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Singapore – Driving Licenses

Singapore is a small island country located in Southeast Asia. It is a popular tourist destination and also home to a large number of expatriates. If you plan to drive in Singapore as a foreign national, it is important to know the rules and regulations regarding driving licenses. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about driving licenses in Singapore.

General Rules for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals who wish to drive in Singapore must have a valid driving license from their home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). The driving license must be in English or accompanied by an official translation in English. If the driving license is not in English, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required.

Foreign nationals can drive in Singapore for up to 12 months using their foreign driving license or International Driving Permit (IDP). After 12 months, they must obtain a Singapore driving license to continue driving legally in the country.

License Exchange and Driving Tests

Foreign nationals from certain countries are allowed to exchange their driving license for a Singapore driving license without taking a driving test. These countries include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

To exchange a driving license, the foreign national must pass an eyesight test and pay a fee. They must also have a valid work permit or be a permanent resident of Singapore.

Foreign nationals from countries not on the above list must take a driving test in Singapore to obtain a Singapore driving license. The driving test includes a theory test and a practical test.


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Procedure for Obtaining, Renewing, or Exchanging a License

To obtain a Singapore driving license, foreign nationals must first obtain a provisional driving license (PDL) by passing a theory test. The PDL allows the individual to take driving lessons and practice driving on the road.

Once the individual has completed the required driving lessons, they can take the practical driving test. If they pass, they will be issued a Singapore driving license.

To renew a Singapore driving license, the individual must apply online through the Singapore Police Force website. The renewal can be done up to 6 months before the expiry date of the license.

To exchange a foreign driving license for a Singapore driving license, the individual must visit the Traffic Police Headquarters with their original driving license, an official translation of the driving license if it is not in English, and their work permit or permanent resident card. They must also pass an eyesight test and pay the applicable fees.

Recognition of International Driving Permit

Singapore recognizes International Driving Permits (IDP) issued by foreign governments as a valid driving license for foreign nationals. An IDP must be accompanied by the individual’s foreign driving license and must be used within 12 months of the individual’s arrival in Singapore.

Penalty System for Motoring Offences

Singapore has strict laws and penalties for motoring offences. Depending on the severity of the offence, the penalty can range from a fine to imprisonment.

Examples of motoring offences include speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties.

If a foreign national is caught committing a motoring offence in Singapore, they may be subject to legal action, including fines, imprisonment, or even deportation. It is important to be aware of and follow the rules of the road in Singapore to avoid any legal issues.

Relevant Government Departments and Agencies

The relevant government departments and agencies involved in driving licenses in Singapore are:

  • Traffic Police Headquarters: responsible for issuing and renewing driving licenses, as well as conducting driving tests and enforcing traffic laws.


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