle driven in the Emirates must be registered locally and the registration needs to be renewed each year.
Required Registration Documents
Every vehicle that is imported or driven in the UAE must be registered and insured. Registration is typically valid for one year and must be renewed prior to expiration. The following documents are what you’ll need to apply for initial registration:
- Customs clearance paperwork
- Invoice or proof of purchase
- Valid insurance
- Registration application
- Local driver license
- Proof of residency
- Roadworthiness inspection certificate (see below)
- Temporary license plates (blue plates)
If you have interest in shipping a vehicle to the UAE, we recommend our readers also visit our overseas shipping page! If you want to know how much it costs to ship a car, what documents you’ll need to import into the UAE, or other helpful preparations, we’ve got you covered!
As part of the vehicle registration process, you’ll need to get an inspection to ensure that it qualifies as a “roadworthy” vehicle in the UAE. This is a basic test administered by most countries when a vehicle is registered and imported cars must pass in order to be registered. The roadworthiness certificate must be renewed periodically, depending on the type and age of the vehicle.
If a vehicle does not pass the inspection, the failure notice will include information about the reasons why, as well as the repairs that will need to be made in order to be compliant. A follow up test may be taken free of charge after the repairs are made, but you must do so within 31 days from the initial inspection.
UAE Vehicle Registration Resources
Driver Services Portal - (Website is in Arabic) Information from the Road Transit Authority in Dubai—the best place to get up to date information about registering or renewing registration for a vehicle.
Dubai Driving Tips - If you’re unfamiliar with driving the UAE, this website has some helpful tips. The information is specifically for Dubai, but they apply fairly widely to driving in most parts of the Emirates.
For our readers that may be planning to ship a vehicle to the UAE, we recommend that you call us at the number at the top of the page or send us an email. Our staff are happy to provide more information, offer a FREE cost estimate, and answer any questions you may have! Contact us today!