How to transfer the ownership of a car between emirates

How to transfer the ownership of a car between emirates

Given below is a detailed guide to help you along the process of car ownership transfer between emirates:

When you sell a vehicle that is registered in one emirate to a buyer in another emirate, the transfer process commences according to the legal responsibilities of the new owner. Failure to comply with the rules can result in fines and penalties. In the worst-case scenario, the previous owner may end up facing disciplinary action.

Usually, car ownership transfer is required when you buy or sell a car but it is also mandatory if you are leaving the country and a friend or relative will be using the car. With fines and legalities surrounding the process, knowing the requirements to transfer car ownership is imperative. Let’s take a look at the requirements:

Pay outstanding traffic fines 

To ensure a smooth transfer process, the seller should clear all Salik and traffic fines before handing the car over to the other party. The process may vary depending on the emirate the car is currently registered in: 

Transfer the Insurance and Mortgage Policy 

A toy car with auto insurance papers and a calculator
The new owner must renew the car insurance policy

Technically speaking, a vehicle under a mortgage is the property of the finance company. You will have to transfer it to the buyer via a power of attorney. As for the insurance policy, it should either be terminated or transferred to the new buyer. In case it has expired, the new owner will have to get a new auto insurance policy.

Buyers can clear the finances via banks as well. For instance, Emirates NBD bank offers a financing solution called AutoSwap, which eliminates the hassle of settling the existing loan. 

Get a Pass Report

Finally, get your vehicle professionally inspected to ensure it is ready to hit the roads. This can be done by getting a pass report from Tasjeel, a government agency. They conduct a 50-point examination for AED 350 to ensure the vehicle is mechanically and cosmetically sound. However, dubizzle pro provides a more detailed 240-point analysis confirming the perfect condition of the vehicle. Other features offered include a detailed report indicating if the car is in good shape, mentioning vehicle owner record and car’s insurance history.

Check the required documents 

For a successful transfer of automobile ownership, both the current owner and the buyer should have certain documents.

The current owner of the car must own the following documents:

  • Original Emirates ID
  • Mulkiya (the original vehicle registration card)
  • Original and a copy of passport with residence visa
  • In case of car loan, final loan payment confirmation

The buyer or the new owner needs to show the following documents:

  • Emirates ID
  • Original and a copy of UAE driving license
  • Original and a copy of passport with a valid residence visa 
  • Original insurance certificate

Decide about car number plates

 Car number plates in Dubai
Number plates can be retained without owning a vehicle

Interestingly, you are allowed to own a car plate in Dubai even though you do not own the car. While the buyer retains the car number plate in most cases, the seller also has the option to keep the plates. Surprisingly, many people wish to retain the number for sentimental or other such reasons.

However, there are certain rules about the retention of the number plates. In the latter case, an owner’s certificate issued by RTA will be required. In this case, new plates will be issued for the vehicle. 

How to transfer car ownership in a registration center?

People exchanging car keys after a car deal
Both current and new owners should be present for car registration transfer

Vehicle registration transfers are done either at the Traffic Police HQ of the Emirate the car is being transferred from or a licensing center of the same Emirate. The registration process will begin in the presence of both parties at the venue of their choice.

The two main steps of the registration process are:

  • A vehicle permit application to be filled for the buyer/new owner
  • Submission of the required documents and the permit application at the registration desk


Now your part is done and the authorities will take the matter from there. They will check if there are any outstanding fines, which the previous owner will have to pay for the transfer to continue. After the clearance, the new owner will need to pay a transfer fee. The fee for a light vehicle is AED 350 while the fee for heavy vehicles is AED 400. 

Once all these steps are taken care of, the authorities will verify all the information and print a new registration card, a Mulkiya, under the new owner’s name. 

If you are planning to sell your car to the resident of a different emirate in the UAE, the above guide will allow you to have a smooth ownership transfer process.


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