Vehicle Registration – How to Register a Car in Dubai?

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Vehicle Registration

Like driving license, motor vehicle registration is compulsory for all vehicles in Dubai, without which one is not allowed to bring the vehicle on the road. Each car registration is valid for a single year, and the owner has to get it renewed before its expiry date. For new cars, the first registration is mostly dealt by the dealer, but subsequent registrations then become the owner’s responsibility.

There are at least eight insurance companies in Dubai that get vehicle registrations for their insurance policy holders. Your vehicles can be registered either through these service providers or through the Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA).

Note: You MUST have a legal UAE Driver’s License before you get your vehicle registered.

Car Registration in Dubai

How to Register your Vehicle in the UAE?

The following text outlines the simple criteria for car or motorbike registration in the Emirates.

Documents Required

  1. a) From Agencies
  • Original certificate of ownership, transfer, or customs
  • Original insurance certificate (13 months)
  • Original vehicle testing documents if it is registered in the past or the model is not of the present year
  • Original letter from the mortgagee if the vehicle is mortgaged
  • Original letter of mortgage from the bank (if available)
  • Printed, original invoice of vehicle purchasing containing vehicle data and authentication from the agency
  • Transfer or export of vehicle plates (if available)
  • Original Emirates ID card or passport
  1. b) From Showrooms
  • Printed, original sale contract
  • Original certificate of ownership, transfer, or customs
  • A copy of trade license
  • A copy of authorized signatory from the showroom owner
  • Original/copy of vehicle testing documents if it is registered in the past or the model is not of the present year
  • Original letter of mortgage from the bank (if available)
  • Original driving license
  • Original Emirates ID card or passport
  • Original application form for vehicle licensing

Owning a Vehicle

As long as you have the license, it’s easier to buy a vehicle in Dubai than anywhere else in the world. The vehicle prices are relatively affordable, fuel prices are cheaper, and bank loan offers make it even easier for the customers. On a minimum salary of Dh4000, the banks may offer a loan. Nonetheless, for both new and used cars, a 20% down payment must be paid according to the central bank’s regulations. The interest rate is relatively higher for pre-owned cars i.e: 5%. For new cars, the annual interest rate is between 2.5 – 4%.

The registration of a new car is done through the dealership. However, in the following years, the vehicle can be registered again through Road and Traffic Authority call centres, service centres or specific insurance companies.

The motor vehicle registration must be renewed every year. The insurance companies including AXA Insurance, Fujairah Insurance, National General Insurance, Noor Takaful, Oman Insurance, Orient Insurance, RSA Insurance and Salama Insurance, extend registration renewal services to insurance policy owners.

New vehicles are not required to be examined for the initial 3 years. The automobiles examined already can be renewed by calling at 8009090. The validity can also be extended through Road and Traffic Authority’s website. A car’s test outcome is legitimate for 30 days.

Registration Procedure:

Same procedure is carried out for cars and motorcycles for extending the validity of registration:

  • Get a year’s insurance policy, either online or from an insurance provider within UAE.
  • Vehicles that are being used for 3 years are to be examined by RTA’s authorized testing provision. A new vehicle must also be examined if the ownership has changed.
  • The examination outcome is transferred to RTA customer service centre and can be gathered from their counter by the driver.
  • The vehicle test result is mentioned on the certificate received by the owner. In case the vehicle fails the examination, information about the need of repairs will be mentioned on the certificate.
  • The repairs should be made in a month’s time. First retest after the repair is free. But if the vehicle fails the test again, a payment of AED 35 have to be made. This test would be carried out inside 31 days of the previous test.
  • The entire pending fine for the vehicle in question or any other vehicles registered on driver’s name must be paid. The fine can be cleared online at Roads and Traffic Authority or Dubai Police website, or at the time of registration.
  • After the registration, get the registration card and the sticker that has to be placed on the rear license plate.
  • Buying long number plates will cost AED 35. The small ones are for AED 25. The exclusive Dubai brand front/rear plates cost AED 420.


Light Vehicle: AED 440 (AED120 for test, AED 320 for renewal)
Motorcycle: AED 285 (AED 120 for test, AED 165 for renewal)
Off-Road Bike: AED 265 (AED 100 for test, AED 165 for renewal)
Heavy Vehicle: AED 820 (AED 150 for test, AED 670 for renewal)


Vehicle owner’s passport and residence visa copy
Emirates ID card
Existing vehicle registration card
Insurance papers

Vehicle Registration Renewal UAE

Car registration renewal is simple and can usually be done in a single day. If you’re too busy to spare a day for the purpose, there are companies that will pick your vehicle from your door, get it registered and return it back the next day. These companies however, charge you double the total registration amount and should be contacted if you do not wish to go through the hassle of registration.

The following numbered bullets describe the step-by-step process of getting vehicle registration for used cars.

  1. Visit the Dubai Police website and check for any vehicle fines against you. These must be cleared before the registration.
  2. Unless the vehicle is less than three years old, take it to the Dubai Traffic Department or any other official testing facility. Your car will be extensively tested to certify if it is feasible for driving.
  3. Pay the requested registration fee.
  4. Wait for your registration card. Take the sticker that comes along with this registration card and place it on your car’s rear number plate.

