Getting your Driver’s License in Abu Dhabi – Procedures and a few tips

Driver's License in Abu Dhabi

If you are waiting for getting hold of the roads in Abu Dhabi, I would say don’t wait and go for it. Be it for taking kids to school or parks, or to drive yourself to the office or for shopping, yes driving license will add a big positive to our life in this Emirate. As I could grab my license recently, I thought of sharing the process with some tips for you ladies out there to hit the road.

Getting The Driver’s License in Abu Dhabi – My Experience

Yeah, the basic requirement is that you should hold a Resident Visa and should be over 18 years. If you don’t have a valid Indian driving license (or any other country License), the process is going to be bit long and tiresome. Having personal liability coverage always helps as well. But don’t worry, I could do it, so could you. Just make a bit of planning about the time and of course the money involved.

Open a License file

As the very first step, go to Abu Dhabi police HQ/Traffic and licensing department in Muroor (27th Street between Muroor and Airport Road) to open your file. They are open from Sunday to Thursday, 7.30 am to 8 pm. They will do your eye test also there. Hey, but don’t forget to carry any of these documents.

Passport or Emirates ID Copy 

Residency visa Copy 

Passport size photo

NOC from your employer (if you are working and under Employer’s Visa) or from your husband (In Arabic).

Eye test report (You will get it immediately after the eye test)

Once file opening is done (after you pay the necessary fees) you will get two identical sheets of “Drivers Test Appointment” Sheet which you have to keep until you clear the road test.

See now you have cleared the very first stepping stone. Well begun is half done, right? Have a smile on your beautiful lips and head on to Emirates Driving Company (EDC), Mussaffah. To my friends who have a doubt, I clear it out here. Yes, it’s the only place where you can do your lessons for driving in Abu Dhabi.

Theory Classes

At EDC, visit the counter for ladies and fix the schedule for theory classes as the next step. You can opt for regular and fast-track course. Now you have to decide upon if your priority is for time or money. If you are working or have kids waiting for you at home, my suggestion would be to pay a bit extra and finish off the classes ASAP. FastTrack course will be fast track will be 8 hours in a day. Otherwise, you can opt for the regular classes also which will be stretched for over 4 days (2 hrs/day). If you are staying in Abu Dhabi City please do consider the time and cost for transportation also if you opt for regular classes.

Theory Test

Once you finish the theory classes, head on to schedule the Theory Test date at Information Centre / Counters of EDC. Take with you an identification document like Passport or Emirates ID and also the “Drivers Test Appointment” Sheet on the test date.

The Exam is for 30 minutes with 45 multiple choice questions you need to get at least 36 of them correct to pass the test. Believe me, it’s quite easy and you will pass for sure and now you can proceed with internal practical lessons.  If by any chance, if you fail the theory test or couldn’t attend the test on the scheduled date, you have to book again with a small additional fee.

Practical lessons

Now that you have cleared the theory test (hooray!!) book the practical classes by paying a visit to the customer service in EDC itself. Here also there is an option to combine sessions together or to go for regular classes. Depending on your priority schedule this also. These lessons mainly include practical sessions of driving within EDC premises/yards and practice on a simulation machine. Please do concentrate well on the parking classes which will help you for the parking test which is the next step. Please don’t forget to get a refresher parking class (as they call it) on the day before parking test. It will help you a lot for the parking test.

Parking test

My tip for clearing the parking test would be to drive as slowly(very), following the instructions as was taught in the parking classes. And don’t be nervous during the test. This is something which many thousands of ladies like us have already done before.

Once you clear the parking test successfully, cheerfully go and collect the Certificate of passing from EDC. You will be very happy now, that you are one more step closer to your dream of driving through the roads of Abu Dhabi.

Road Test appointment and Road training

Now the real time has arrived. You are going to drive on the busy roads of Mussafah as part of your road training classes with your private driving instructor. For this, you need to find an instructor from outside who is registered with EDC to train you to be the master of driving.  But as an initial step, you need to get a contract/agreement from them. Please, your referrals from your friends based on experience to find a good trainer. Once the contract is made, take the same back to Traffic and Licensing Department in Mussaffah (next building to EDC in the same premises) to get your Temporary Driving card and at the same time itself you can take an appointment for road test also.

(You need to carry the Temporary Driving card with you when you have your private driving lessons.

If you are not an expert driver book for at least 17 to 18 hours (yes it’s worthy). And the hard work and the money you spend on this, will be paid off by clearing the test in the first go.

Road test

On the day of road test, be early and don’t forget to carry the following documents

“Drivers Test Appointment” Sheet

Temporary Driving Card

Emirates ID or passport copy

Certificate of Practical Training issued by the private driving instructor

Road tests are done in Mussafah only, near the EDC area where you normally practice with your trainer. So the roads will be familiar to you. There will be two policemen with you in the car, one seated in front and the other at the back of the car. Drive with confidence and mostly the test will be around 5-7 minutes. Once you finish the test, they will hand over the signed appointment sheet marked PASSED!.It will be one of the happiest moments of your life. Yeah, because it’s a great thing you could do.

Collecting license

After Passing the Road Test, you can collect your license from Traffic and licensing police Dept in Marina Mall or Mussafah (not from EDC as per my personal experience). Pay the fee and collect it. If you don’t want the hazzle of falling in queue, do download MOI app and register your name and details, pay the fee through credit card and license will arrive at your doorsteps within 2 days by courier.

Some tips based on my personal experience

  1. If you can’t rely on anyone to pick and drop off for the classes, book for shuttle bus service provided by EDC to and from Abu Dhabi. But please note that they will drop off in Khalidyah Parking lot only and not at the locations you demand, but still it’s very convenient.
  2. Do try to clear the test in the first go, if not you will be wasting your precious time and hard-earned money.
  3. Please do inform by mail to EDC if you  want to change or cancel your booking for any of the lessons, otherwise, they charge penalty.
  4. Do find a supportive friend/relative to join you for the classes. You can mutually motivate and also share the transportation charges.
  5. On the day of the road test, we will be following the test car in a bus. Do observe vigilantly how the candidates before you performed and get tips from them, so that when it’s your turn, you will know what you have to or don’t have to do.
  6. If you are not comfortable with male trainers, you can opt for female trainers also.

Disclaimer: My write up above is based on my personal experience and rules may vary as per Government Policies. I have deliberately avoided to include fees involved as it’s a Government matter. But if you have any questions please do share and I am very much willing to share the expenses involved in my case. Hope this helps and drive safe!

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Driver's License in Abu Dhabi



Sopna is a Structural Engineer by Profession and mother of a naughty little girl named Nakshatra.. Her passion is for research in Engineering, reading, travelling and mentoring/women leadership programs affiliated with leading International Universities...
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