Current president Brian Cookson, the former boss of British Cycling, has already announced his intention to stand for a second and final term in 2017.
The 65-year-old Englishman beat Irish incumbent Pat McQuaid in a contentious election in 2013 and has spent the past three years pushing through his manifesto promises to improve the UCI's governance, anti-doping system and portfolio of competitions.
The three-term limit was the headline item in a package of reforms to the UCI's constitution that was approved at its 185th congress in Doha, where the sport's leadership has gathered for this week's end-of-season road world championships.
The UCI follows football governing body FIFA in formally restricting a president to three terms.
Speaking to the congress, Cookson said: "Today marks another important step forward for the governance of the UCI.
"It is in line with international best practice and will help to reinforce the UCI's credibility within the international sports community, as well as with all our stakeholders."
Among the constitutional changes is a move to increase the number of voting congress delegates from Africa from seven to nine and steps to improve the external and independent scrutiny of elections.