The validity of new driving licence has been reduced from ten years to two and renewal from ten to five. Several other new rules would pinch the pockets of expats.
Change in the driving license issuing rules in the UAE will adversely affect the budgeting of the expatriate community. Recently the UAE decided to reduce the validity of new driving license from ten to two years. The license renewal validity of expatriates is also reduced from ten years to five years. According to the new amendments in the federal traffic laws, license renewal validity for UAE citizens will remain ten years.
The expat community expressed disappointment on the new change as they will have to shell out more money. “It is really a disappointing news for people like me who belong to the average income group. Even 100 dirham is a big amount for me. But we have to follow the rules, pay the fees whatever it is”, said an expat who prefer to keep anonymity.
Trying for a driving license in the country is already a costly affair as it will cost around AED 5000 (One UAE Dirham is equal to 17.50 Indian Rupees as of today) even if you pass in first test itself. If you fail in a test you should attend eight classes before attending the next test, which will cost around 1100 dirham more.
Hike in certain fees and introducing new fees for some other services has already affected the expats here. The vehicle insurance premium was increased by about 30% recently, school fee, school bus fee, vehicle parking fee (before a year) are few of the services which got hiked in the recent past.
A number of other changes were also introduced as part of the federal traffic rule amendment. For license renewal, the expatriate should have a valid residence visa. The licensing authority will co-ordinate with health agencies to provide reports on people who have serious illnesses which affect their ability to drive.
The law also rules out the use of motor cycles or three wheelers without proper registration and license. The drivers of public transport vehicles and school buses should only stop at the authorized places for passengers to get in and disembark. All other vehicles should stop at a minimum distance of five meters when the side arms of these vehicles are open. Child seats for children under the age of four are made mandatory and can allow children over the age of 10 or above 145 cm height to sit in the front passenger seat.
Vehicles should be driven only at an upper speed limit of 40km/h in residential areas, near educational institutions and hospitals.