The following documents will be required for the registration renewal:

  • Vehicle’s existing registration card,
  • Vehicle’s insurance certificate, and
  • Vehicle’s test clearance certificate.

You may also need your Emirates ID Card, passport and/or your residence visa.


Fee Value (in AED)
Vehicle registration renewal 105
Delay in renewing the vehicle registration 10 for each month delay

NOTE: Vehicle Testing is a prerequisite for all vehicles over three years old.

UPDATE: Dubai Vehicle Registration Services To Go Online Next Month

Good news! Dubai vehicle registration services will be available online from next month for the convenience of motorists. The 3 new online services announced by RTA Dubai include renewal of vehicle registration card, replacement of lost vehicle registration card and renewal of license plate.

The services could be availed through the RTA website, Drivers & Vehicles App (iOS and Android), and self-service kiosks (Nafethati). They are applicable only to vehicles which have been in use for less than three years. Vehicles older than this have to undergo testing and therefore cannot go through online registration.

The Dubai vehicle registration services are a part of the second phase of the Electronic Transition of Services Project and will come into effect on August 15, 2016.

The move is beneficial for both RTA and motorists, as it will lessen the load on customer service centres and will offer convenience to motorists.

Vehicle Testing

Vehicle inspection is mandatory for all cars and motorcycles that are over 3 years old, and must be carried out once in a year.

To get your vehicle tested, you will be required to take your car/motorbike to a vehicle inspection facility, where an attendant will take your registration card, give you a numbered slip and inform you about your test lane number. Once you have parked your vehicle in the test lane, sit and relax in the waiting lounge while your car is being tested.

My Advice:

Remove all valuables from the car before parking it in the Test Lane.

Vehicle testing involves extensive check-up of the car and usually takes no more than 45 minutes. The earlier you go, the faster the process will be. These tests typically include checks on wheel alignment, brakes, electrics, lights, emissions and general bodywork. If the checks prove successful, your vehicle will be cleared for roadworthiness.


Car Testing: AED 120

Car Registration for Different Vehicle Types

Getting vehicle registration can be different for different cars. Now I am going to outline the vehicle registration procedure for customized and classical vehicles.

Customized Vehicle Registration

The registration procedure for customized vehicles is no different than that for standard vehicles. However, these vehicles are under higher scrutiny to pinpoint any engine or exhaust modifications, which if found can result in the failure of vehicle registration. The owner is then required to fix the issue and bring it back for retesting and registration within 30 days, or face termination of the vehicle’s license.

Classical Vehicle Registration

Vehicles that are more than 30 years old are known as classic vehicles and can be driven in Dubai only if they are approved by the RTA and the Automobile and Touring Club UAE as roadworthy. These vehicles need to pass a thorough technical inspection each year at the Automobile and Touring Club UAE Technical Center before they can be registered.

The Automobile and Touring Club UAE Technical Center can be reached at:

Automobile and Touring Club UAE Technical Center

  • Plot No. 246-196,
  • Street No. 14,
  • Al-Nahda,
  • Al-Qusais Industrial Area 3,
  • Dubai, UAE.

Parking Card

Customers using pay parking can use this card for getting regular parking services. The seasonal parking cards, divided into two categories; A & B, can be purchased for 3, 6 or 12 months online through Roads and Traffic Authority’s website or service centres at Karama, Al Quoz, Umm Ramool, Al Twar and Al Manara.


Valid emirates ID
Original vehicle registration card
Copy of both sides of vehicle registration card
Category A: AED 700 (3 months), AED 1300 (6 months), AED 2500 (1 year)
Category B: AED 450 (3 months), AED 800 (6 months), AED 1500 (1 year)


  • The permit must be placed on the dashboard visible enough to show the details.
  • It can only be utilised in Dubai public parking and can’t be used for DMC, DIC, Fish Market, and Gold Souq parking areas.
  • Trucks and pickups cannot use its services.
  • Only customers having their motor registered on their names can get the seasonal card.
  • One motor number can have only one seasonal card.
  • Motor owners registered anywhere inside or outside UAE can get it.
  • If a number plate is registered on one seasonal card, it can’t be changed with the change of vehicle.
  • They can be retrieved on the day of issuance.
  • For disabling the seasonal cards, customers are required to complete a form. The card would be disabled on that day.
  • The cards cannot be returned. They can be shifted to another owner at the cost of AED 110. The cards cannot be transferred between companies.

Salik Tags

Vehicles passing Salik tollgates must have these tags pasted regardless of what emirate they are registered in. These cost AED 100 with an additional AED 50 balance added to the account.
Tags can be purchased from all petrol stations and RTA customer centres.

Vehicles passing Salik toll gates must have Salik account balance in it. Upon passing the gate with empty account, the account must be recharged within 5 days. The fine for crossing the gates with empty account each time is AED 50.

Recharge cards are accessible at all petrol stations, supermarkets and stores for AED 50, 100 and 200. For online payment, Salik app and e-banking can be used.

They cannot be transferred. One owner can use them for all the vehicles registered on his/her name. Salik tags are mandatory for all the motorists but people with disabilities can get exemption from RTA.

For further queries, visit:

Suhail is a journalist who loves everything about technology driven cars. He keeps a keen eye on the latest developments in automotive industry and shares the news as it breaks.

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