When registering online for license renewal, the form asks you for “Traffic File Number” which is on car registration cards, or milkiya, if you will. If you don’t have your own car, you cannot register. When I called the helpline, they first told me I could not register if I didn’t have my own car. Then I called again to ask if I could register on someone else’s car registration from my family. They said yes. Then when I tried to do so, it didn’t work. It said “Traffic File Data incorrect”. Phooey. However, if you have the new silver license (as of 2009), the traffic code/file number will be on the reverse. Else you have to go down to the Licensing Office and ask them for your traffic file number.
And may I say, they’re a bit rude on the phone. I was very firm in my manner of speaking because I have called them about 5-6 times in the last 2 days. And each person I spoke to gave me information that was very new and very different. They first told me I need to get an eye test done to renew my license. They very conveniently forgot to tell me that this rule applies to those who are above 21 years of age. I went and got my eye test done. I called them and demanded a refund or a deduction (from the renewal fee). Then last night I called them and I said, please print some bloody notices on your ads. It’s not as “simple” as they make it seem. No one knows about this eye test thing. No one knows that you need a car registered under your own name to renew your license. Apparently, this feature is going to be modified to allow everyone to renew their license, regardless of whether they have a car or not. I told the guy on the phone last night to please print a notice. They tell me, “You should say that you are below 21.” Fuck yeah, because I know all the rules right. I was like, “You should ask me. How am I supposed to know the rules? Everyone is giving me different information!” And then, just for the heck of it, he asked me how old I was. I said 19. He said okay, no need for an eye test. Then again I told him about the different things everyone was telling me. He cut me off in the middle of my sentence, and with a raised voice, he said, “Below 21 no need for eye test!” I kept quiet. But let me tell you, I fumed. I’m against yelling at customer service telephone reps. But this time, I wanted to scream at this guy and ask him if this was the way he spoke to customers. I don’t like to be rude to them, but I needed to be firm. Over the last 2-3 days I have received a vast amount of information about the SAME things that were somehow different everytime. I just kept quiet on the phone. And I didn’t even want to talk to him anymore. I didn’t want to complain about him because I understand how annoying his job might be – dealing with customers who yell and irritate them. It’s no excuse, but I can let it go. He told me I needed to go to the Licensing Office to get a traffic file number, since I don’t have a car. The optician also agreed to give me a credit note for the eye test, and someone else from my family can get an eye test done.
Here’s what you need to look at if you want to renew your driver’s license:
- If you’re above 21, get an eye test done. Although not at Al Yateem or Al Jaber as they only do the eye test to be sent via the Internet, or so I’ve heard. I have also been told that 100 Dirhams is now the standard amount for eye tests, but I might be wrong.
- Have your passport copies at hand
- Your old driver’s license
If you want to renew your license ONLINE, here’s what you need to do:
- If you are above 21, get an eye test done at Al Yateem or Al Jaber. I went to Al Yateem and they charged me 50 Dirhams. Give them a passport photograph along with your passport copy.
- Make an account at http://www.rta.ae and follow the instructions.
NOTE: If you do not have your traffic file number, you need to go to the Licensing Office, tell them your license number and they will give you a traffic file number. If you have the new silver licenses (Dubai license, as of 2009), it’s on the reverse.
I think if you renew online, you definitely need to get an eye test done. But if you’re below 21, just go to the licensing office and get it done in person. If you’re above 21, you can do it online. It’s also cheaper to do an eye test for online renewal.