A vehicle is a necessity as cities tend to be spread out with residential areas set away from schools and shops. Driving is on the right hand side of the road. It can be erratic at times. Try to avoid the rush to Dubai in the mornings, from 7 am - 8.30 am and back, between 6 pm - 8 PM Look out for camels, particularly on highways at night.
Third party insurance is compulsory. The penalty for drinking and driving is severe.
Ladies should always use the Ladies Section at the police station, which tends to speed up the procedure and affords you comfort and privacy. All payments for licenses, fines etc. must be made in cash.
Whenever you drive, you must carry your license and registration document. GCC nationals may drive on their respective licenses within the UAE. Other nationalities see below. Forms must be completed in Arabic. There are typist shops located within the compound walls of the various traffic departments. Typing costs are around Dhs 5 - 10 per form.
Licenses (full and temporary) are issued at the Traffic Police Headquarters (Murrur) in Abu Tina, (Tel : +971 (6) 5541111). You can only obtain a full driving license, valid for 10 years, if you have a valid Sharjah residence visa. If you are a visitor on a visit visa you can obtain a temporary driving license provided you hold a valid license from a recognized country (see below). This is valid for one month and is renewable for a further two months.
It is not necessary to take a driving test to obtain a license if you hold a valid license from one of the following countries:
EC, USA, Japan, Korea, Ireland, Turkey, Iran, Norway or Czech Republic.
Document For A Full Licence
Available for visitors from the countries mentioned above only. Other nationalities - refer to International Driving Permits below.
1. A no objection letter from your sponsor in Arabic.
2. Your passport.
3. A photocopy of the visa page.
4. Two photographs
Cost: Dhs 30 per month.
Take all the necessary documents and cash to the Traffic Police.
International Driving Permit.
Valid for one year and issued by the Automobile & Touring Club for the United Arab Emirates (Tel : +971 (6) 5523183). The office is located in Al Arouba Street, 1st floor of the Bank of Cairo Building.
You need 2 photographs and a copy of your driving license plus Dhs 100. The whole procedure takes 5 minutes. Visitors other than European, Scandinavian, American, Canadian and Japanese can drive a rented vehicle, provided they hold an International Driving License, issued by their home country. Residents must hold a valid UAE license to rent a vehicle.
For registration of a new vehicle go to the Traffic Police Headquarters in Abu Tina. For a renewal, go to the Traffic Department in Wasit. You must hold a valid residence visa for Sharjah and a valid UAE driving License. Every vehicle must have a fire extinguisher with a validity paper. After registration, you receive a laminated document which must be kept in the vehicle at all times.
Documents For A New Vehicle
1. Letter in Arabic from the dealer to traffic department with all of the car particulars and the name of the buyer.
2. Car registration application form, available at the traffic police, to be typed in Arabic.
3. Passport copy.
4. Driving License copy.
5. One photograph.
6. Insurance valid for one year.
7. No objection letter from your sponsor.
Procedure For A New Vehicle
Take the application form and documents to the registration counter in the main building. Fee is to be paid to the cashier. Back to the Counter where you are given a slip to obtain the number plates. Collect number plates from another building in the main compound. Return in half an hour to collect the laminated registration book from the main building.
Cost : Variable, depending on the model and make of vehicle.
Car Registration Renewal
Registration renewal to be done at the Traffic Department by Wasit Roundabout Any police tickets (speeding and other traffic violations) have to be paid before the renewal process starts. The police will advise you there and then.
Document For Renewal
1. Car Insurance certificate valid for a full year.
2. Copy of passport.
3. Registration document.
As you proceed you will collect the following documents:
1. Renewal form typed in Arabic
2. Inspection certificate.
3. Renewal of fire extinguisher, valid for a full year.
The car is first inspected at the testing center. Any faults must be rectified before proceeding. All documents are taken to the counter. The fee is paid and the registration issued for one year.
Cost : Up to Dhs 305 plus traffic fines! The cost is related to the size of the vehicle.
Ownership Transferal And Sale Of Vehicle
Traffic Police Headquarters, Abu Tina.
1. Application form completed in Arabic to be signed by the person selling the car.
2. Insurance paper.
3. Driving License or ID.
4. Number plates.
5. Registration Document.
6. Inspection certificate (not necessary if the transfer is within the UAE).
7. 'Malkiya'- ownership document.
Forms and documents to the transfer counter. Fee paid to cashier. If buying, the procedure is as per a new registration.
Traffic Department, Wasit Roundabout. You need to open a file here with :
1. A no objection letter from your sponsor.
2. A copy of your passport (and take along the original).
3. Blood group and eye test certificates.
A date for the test is given and a paper which must be taken to Nasseriya Driving School. Here you pay a fee of Dhs 250 to attend lectures in English or Arabic. An oral test is given, and once you pass, you then apply for driving lessons. These can be taken through the private schools or the Government's Driving Institute. Once completed you wait for your test date.
The speed limit in and around built up areas is 60 kph. On highways, cars may drive up to 100 kph, heavy vehicles up to 80 kph. Many areas are controlled by stationary and mobile radar. The fine in Sharjah Emirate is Dhs 200 each time you are caught speeding.
Accidents And Breakdowns
In the event of either of the above you can contact the Anjad (The Special Branch of the Traffic Police) on +971 (6) 5512222. The Anjad patrol the streets to assist the public in all traffic related and security matters. Do not move any vehicles involved in an accident until a report has been made and permission is given by the police. All accidents, no matter how small, must be reported to the police. No repairs can be made without a police report. It is customary to obtain two quotations for repairs. If your car has broken down and obstructs the free flow of the traffic, do your best to move the vehicle to the side of the road, out of the way.
For more information, please visit the Sharjah Traffic Department's own web site here.
DRIVE CAREFULLY WITH DUE CARE AND ATTENTION TO OTHERS