Getting your driving licence in the UAE during coronavirus restrictions: changes to expect

Driving institutes have re-opened, albeit with limited capacity. Here are some of the changes students can expect to find

Driving institutes in the region have introduced new rules to keep students and examiners safe. Courtesy of Unsplash
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Can you still apply for your driving license in the UAE, doing all the lessons and tests?

Yes you can, but expect some changes.

UAE residents who put their driving ambitions on hold due to the pandemic can start to rev up: after a month’s hiatus that started towards the end of March, driving institutes across the country started reopening in May, albeit with limited capacity.

Emirates Driving Institute, which has 40 branches, including in Hatta and Ajman, closed on March 27, but resumed operations last month at 50 per cent capacity. The institute now disinfects and sanitises training cars, motorcycles and heavy vehicles. Also, barriers have been installed at each customer service desk to maintain distance between customers and staff.

The EDI group of companies also consists of Sharjah Driving Institute (SDI) and Fujairah National Driving Institute (FNDI), both of which are open to students.

Meanwhile, Belhasa Driving Centre, which has branches in Dubai, has also resumed operations, with driving classes and tests ongoing.

While the step-by-step process to get a license remains the same, the organisation has put several precautionary measures in place to keep students and staff safe, including only one student taking the test at a time (it was previously three in a car with the examiner during a test). Face masks are a must and training vehicles are sanitised after every use.

Dubai’s Galadari Motor Driving Centre which reopened in May, says that customers in the facility should not exceed 30 per cent of the building's capacity.

Here’s a look at some of the new rules driving institutes have implemented.

  • All visitors and staff must wear face masks at all times. Training and tests will not be conducted without all the people involved wearing face masks.
  • Students are advised to attend theory lectures on the online student portal instead of classroom lectures.
  • Staff and students must enter through separate entry and exit doors and get their body temperature checked through a contactless thermal scanner or digital devices.
  • Sanitiser dispensers have been installed across premises.
  • Use of credit card/debit card/e-payment/smart payment channels are recommended for transactions (cash payment is temporarily not allowed).
  • Students are advised to check official SMS and social media announcements before visiting or booking an appointment.
  • Children aged between three to 12 years old and those over 60 are not permitted to enter the facilities.
  • Each assessment test vehicle will accommodate only one student for each testing appointment.
  • Staff and students have been asked to maintain two metres distance at all times.
  • Night training is stopped until further notice.
  • Cafeteria facilities are temporarily closed.