Registering a Foreign Vehicle in Dubai

Importing a car from abroad? Find out how to register it with the Dubai authorities...

Owing to tax savings, buying a car in Dubai is cheaper than in many other countries, and many people choose to purchase a car in Dubai rather than import their own.

All imported cars, including vehicles from other emirates, need to be registered if they are to be driven in Dubai. Car registration in Dubai must be renewed annually.

Importing a Foreign Car

On arrival in Dubai, vehicles go through customs clearance. Owners must be present when the customs authorities inspect any belongings which are being imported. Individuals may only import a vehicle for personal use, and not for resale.

  • A list of all the required documents for the import of a new or used car can be found on the Dubai customs website: Click here

The vehicle must then be towed to the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) offices situated behind the Dubai Police Headquarters in Al Qusais to start the registration process. The RTA issues the driver with temporary export plates.

An import fee is payable based on an estimated value for the vehicle. It is charged at a rate of approximately five percent of the Dubai market value of the car on arrival.

Vehicle Testing

The next step is to take the vehicle for a mandatory inspection prior to registration.

In Dubai, vehicle testing can be completed at certain RTA Customer Centres or at one of three RTA-trusted organisations that offer this service at branches throughout Dubai:

The following documents are required:

  • Passport (with copy)
  • Customs clearance/import documents
  • Fee (differs according to the vehicle type)
  • Proof of insurance

Registering the Vehicle

The vehicle can be registered once it has passed inspection. However, the vehicle's owner must have a valid Dubai driving licence and a residence visa.

To register a vehicle, the authorities will ask for the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of purchase
  • Blue export plates
  • Customs clearance papers
  • Original Dubai driving licence (plus a copy) or an original passport (and a copy)
  • Residence visa and proof of residency (for example, a utility bill or rental contract)
  • Roadworthiness test certificate

Once the vehicle has been registered, the person receives the registration card, which needs to be carried in the car at all times. They will also be given licence plates for the vehicle.

Further Information