If you are planning a vacation abroad, an international driving licence (IDL) is your ticket to taking road trips in your destination country. You can get the international permit issued in the UAE if you hold a valid driving licence here.
According to the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), the IDL is an “internationally recognised translation of … a driving licence which allows motorists to drive their vehicles outside of the UAE legally, without the need for further tests and applications”.
Recognised all over the world, the IDL is valid for one year. “The primary function of the IDL is to allow law enforcement and other authorities in other countries to read your licence in their own language,” the ATCUAE says on its website.
IDL holders can use it in more than one country as long as it’s valid.
According to the ATCUAE, residents can get the IDL in under 30 minutes if they go in person to the club’s offices or Emirates Post Offices across the UAE. You can also apply online, but "allow for five workings days for all online applications to be delivered to your requested address".
Dubai residents can apply for the IDL in five minutes on the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) website.
The RTA website specifies Dh177 as the cost of issuing an IDL in Dubai, in addition to Dh20 in knowledge and innovation fees.
“The customer must receive the original international driving licence to be able to drive, as the digital licence is not accepted internationally,” the RTA says.
You can collect the licence from the customer happiness centres in Deira or Al Barsha.
In Dubai, if you want the IDL delivered to you, it will cost you Dh20 for normal delivery. If you want it delivered on the same day, the fee is Dh35. Delivery within two hours will cost Dh50.
Can IDL holders drive in Dubai?
Yes, those on a visit visa holding an IDL can drive a light vehicle or a motorcycle in Dubai, according to the RTA.
Transit visa holders can drive a vehicle registered in Dubai if they have a valid IDL and “approval from the insurance company.”
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