Dubai Number Plates Guide

Dubai Number Plate

You have purchased a new vehicle to drive around the streets of Dubai! But have you got it registered and obtained a number plate yet?

If not, then it’s advisable that you do it at the earliest to save yourself from the watchful eyes of the traffic police, as well as to give your brand new car a unique identity among the hordes of other vehicles around.

If you have recently bought a vehicle in the Dubai, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you knowing about car number plates;

  • How to get it registered and acquire a number plate.
  • How to participate in an auction for number plates.
  • How to apply for buying a distinguished number plate in Dubai.

Plus a few other things that might just add to your knowledge.

When you buy a new car, the dealer would normally obtain the car’s registration for you. But you can do it yourself.

Prior to purchase, however, you must hold a valid UAE driver’s licence along with insurance. Vehicle insurance is compulsory in the UAE, with generally nominal insurance rates, normally around 4% of your car’s value.

Registering a New Car

All new cars need to be registered with RTA before being legally driven on the road. You may not need to do it on your own as dealers generally do it for you.

Registering a Used Car

Both buyer and seller must be present at the time of used car registration, and following documents are needed. Documents Required

  1. Passport (original + copy) or Dubai driving license (original).
  2. Insurance Policy (you may be able to transfer the old policy; if not, get a new one).
  3. If the car is financed through a bank, take the proper documents, including ‘No Objection Letter’, if applicable.
  4. Old registration card (if the registration is expired, the car should be tested at the Traffic Department or at Tasjeel Eppco or Emarat Shamil or Wasel Car Testing).
  5. Original license plates.


  1. Visit to Dubai Traffic Department or to Tasjeel Eppco or Emarat Shamil or Wasel Car Testing.
  2. Fill in the form and pay the fees.
  3. Pay the fines (if any) by the seller; the officer will examine and verify it.
  4. Wait for your name to be called out and collect your new registration card, valid for one year.
  5. Get new plates fitted to the vehicle.
  6. Send copies of registration card to your finance & insurance company.

Fees: Car Test = Dhs 50 Registration = Dhs 420 (short number plates) & Dhs 470 (long number plates)

For information about new plates in Dubai, click here.

Buying a Distinguished Vehicle Plate Number in Dubai

If you want to get hold of a distinguished number plate for your vehicle, you can get it through various RTA service centres and trusted agents. All individual and corporate customers can avail this service through the Vehicle Licensing Department at the Licensing Agency. If you are a local or resident, you need to show your UAE ID, whereas a valid visa is also required for residents. You can buy a distinguished license plate if you hold a valid traffic file in Dubai, even if your visa is of another emirate. If you already own a number and have lost it due to some reason, then there is no need to get a replacement of the lost certificate for registration purposes. On the other hand, if you do not have a valid traffic file in Dubai, you should meet any one of the following criterion in order to open a file and go ahead with the entire process:-

  • Have a tenancy contract/deed in Dubai.
  • Be an investor in Dubai.
  • Be an employee of a company that has at least one branch in Dubai.
  • Own a distinguished number plate prior to 2007.

The service fees are as follows:- Certificate issue fees: +AED 500/- Knowledge dirham fees: +AED 100/- Knowledge fees: +AED 10/-

Allocating a Distinguished Number Plate

Through customer service of RTA, you can allocate a distinguished number plate. If you are a local or resident, you need to show your UAE ID, as well as a valid visa in case of residency. All the other requirements are same as for buying a distinguished number plate. The fee structure is also the same.

Changing the Number Plate

The Vehicle Licensing Department offers Dubai residents, nationals, individual and corporate customers the service through which they can get their number plates changed. For this, you are required to submit several documents, which include:-

  • Your registration card.
  • Copy of the trade licence.
  • Approved letter issued by the company.
  • Legal representative or attendance of the party in question.
  • Plate number – If you have lost your number plate, then you have to submit the report issued by Dubai police.

Normally, the fee for a change of number plate is AED 120, however, it varies according to the size of number plate you require. For shorter plates, the fee is AED 25, while for long plates it is AED 35. If you want a rear plate sticker along with the number plate, then you have to pay an additional fee of AED 10.

Renewing the Reservation of a Plate Number

Through this service, you can apply for retention renewal of a number, for either 3 months, 6 months, or one year. As with the other services, this one is also provided by the Vehicle Licensing Department, and you can avail it if you are a corporate /individual customer, a national, or resident of Dubai. For this service, you would not need any specific documents, and the fees are AED 20 for 3 months, AED 40 for 6 months, while AED 90 for a year. After depositing your fee, you will simply receive vehicle plate number ownership certificate.

Participating in an Auction for Plate Numbers

As a corporate/individual customer, national or resident of Dubai, you could also take part in an auction for plate numbers. Again, the service is provided by the Vehicle Licensing Department, Licensing Agency, and you need to be personally present in the Hall Auction, or send one of your legal representatives for the auction. You can also apply for this service online at the RTA website. The only document required for the plate numbers’ auction is Manager’s Cheque. The service fees vary, depending on the type of auction taking place, which are as follows:-

  • Electronic Auction: AED 5000, plus a registration fee of AED 110.
  • Hall Auction: AED 25,000, plus AED 110 registration fee.
  • Package Auction: Registration fee of AED 110; this option is available only for authorized number dealers.

If you win the auction, you need to get in touch with the customer service department inside 10 working days – starting from the winning date. The number value should be paid via a manager cheque, with AED 110 added for each number. If the number value does not exceed AED 50,000, then the payment can be made in cash. If, however, you fail to make the payment within the specified time frame, your number will not only be confiscated, but you will also be blacklisted and not allowed to participate in another action for an entire year after enrolling in the list. Apart from that, you as a customer will also be denied all the services related to number plates, except for the transfer of vehicle ownership.

Issuing a Replacement Plate Number in Case of Lost/Damaged One

If you have lost or damaged your vehicle’s number plate, you can get a replacement through the Vehicle Licensing Department, Licensing Agency. For the short plate, the fee is AED 25, while the long plate requires a nominal fee of AED 35. In case you want a sticker for the rear plate, you need to pay an additional fee of AED 10. The documents required for application include:-

  • Approved formal letter issued by the company, attached with the trade licence of the company.
  • Damaged number plates of the vehicle.
  • Vehicle registration card.
  • In case you lost both the number plates, you need to submit Dubai Police Report along with the rest of the documents, and different number plates will be issued to you afterwards.

Service Tips

As a customer, any information you provide to the RTA for a particular service or transaction will remain confidential and strictly used for the purpose at hand. If you make electronic payments, they will be first verified by the ePay gateway of Dubai eGovernment. Lastly, be very prudent when providing the concerned authority with your personal information, because any misleading or fraudulent information will result in prosecution under the UAE law.

For Further Queries Call at 8009090 or 0097142065555. You can also send and email to [email protected]

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