Driving licence for foreigners

Owning a legitimate driving licence in Singapore is a must if you want to drive a vehicle belonging to a particular class. This rule is for all Singaporeans and PRs of Singapore along with foreigners staying in Singapore for over a year. Foreigners living in Singapore for less than one year should have a valid foreign driving licence and an Automobile Association (AA) issued International Driving Permit (IDP). If the IDP is unavailable, then your foreign driving licence must be translated to English. ASEAN country drivers need to own a legal driving licence by the Authority to be allowed to drive in the country without IDP.

Photocard Driving Licence Renewal:

Non-residents of Singapore with a legal driving licence can renew it at the Traffic Police a month from the date of expiration of the driving licence. Please note that a prior notice will not be mailed.

Payments and Documents Required for Renewal:

  • A legitimate employment pass or work permit or dependant pass or student pass.
  • Documents stating your prolonged stay in the country.
  • A recent passport-size photo (colour) with a white background.
  • The fee that needs to be paid for renewal is S$50 via NETS or Cashcard only.

Conversion to a Singapore driving licence:

Any individual with a legal driving licence for a certain category of vehicle by the authority of a different country, can apply for a change of the foreign driving licence to a Singapore licence in order to drive a similar category of vehicle. If the licence has been granted automatically without undergoing a driving test, rather on the merit of getting a second licence cannot be converted. Non-Singaporeans above 18 years of age with a valid foreign licence can drive on the roads of Singapore up to one year. After a year, the foreigner will need a Singapore driving licence. Individuals visiting the country for a short term can drive using the foreign licence that they hold. Licences which are printed in a foreign language must be officially translated to English.

Work Permit holders are not permitted to drive on the streets of Singapore unless the individual is hired as a driver. Starting 1 January 2016, Work Pass (S-Pass and Work Permit) holders who are appointed as drivers must possess a driving licence in Singapore within six months from the Work Pass issuance date. Individuals with driving licences from a foreign country and a Work Pass will only receive a Class 3C driving licence, allowing them to drive all the Class 3 motor vehicles (motor cars of weight up to 3,000 kg and with not more than seven passengers, excluding the driver/motor tractors of weight up to 2,500 kg) except small buses and small goods vehicles after passing BTT (Basic Theory Test). Work Pass holders must clear Class 3 PDT (Practical Driving Test) along with the necessity to pass the BTT.

Categories of driving licences that can be converted

Only Class 3 and Class 2B foreign driving licences are eligible for conversions to Singapore driving licences. Individuals who want to attain a Singapore Class 4 or a Class 5 driving licence have to clear a recommended practical test and a attend a training. These heavy goods vehicle driving licences are not eligible for direct conversions. A greater capacity motorcycle licence will not be converted if you fail to provide the following documents:

  • Documents issued by the foreign Licensing Authority certifying proper training.
  • Documents issued by the foreign Licensing Authority certifying the capacity of the motorcycle the candidate was tested on.
  • Proof of ownership of heavier motorcycle.
  • Insurance policy documents indicating that the candidate has at least 12 months of riding history on Singapore roads.

Method of converting driving licences:

To convert the foreign driving licence to a valid licence in Singapore, you will have to follow these steps:

  • You have to pass BTT by booking it at the driving school of your choice in Singapore.
  • After passing BTT, you need to make an application to convert it at the Traffic Police Driving Test Centre with the necessary documents, which are:
    • Both original and  a copy of your permit of your entry or re-entry, passport, valid work permit or employment certificate or dependant pass or student pass and/or long-term certificate.
    • A passport-size photograph (colour) with a white background.
    • The fee that needs to be paid for renewal is S$50 by Cashcard or NETS only.
    • The original and a copy of your Qualified Foreign Driving Licence.
    • A Malaysian driving licence holder needs to submit a letter from JPJ Malaysia mentioning his/her licence information and driving history.

*Note – Overseas theory tests will not be considered for licence approval.

Changing language for driving licence in Singapore:

Those who own a foreign driving licence must possess an IDP along with a driving licence from a foreign country. In case an IDP is unavailable, then your foreign driving licence must be officially translated in English. The translation can be received from the High Commission, relevant Embassy, the High Court or the Subordinate Court in Singapore.

*Note – Licence from Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia do not need a translation.

DIPS (Drivers Improvement Points System):

When you submit the conversion form at the time of applying, you automatically affirm that you are aware of your licence getting revoked in case you accumulate over 12 demerit points in one year from the issuance date of the Singapore driving licence. In such a case, you need to appear for the recommended tests all over again after a year of revocation, to obtain a new driving licence.

Replacement of Driving Licence:

In case if you have lost or misplaced your driving licence, you will be required to replace the driving licence for a new one and submit the following documents:

  • A valid Work Permit and S-Pass.
  • A semi-matt or matt finish colour passport-size photograph with a white background.
  • S$50 will be charged as processing fee and the payment can be made through NETS or Cashcard only.

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