How to transfer vehicle ownership

dubai number plate

If you’re buying/selling a vehicle in the UAE, you’ll need to have the vehicle ownership transferred in your name. If this is not done and you are caught by the police, you will have to pay a fine of AED 3,000.

If you’re leaving the country and you are giving your car to a friend or family member, vehicle ownership will also have to be transferred. Not doing so will result in a fine as well even if it is your mother or best friend.

Here are a few things to make a note of:

  • The buyer must be a resident of the UAE.
  • Any outstanding fines must be paid off.
  • Any car loans (mortgages) must be paid off or transferred to the new owner.
  • The insurance policy must be terminated or transferred to the buyer. If the insurance policy has expired, the buyer must purchase an insurance plan.  

The RTA in Dubai has an application available on iOS and Android. Via the app, users can sign in and check the status of their vehicle, fines (you can even pay them via the app), what insurance company insures your vehicle and car loan (mortgage) status.

Number plates can be retained by the new owner. If the previous owner wants to keep them, they can but will have to purchase an owners certificate from the RTA.

If the previous owner decides to keep the plates, new ones will be issued using the current code (Letter followed by one to five digits)

And yes, you can own a number plate without actually owning a vehicle, although an oddity this happens quite a bit.

What documents are required?

The new owner will need to bring the following:

  • UAE driving licence (original and copy)
  • Insurance certificate (original)  
  • Passport with valid residence visa (original and copy)
  • Emirates ID (original)

All of the documents must be valid. Any that are not updated or expired will be rejected.

The new owner will also need to pay a 400 AED transfer fee for light vehicles. A knowledge/innovation fee is usually applied at AED 20.

The current owner will need to bring the following:

  • Vehicle registration card (original) (also called mulkiya)
  • Emirates ID (original)
  • Passport with residence visa (copies are said to be accepted, although we recommend you bring the original too.)
  • Confirmation of final loan payment or transfer of loan from the bank or finance company if there is a car loan.

How to transfer vehicle ownership

Transferring vehicle ownership to any party must be done either at the Dubai Traffic Police HQ or an RTA licensing centre, both parties (current owner and new owner) must be present.

Once you’ve arrived, head over to the typing centre to have a vehicle permit application form filled out for the new owner.

All filled out? You’ll need to submit all documents including the vehicle permit application at the registration desk. A check for outstanding fines will be checked; if there are any, they must be paid off by the seller before vehicle ownership can be transferred.

Once given the all clear, the new owner must pay the transfer fees. The new registration card (mulkiya) will be printed with the new owner’s name printed on it which usually takes a few minutes.

Now that the card has been printed with the owner’s new name, a copy must be sent by the previous owner to the insurance company and the finance company to confirm the vehicle has been sold.

Note to previous owners/sellers – keep a copy of the new registration card to prove the vehicle has been officially sold/transferred as you may need it for a refund on your insurance policy.

Need to buy a vehicle? has new and used cars for sale in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ajman.


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