Wednesday, October 17, 2012

how to get a driving license in abu dhabi

UPDATED: 1st March 2013

Obtaining a driving license in the UAE can be pretty expensive and time-consuming, so before I took the plunge, I googled the net (from AD government website to various helpful bloggers) on how to get a driving license in Abu Dhabi. Nimo’s blog is particularly helpful. I enrolled for Automatic Light Vehicle driving license, hence, this will be focused on this category.
STEPS IN OBTAINING DRIVING LICENSE FOR FIRST-TIME DRIVERS:
·     Open a driving license file which, for ladies, can be done either at Abu Dhabi Traffic Police Licensing Department in Muroor (Tel # 02 419 5555) or at Emirates Driving Company (EDC) in Mussafah. For men, this can only be done at the EDC-Mussafah.
·     Attend theory classes at EDC and pass the exam
·     Undergo internal training after passing the theory exam. First-time drivers should book with EDC for internal training and then road training at any private driving institute in Abu Dhabi
·     Take the driving test
·     Apply for new driving license

OPENING A DRIVING LICENSE FILE FOR FIRST-TIME DRIVERS:
Documents required:
1.        Valid copy of passport information page
2.        Valid copy of UAE residency visa page
3.        Original Eye Test result
4.        2 passport size photo
5.        Original NOC from your company (should be in Arabic and can be obtained from your HR)
6.        Original Emirates ID card - to be presented only to the Information Officer
Fees:
Opening a driving license file
100
Eye Test
25
Total
125


Process:
1.   Go to Drivers Licensing Department in Muroor. They are open from Sunday to Thursday, 7.30 am to 8 pm.
2.   Go directly to the Information Desk, which is on the back of the coffee shop as you enter. Present all your documents to the Officer. After verification, he will then give you a token number for your eye test.
3.    After your eye test, the optician will give you another token number. Proceed to the waiting area.
4.   Once your number is called, submit all the documents and pay the fees
4.   A Drivers Test Appointment (which you have to keep until you have the Driving License) will then be given. This Drivers Test Appointment will be submitted to EDC once you open you book for your theory classes

OPENING OF THEORITICAL TRAINING FILE
After you have opened your driving license file, you can now proceed to EDC – Mussafah and book for your theory classes.
Documents Required:
1.        2 colored photos
2.        Valid copy of passport information page
3.        Valid copy of UAE residency visa page
4.        Copy of the Drivers Test Appointment
5.        Duly filled Application Form
Fees:
Light vehicle theory courses
780

Theory Test
50

Intensive theory booking service
100
*

930

* optional




According to the EDC website, there are eight lessons each taught over a two-hour training. Nimo mentioned that the number of theory classes varies depending on the profession mentioned in your residency visa. Regular classes will be for four days and if you pay AED 100, your classes will be shortened to 2 days. According to the customer service agent, you can opt to pay AED 300 extra and you can take all 8 classes in 1 day. This would be especially favorable for those who have Saturdays off. The 1-day course is for certain professionals working as Engineers, Architects and Managers.

For me, I paid the extra AED 100 and I will have four classes per day. Each class will be for 1 hour and 10 minutes with 5 minutes interval. If you want to change/cancel your booking you can email booking@edcad.ae.

THEORY TEST
Once you have completed the required theory lessons, you can then schedule for the Theory Test date. Bring with you any form of identification and the Drivers Test Appointment sheet. Exams will be for 30 minutes with 45 multiple choice questions and 36 above as the passing score. If you fail the test or you are late for over 10 minutes, you have to book again and pay another AED 50. If you pass, you can proceed with internal practical lessons.  
INTERNAL PRACTICAL TRAINING
Documents Required:
  1. Result of your Theory Test
  2. Copy of Drivers Test Appointment
  3. Result of your Practical Education Program (PEP) test, if you opted to take the PEP test. (PEP test are for those who know or have experience in driving but do not have a driver's license in any country). You have to pay AED 50 to book for the test and two EDC examiners will determine from what stage/course you will start your internal training. For those who do not have any driving experience, you can proceed with booking for the Beginner's Course. 
Fees:
  • Beginner's Practical Course                           2,250*
  • Intermediate Practical Course                      1,750*
  • Upper Intermediate Practical Course            1,450*
  • Advance Practical Course                                650*
  • Parking, reverse and bridge test                       50
  • Additional practical course                               50
  • Intensive practical course booking service       200
* depending on the result of your PEP test

