How to Register your Car in the UAE

Owning a car is probably one of the best things you will get in the UAE as an expat. Not everyone has the financial capacity to buy one. If you can afford to buy a vehicle, you should know that there is a process to register it in the UAE. You can’t use your car in the country if you will not register it. Like a driver’s license, this is mandatory or else, you will face charges and fines if the authorities caught you. For expats who don’t have an idea of how the registration of the car takes place in the UAE, this article is for you.

Public transportation in the UAE is very accessible and affordable. And although there are a lot of methods of transportation such as buses, trains, and cabs, some prefer having their own car for convenience. Expats who own a car in the UAE need to have a driver’s license before they can drive. If you are planning to buy your own vehicle, make sure that you are complying with both the registration of the car and your driver’s license.

register car in uae

How is car registration license administered in the UAE?

When you buy a car in the UAE, the dealer or the seller of the vehicle usually administers the registration, which is valid for the first year only. After that, you will be the one to process the renewal for the succeeding years. The renewal process should be within 30 days after the expiration of the first registration.

If you will not comply with this law, you will pay AED 500 as a fine for the expired registration. This is the reason why you need to register your car in a timely manner before you can drive it around the country.

What are the documents needed for car registration?

The first step you have to take when registering your car in the UAE is to prepare the documents needed. Although your dealer will handle and facilitate the process, you need to give him the documents required to start processing your application. Here’s what you need to secure.

  • Your car test certificate if the car is second hand.
  • Your previous registration card for renewal
  • Your car insurance certificate from a UAE provider, which should be valid for 12 months
  • The letter from the bank as proof of financing
  • The authorization letter from the showroom
  • Your driver’s license
  • Your passport or Emirates ID for identification purposes

Are there fees included?

Yes, there are fees included during car registration and you have to shoulder the costs. For the registration, you will have to pay AED 340. For the car test, it’s AED 120. And for the re-test, it’s AED 35.

How is the registration process done?

  1. First, you or your dealer will have to go to the RTA (Roads and Transportation Authority) Center to submit the requirements you prepared.
  2. Next, you will pay the processing fees, which are mentioned above.
  3. After processing, you will be able to get your registration card, license plate, and car stickers.
  4. Usually, the processing of the car registration is short. It would only take half an hour to get your registration card. But if the line is long, expect that you will have to allocate more time to wait for your turn.

How can I renew my registration after the first year?

Since you will be the one to process the registration after a year, it’s essential that you know the process as early as now. The renewal process is easier than the first registration. There are a couple of methods that you can choose from. You can either apply for it online, via a smart application or through a service kiosk.

Applying for a renewal online

When you are applying for your renewal online, you have to ensure that your vehicle is still insured. If your insurance expires, you need to apply for a new one first because the authorities will not approve the renewal of your car registration.

  • To start the application, just go to and choose “Renew Vehicle Registration” then apply. There is an option there where you will choose the method to get your permanent card delivered to your address.
  • Pay the right amount of the processing fees or fines if necessary.
  • You will then receive your temporary registration card.

Applying for renewal via a smart application

  • First, make sure that your car is still insured.
  • Use your smartphone or tablet to download the “Drivers & Vehicles” application from your app store.
  • You can register or you can use the application as a guest.
  • Register by going to “Vehicle” then “Vehicle Registration” then apply.
  • Choose the method of delivery of the permanent card.
  • Pay the processing fees or fines if any.
  • You will then receive your temporary registration card.

Applying for renewal through a smart kiosk

  • When using this method, you also need to make sure that your car is still insured.
  • Go to “e-services” then “Vehicle Renewal”
  • Input your vehicle information
  • Pay the transaction fees or fines if any.
  • You will then get your original registration card. The kiosk will print it for you.

When applying for the renewal of your registration card, make sure to choose what’s the most convenient for you. Two of the methods are done online but you still have to wait for your permanent card to arrive. Meanwhile, the smart kiosk method will directly give your new registration card. You need to find a smart kiosk and go to the location to do this method.

Final Thoughts

Car registration is mandatory and you should not overlook this rule. Comply with the rules and regulations and make sure that you are driving with an updated registration card and driver’s license. This will save you from facing charges and paying fines in the future. Driving your car legitimately is a good experience in the UAE. If you have friends and families in the country who are planning to buy their cars too, make sure to share this information with them.

Disclaimer: is an informational site only and should serve as a guide. For updated details and policies, always contact proper authorities for assistance. If you are facing challenges at your work, please contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or previously known as UAE Ministry of Labour for guidance. You may also seek help from a lawyer regarding your case.

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