Singapore Driving Licence

Singapore Driving Licence

Before you are allowed to drive any kind of vehicle in Singapore, you will require a driving licence. Anyone who holds a Singaporean driving licence can drive on the roads, but they are also subject to traffic rules.

To qualify for a driving test, you must be at least 18-years old. While the licence itself remains valid until a person’s death, drivers over the age of 65, and pregnant women, require medical clearance to prove their continued eligibility to drive.

The country also has a demerit points system on their licences, and the maximum total is 12 points per anum before your licence will be revoked. Policing of traffic laws is done by the Traffic Police of the Singapore Police Force.

Classes/Codes of Drivers Licence

There are various classes of licences in the country. They are classified as follows:

Issued from the age of 18-years:
  • Code 1 is only issued for people with physical disabilities.
  • Code 2B is issued for a motorcycle with an engine capacity smaller than 200CCs or 15kW (automatic or manual)
  • Code 2A is issued for a motorcycle with an engine capacity smaller than 400CCs or 25kW (automatic or manual)
  • Code 2 is issued for a motorcycle with an engine capacity bigger than 400CCs or 25kW (automatic or manual)
  • Code 3 is issued for:
    • Cars or other vehicles smaller than 3000 kg with fewer than nine people in the car (driver included)
    • Tractors smaller than 2500 kg
  • Code 3A is issued for:
    • Automatic transmission cars not bigger than 3000 kg with fewer than nine people in the car, including the driver.
    • Automatic transmission tractors not bigger than 2500 kg
  • Code 3C is issued for cars or other vehicles smaller than 3000 kg with fewer than nine people in the car (driver included) – usually for the purpose of converting licenses from another country.
  • Code 3CA is issued for automatic cars smaller than 3000 kg with fewer than nine people in the car, including the driver, and an automatic tractor smaller than 2500 kg.

 

Issued from the age of 21-years
  • Code 4A is issued to people working for a public bus company. This kind of licence is only valid while the person works for a public bus company.
  • Code 4 is issued for load carrying or passenger vehicles heavier than 2500 kg. Individuals wanting a Code 4 license must first have a Code 3 license.
  • Code 5 is issued for vehicles heavier than 7250 kg and are not designed to carry passengers or loads. Individuals must first hold a Code 4 license before applying for a Code 5.

When applying for your driving licence, make sure to complete the correct order form for the licence you require.

 

Types of Driving Licences

Learner Drivers

Learner drivers who are part of a driving school possess a Provisional Driving Licence. This is obtained after the Basic Theory Test. There are several restrictions associated with the licence; some of these include:

  • The learner must be accompanied by a Certified Driving Instructor.
  • A learner must have an “L” plate both at the back and the front of the car.
  • Learners are not permitted on certain busy roads in the city, and they are not allowed on expressways.
  • When a person over the age of 65 wants to renew their licence, they must pass a medical examination and provide a medical report.
  • Learners’ permits are valid for 2-years so that learners have sufficient time to master driving and prepare for their tests.

Once the Final Theory Test has been passed, a learner may commence with the Practical Driving Test.

 

Qualified Drivers

Once the Practical Driving Test has been passed, the learner graduates to holding a full licence: Qualified Driving Licence. There is a one year probation period for a new licence holder.

During this time, the triangle indicating the probation period must be displayed in the back and the front of the vehicle. More than 12 demerit points will result in revocation of the licence. There might also be a fine.

Vocational Licence

This is a licence that is specially issued to people driving commercial vehicles. There are three kinds of Vocational Licences: Taxi, Private vehicle, or Bus. Vocational licence holders in this country will often find that their vocational licence remains valid only while they are in the vocation for which the licence was issued.

 

Learning to Drive

A person can either take private lessons from a private instructor, or they can attend a driving school. A driving school will have up to date information about regulations and can assist with manual or automatic transmission vehicles.