Conditions:
·       Training should be completed within 1 year from the date of payment
·       Trainee can have intensive practical booking up to 4 classes per day for a fee of AED 200
Beginners will have 32 practical lessons. Intermediate will have 26, Upper Intermediate 20 while Advanced will have 8. Practical training class duration is 35 minutes. There are five lessons conducted in EDC’s driving yard, given in two sets, lessons 1-3 (which will take 1 week to complete) and lessons 4-5 (which will take 10 days). The length of the course varies depending on the course you are enrolled to and your skills in driving.
As per my PEP test, I am in intermediate level and will start my training in Area 2. I paid AED 1,800 for the Intermediate Course including the AED 50 parking test. I also paid AED 200 for the intensive practical course and AED 100 for the bus service. I made my booking on 22nd Nov and my classes would start after a little over three weeks. I will have four classes in a day for four consecutive days, although my confirmed booking is for three days only. The customer agent said that I have to go back to confirm my 4th day booking.

An assessment test will be done in Area 4 and if the EDC examiner is satisfied with your driving, he will give you a certificate to proceed to Area 5.
I read in one blog that it would be wiser to take the intensive practical course so that you can expedite the completion of your sessions. Instead of, say, the regular 16 days, you can book for 4 classes per day so you can complete your classes in 8 days.

PRACTICAL TESTS
Once you have completed all your practical training courses, you have to complete two practical tests – Parking Test and the Police Road Test.
Nimo mentioned that you can opt for a refresher classes for lesson 3 where your parking test will based. My experience was that EDC booked me with a refresher in Area 3 (for parking) prior to giving me the parking test date.

After you pass the parking test, EDC will give you a certificate indicating that you have completed satisfactorily the program for light vehicles. Once you receive your EDC certificate, you need to arrange/enroll for lessons from private driving schools so the Traffic Police will book your road test appointment. The contract/agreement with the private driving school needs to be presented to the Traffic Police before they will book for your road test.

The training courses with EDC is within its own yard only, hence, you need to contact an outside driving instructor so you can learn and experience driving in actual and busy roads. The cars used for private lessons will be the same cars used in the police road test. You can ask your friends for referrals but if you don’t know anyone, one blogger said that you can find them at the back of Carrefour Airport Road. For me, I paid AED 750 for 10 classes spread over 5 days with 1.5 hours per day.
 
POLICE ROAD TEST
DRIVING TEST APPOINTMENT
Documents required:
1.        Original Drivers Test Appointment
2.        Original Emirates ID
3.        Original Contract/Agreement with the private driving institute
After the above documents are submitted, the Traffic Police will issue your Drivers Test Appointment sheet where the road test date will be indicated and a Temporary Driving Card, which you need to carry with you when you have your private driving lessons.

You can take the road test earlier than your schedule by paying AED 50 but you have to personally go to the Muroor office.

ROAD TEST
Documents Required:
1.        Copy of the Drivers Test Appointment
2.        Temporary Driving Card
3.        Emirates ID or passport copy
4.      Certificate of Practical Training issued by the private driving instructor - I understand that this is a recent requirement and will only be issued by your instructor if he/she feels that you can pass the road test. My instructor told before I signed the agreement that if she feels that I am not ready for the road test, she will not issue me with the certificate, which is fair enough for me.
Fees:
License
200

Road Test
40

Total
240



Road tests are done in Mussafah, near the EDC area. There will be two policemen with you, one seated in front and the other at the back of the car. If you fail, they will return to you the Temporary Driving Card. If you pass, they will hand over the signed appointment sheet marked PASSED.

I had my road test last 21 Feb and luckily I passed on my first try. We were in a coaster bus following the examinee's vehicle. In my opinion, it is good to observe closely how the examinee's before you fared so that when it's your turn, you will know what you have to or don't have to do. 
 
Once you pass, you can go back to EDC submit your appointment sheet and pay the fees. They will then take your photo and give you your UAE Driving License.
 TIP:
  •  Make sure that the driving instructor name indicated in your contract and certificate matches, otherwise the Police will ask you to provide a new contract to match with what is in the certificate. I almost did not make it to my road test schedule because of the discrepancy in the names, but thankfully, our test started almost 3 hours after my schedule.
  • One blogger said that if you are living in Abu Dhabi City, EDC has a shuttle costing AED 100 good for 6 days and has routes of Etisalat Airport Road – EDC Mussafah – Etisalat Airport Road. You can register for the bus service in EDC when you enroll for your Theory Lessons.

I am really grateful to all the bloggers who took the time to share their experience. Don't get me wrong, the governement websites are informative but at times it is confusing and contrary to what other bloggers experienced.

7 comments:

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