Many of us have come across occasions when we wanted to buy a second-hand car or sell our old car and did not know how to go about the registration transfer procedure. Here is a practical guide that will help you get this done smoothly.

1) Clear all traffic and Salik fines: you will not be able to complete the registration transfer procedure until there are no pending fines associated to the car plate number.
Fines can be cleared on-line or at any Dubai police station.

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2) Get the right papers: to avoid yourself tedious trips back and forth to registration centres, make sure you have all the necessary documents. The must-have documents are: identification documents (EID or passport and driver’s license) of both the buyer and seller, new car insurance contract in the name of the buyer , and the car’s current registration card.

3) Bank clearance documents: if the car was under mortgage, the previous owner must either clear the loan and get a release letter (now also sent by sms) from the bank, or, a no-objection letter from the bank if the seller transfers the loan to the buyer.

4) Car test: have the car tested at the registration centre so you can get a “pass” report. It should take less than 30 minutes and costs usually less than AED150 in Dubai. Physical number plates must also be removed from the car and handed over at the registration counter.

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5) New registration: the buyer will then register the car under his name at the counter and get a new registration card and new number plates for the car. The cost for registration is usually less than AED400 in Dubai.

If the buyer and seller are from two different emirates, the procedure may differ in some points. Currently there are two traffic systems running in the UAE. One is the Federal system which is followed by all the emirates and the other one is the independent system followed in Dubai.

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If you would like to transfer your car registration between emirates, the car will first be de-registered from one emirate and marked as “for export” to another emirate. You can then register the car under your name in the emirate where you live in, following the points 4) and 5) above.

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If transferring a car from Dubai to another emirate, you will not be able to drive the car yourself since its plates will be removed and export plates are not provided by Dubai RTA any more (unless the car leaves the UAE). You will therefore have to transport the car by recovery truck to the new emirate. The cost between bordering emirates should not be more than AED500 for the transport.