Ho-ho! It is that time of the year when you get the SMS from Abu Dhabi Traffic Police reminding you that your car registration is expiring soon. Usually, you will get this reminder a week before the expiry date. ‘My month’ is every October. I like that every year the renewal process gets more efficient. How is it done exactly?
1. Pay your fines. I did not have any this year. Yay! That meant I saved on insurance cost. I remember how much I suffered for my stupidity of beating the red light two years ago. Payment of fines can be made online or through the Abu Dhabi Traffic Police Office in Muroor Road. (By the way, ‘muroor’ is the Arabic terminology for ‘traffic’.)
I suggest that you periodically check online if you have fines. Supposedly, the registered car owner receives an SMS from Abu Dhabi Traffic Police for a traffic violation committed. But what if you did not get the message, by any chance, particularly for those violations which were captured through the camera? Checking your fines online gives you the benefit of reporting to the Abu Dhabi Traffic Police the erroneous fines, if any, and/or availing of the discount if you pay the fine early or within a certain duration. (This depends on the nature of violation.) Some drivers do not bother to check theirs and just do this in time with the registration renewal. What a way to surprise one’s self.
2. Get a car insurance. I suggest that you ‘window shop’ first to get the most reasonable deal (note: maybe not the best deal, but you know best what you really need). You can get quotes online, e.g. through MoveSouq (not a sponsored post). Of course, the existence of and nature of fines (see step 1) will significantly affect the cost.
Good news! As you queue for the car inspection, you may pay at the kiosk at the same area. Apparently, this added efficiency was introduced in August 2016. Quite convenient. After paying, keep the receipt as you will need it when collecting the result of the vehicle test later.
3. Have your car inspected by a designated testing center. You may skip this step if your car has not celebrated its 2nd birthday yet.
You may wait inside an enclosed air-conditioned area or outside, like those guys. Ultimately, you would need to collect your car after the test. You would know it since the progress of testing is visible from the waiting area. You would need to show your existing car registration card to collect your car. I waited for 15 minutes only to get this step done. It really depends on how many cars are being inspected. But they have added several testing centers, hence, there would be no room for impatience.
So far my car’s test results were always favorable. I always ensure that my periodic maintenance by the service center is near to and precedes my car registration renewal. There are those who get the shock of their lives when theirs would need to have a re-inspection, i.e. after replacing majority of the tires, if not all, and other repairs.
4. Go to the machine for the final step (e-services). I find this so cool, it only takes a couple of minutes.
You insert your Emirates ID (i.e. every resident of the UAE must have an Emirates ID, its issuance and expiry coincide with the residence visa), then the machine checks from the database if you have complied with the prerequisites (i.e. no unpaid fines, with car insurance). You will be prompted to pay (through a debit or credit card only) and voila! Your brand new registration card for your car and sticker will swim out of the machine to beamingly kiss your hands.
- Steps 1 to 4 are my suggested sequence based on reasonableness. You may interchange steps 1, 2 and 3. However, it would be unwise to go straight to step 4 since the moment you insert your Emirates ID to the machine will read/ track your outstanding obligations. I have witnessed how some tried to sort of get away with paying fines. There is no escaping since the machine will prompt you to do all pre-requisites (by the way, in the same machine there is an option to pay the fine) and/or contact the Customer Service if there are pressing concerns.
- Gone are the days when we had to be very mindful of the office hours of the Traffic and Licensing Department such that we had to do everything at the same day. With the availability of e-services, you may do step 4/ final step even in the malls/ anywhere that has this machine, at your own convenience.
- The car owner does not need to personally appear in performing steps 1 to 4. The representative would just need to bring with him/her the car owner’s original driver’s license and car registration card.
- Total fixed cost of renewing the car registration is AED225 (i.e. vehicle test/inspection fee, car registration card, sticker). See receipts above for reference. Variable cost will include payment for fines, car insurance and penalty fee of AED 10 per month of late renewal of the car registration (and fine from the police of course, if they randomly catch you driving the car with expired registration). Learn to play with the variables. Avoid the unnecessary/ evil cost.
- Here is how to renew your car registration in case you have not renewed it for more than a year.
- While you do not really have to renew the car registration at the Traffic and Licensing Department, here is their contact details in case the need arises: they are behind Mushrif Mall 2nd and 27 streets. Customer service hotline: 8005000.
- Here is how to renew the car registration in Dubai.
- In the UAE, car registration and driver’s license (accepted as international license) is valid for 1 year and 10 years, respectively.