Keen to drive a stick shift?

Just a heads up: holders of Dubai driving licences for automatic vehicles can apply to upgrade their licences so they can drive manual vehicles as well, and this new process will begin in October.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has just created a process that allows automatic transmission driver licence holders to shift their licences to manual transmission. The service, which will start in October, applies to the light vehicle category (that’s anyone driving a car).

How much this test will cost has yet to be announced.

Previously, automatic driving licence holders were not allowed to drive a manual gear vehicle, and were also unable to upgrade their licence.

“Applicants would be tested without [being] subjected to training lessons at the RTA”, explained Jamal Al Sada Director of Drivers Licensing, at RTA’s Licensing Agency. “The test would not relate to driving skills, but would rather focus on the handling of the manual gear system,” he added.

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And there’s also a system in place for anyone who fails the test. You’ll be told where you’re lacking so that you can improve in that area before then re-taking the test.

“Dealing with Manual Transmission needs certain skills, such as paying attention to the road while shifting gears, ability to shift gears without distraction, and coping with the smooth shifting between gears while driving”, explained Al Sada.

He also added that, as we all know, those with a manual driving licence don’t need a different licence to drive an automatic.

“RTA is making every effort to meet the needs of drivers through streamlined processes, as they are closely related to the safety & security of roads and users. Such efforts translate into realising RTA’s vision of Safe & Smooth Transport for All,” added Al Sada.

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