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.
OPENING A DRIVING LICENSE FILE FOR FIRST-TIME DRIVERS:
Opening a driving license file
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.
OPENING OF THEORITICAL TRAINING FILE
Light vehicle theory courses
Intensive theory booking service
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Result of your Theory Test
- Copy of Drivers Test Appointment
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
You can take the road test earlier than your schedule by paying AED 50 but you have to personally go to the Muroor office.
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.
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.
- 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.