 

Private Instructors

These individuals are registered as self-employed and can register their company as a private driving instruction business. There is usually a company or personal car for learning purposes, and only classes 3A or 3 can be done through a private agency. Any other class must be learned through one of Singapore’s three driving schools.

 

Driving Schools

As mentioned, there are only three driving schools in the country. The Bukit Batok Driving Centre, the ComfortDelGro Driving Centre, and the Singapore Safety Driving Centre. You will register for your Practical Driving test, along with all other tests with the Vehicle licensing agency at one of these driving schools. This will include specialised vehicles like the Motorcycle practical test.

 

Converting a Driving Licence

Expats who hold a foreign driving licence and you do not plan to stay more than a year, then you do not need to exchange your licence. However, any foreigners who plan to stay in Singapore for more than a year, if you hold a foreign driving licence, will need to exchange your licence.

Should their valid foreign driving licence not be in English, they must hold an International Driving Permit as well. If they do not have an IDP, they must have an official translation of their valid foreign driving licence.

In order to convert a valid foreign driving licence, you need to pass the Basic Theory Test to prove that you know the Singaporean traffic rules. You will only be allowed to drive in Singapore once you have passed these tests and completed the exchange process.

There is usually a fee involved in this exchange and testing process. All PRs are required to convert their foreign licences once they are granted PR.

Generally speaking, when moving away from your home country, your existing driving licence remains valid for a maximum of three years, after which you have no choice but to exchange it if you want to continue driving in your new home.

You will need to submit your original licence to the government and will need identity documents for the exchange process with the local issuing authority. Sometimes you will be allowed to exchange a licence at post offices or online through postal order.

Some arrangements are only available for designated countries, so it is best to check the local authority website to check the latest regulations regarding exchange agreements concerning a foreign licence.

 

Car Insurance

Some designated countries will have specific laws related to car insurance that is directly connected to a driving licence. Singapore is such a designated country, and the law also applies to long-term overseas visitors.

In order for a car to be used in Singapore, you must have insurance, a comprehensive cover package is preferred, and it is important that you can provide proof of your coverage.

There are various options available, and an application form can usually be completed online. You can also dial the company number if you prefer to speak to someone directly. It is also best for licence holders to take out their own insurance.

When taking out vehicle insurance, you will need to provide personal or financial information, such as proof of a permanent address or a copy of your foreign licence, along with information on when the licence expires.

Citizens are free to explore options and find a plan with coverage and a fee that suits individual needs. When licences issued in other countries are exchanged, then the insurance company number will need to be notified.

 

Driving Conditions

Generally speaking, it is a pleasure to drive in Singapore. The roads are well maintained and clean, and people are only allowed to drive after extensive testing. The driving licence policy in Singapore is strict, and licence holders are required to adhere to the strict policy in order to maintain their original licence due to the demerit system.

Even those who have a permanent address in Singapore but hold a foreign licence must adhere to strict rules, which makes Singapore one of the designated countries for safe and effective drivers. It is also one of the best countries to use public transport. Bus stops and train stops are well-equipped, and the fee for either is extremely reasonable.

Singapore is one of the designated countries where people drive on the left side of the road, like South Africa, New Zealand, the UK, Australia, and Cyprus, to name a few. It is usually a safe assumption that if your designated country is a former British colony that people will drive on the left side of the road, and the legal age to get a driving licence will be 18-years. You will find that many of the above countries are former British colonies.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am a permanent resident and hold a foreign licence, am I required to exchange it?

Yes, there is a time limit associated with how long you have to exchange your driving licence. If you fail to exchange your driving licence, then you will not be allowed to drive in Singapore.

 

Is there a fee involved to exchange your driving licence?

Yes, there is usually an SGD 50 exchange cost.

 

Is it necessary to have a driving licence in Singapore?

Not necessarily. While many people choose to drive themselves, there is an extensive and reliable public transport system. If you are only visiting Singapore, then you might not want to drive yourself; this would be a good place to make use of public transport exclusively.

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