Here’s what’s up with the new rules on UAE driving licences


If you’ve just got your UAE driving licence, then you will have to go through the renewal process sooner than expected.

According to a ministerial decree issued by His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, expats must now renew a new driving licence after only two years of driving. The licence will then be valid for five years, unlike the original 10 years that was previously given to expat drivers.

No need to worry if you already have a 10-year licence, though; you are exempt from the new law – for now. When it’s time for your renewal, you will then be given a five-year licence.

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The amending of the executive regulations of Federal Law No. 21 of 1995 will hopefully increase the safety on the roads and introduce stricter traffic laws.

The law also states that if you drive an electric scooter or quad bike, then you must stick to the desert and make sure you have the proper licence and permits to drive the vehicle.

Also, drivers need to be aware of the stricter rules when it comes to re-applying for a driver’s licence. The Roads and Traffic Authority, RTA, now has access to the medical histories and doctor’s notes of drivers to ensure that they don’t suffer from any debilitating illnesses that could hinder their driving.

Such illnesses like Diabetes-Type 1, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, kidney failure and cardiac problems may result in sufferers having  their licence suspended or cancelled. There will be new requirements for the medical fitness of elderly drivers by subjecting them to medical testing every three years when reaching 60 and every two years when they reach 70 and above.

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And don’t forget the importance of wearing a seatbelt while travelling in a car. By July 1 this year, it will become compulsory for all passengers in the car to stay buckled up. If they are found breaking the law, they will be fined AED 400 and receive four black points on their licence for failing to ensure that all adults and children in the car are safe.

The stricter regulations will hopefully reduce traffic accidents caused by drivers that pose a threat to others on the road.

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