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Malaysia - Driving Licenses
Foreign Driving Licenses
Driving on a foreign driving license in Malaysia is only permitted for three months and then you will have to transfer your license to a Malaysian license.
Driving licenses in Malaysia are issued by the Road Transport Department of Malaysia.
Address: Parcel D, Block D4, Level 2,
Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62620 Putrajaya
Telephone: 03 8886 6400
Driving licenses are categorized into three categories for car drivers:
- Competence driving license
- Motorcycle license.
The equivalent of a full British license is the Competence Driving License and this is issued to foreign nationals who have held a driver’s license for more than one year. A Probationary Driving License is issued to those who have held a full license for less than a year.
The automatic exchange of a driving license can only be performed with holders of licenses from countries which have a bi-lateral agreement with Malaysia. Automatic conversions are from countries under Appendix A in this document:
Countries in Appendix B of this document do not qualify for automatic conversion and have to apply through the Road Transport Department and there has to be a number of documents supplied with this application:
- The driver’s passport
- The original driving license and a readable copy of the license. A translation of the license if in another language other than English.
This process can take up to one month and this must be borne in mind when driving on a foreign license in Malaysia, as this is only legal for three months. It is advisable to send your application in as soon as possible if you’re intending to drive in the country.
Once the above stage has been completed and approved, the application needs to be submitted back to the RTD state office where you live where the conversion will take place. The original approval form is only valid for one year. All the documents from above will need to be submitted again along with the approval form. The fee will need to be enclosed and a colour photograph, passport sized for your driving license. The fee should be no more than 100 RM. There is a processing fee and the license fee. Details of the fees payable can be found here:
It is important that you check the correct fee is enclosed or your application will be rejected.
International Driving Permit or License
There is no such thing as an international driving license. This is a myth which has been created. Driving licenses are issued in the country where you have taken a valid driving test and theory exam in the country where you are residing. Most countries recognize other countries’ driving licenses and allow people to drive for a certain period of time. In Europe, for example, each country within the European Union can drive in another European country for a year. Then a transfer has to be undertaken.
Licenses which are not transferrable, requires the holder to take a driving test in Malaysia before being issued with a driving license. There are four parts to this test and this will give the driver a Probationary License.
An applicant has to attend a class for five hours and then sit a Road Rule test. There is a fee applicable for this.
On completion of the two courses above, the applicant must then complete a 16-hour theory and practical test. Once this stage is completed, a practical test may be taken on public roads.
Once the four sections have been passed then a P license is issued and this is valid for two years.
The test card has to be submitted, a passport-sized photograph and the license fee must be included.
All information regarding driving licenses can be found here:
Endorsements for Traffic Offences
Any traffic officer can demand to see a driving license at any time and this must be produced. There is not a penalty point system, per se. The disqualification of a driver’s license can happen at any time and any of the traffic offences can determine disqualification. Driving laws are strict in Malaysia and offences such as driving under the influences of drugs and alcohol will result in a disqualification immediately and the license has to be surrendered straight away. A license can be re-applied for and this is at the discretion of the RTD and the state offices. It is advisable to remain within the law and not risk jail and large fines.