Driving License in Singapore FAQs – All You Need to Know
Reading Time: 6 Min Read
Congratulations! You have finally made your dream come true! Your new Honda car or Vespa motorcycle is standing on your front door, all ready to take you out on a ride. It is time to bid farewell to the hassles of public transport. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, on a ride that is yours.
As a new driver, one big challenge that you face before you start enjoying the rides full-on is to obtain a driving license! You must be having a lot of questions in your mind as you prepare to apply for your driving license, right?
So, here we have compiled an all-you-need-to-know FAQ list about getting/renewing/transferring a driving license in Singapore. We will start with the basic questions and gradually dig deeper to equip you with all the relevant knowledge, filtering out the jargon. If you are ready, so are we. Let’s get started.
When can I apply for a driving license in Singapore?
The legal Singapore driving license age is 18 years old. To even apply for a driving course that precedes the actual license application, you must be 18 years or above. You also cannot make any advance bookings with any driving instructor before your 18th birthday.
Beyond the age of 18, pregnant women and senior citizens above the age of 65 years need a doctor’s clearance to either apply for driving lessons or a license. Physically handicapped citizens will have to undergo a medical examination with the Testing Branch Supervisor to be deemed fit for driving.
What are BTT and QDL that I keep hearing about?
The first step to applying for a driving license in Singapore is to apply and pass the Basic Theory Test or BTT through any of the three registered driving schools in Singapore.
Once you pass the theory examination (yes, it is an exam), you receive a provisional driving license in Singapore that allows you to take driving lessons at the school and go out on the roads for practical.
After passing the practical exam, you become eligible to receive a Qualified Driving License or QDL. This is your driving license in Singapore.
How can I apply for a QDL?
If you go through a driving school, you get the QDL directly from the institution. The same applies if you learn driving in Singapore through a registered private instructor. However, if you already know driving (say learned it from a family member or a friend) and want to apply on your own, here are the required steps:
- To apply for a driving license in Singapore or the QDL, you will have to fill out an online application form with Singapore Police at either http://www.police.gov.sg/e-services or in the [email protected] mobile application with your theory and practical test scores (taken at any driving school).
- Next, you will have to submit your digital photograph at a service counter of any driving school which gets sent over to the Singapore Traffic Police.
- Once approved, you will receive your QDL digitally within 7 days of your application.
How much will all this cost me?
You have guessed it right, nothing is free! Singapore driving license cost is included in the lesson package of the driving schools. Separately, the QDL application fee is S$50, payable online. The digital photo service fee is S$6 and the BTT application fee is also charged at the rate of S$6. Other processing fees are also applicable based on the type of your application.
What are the various driving license classes?
Surely, you cannot drive a motorcycle with a license for a truck or bus. This is where understanding a Singapore driving license class is important.
In total, Singapore has 11 driving license classes. Class 1 is reserved for drivers with physical disabilities. Class 2, 2A and 2B are for motorcycle riders. Class 3 license in Singapore along with 3A, 3C and 3CA are given to car owners. Class 4A is given for driving buses. Classes 4 and 5 are reserved for heavy motor drivers like trucks and vans.
Do I have to apply for a new QDL if I want to upgrade my license class?
Fortunately, no. If you are an existing QDL holder, say class 2B that allows you to drive motorcycles of 200cc or below, you can upgrade it to 2A without applying for a new QDL.
All you have to do is to take the practical test with a driving school for the upgraded license class. Upon passing, the examiner will give you an endorsement sticker which will go on the backside of your license photo card. That’s it. You have successfully upgraded.
I hold a foreign driving license. Can I drive in Singapore?
You can drive with an international driving license in Singapore, provided you are not a citizen or permanent resident. You will have to fulfill a few criteria.
- You must be 18 years or older.
- You should hold a student’s pass, work pass or dependent’s pass.
- Your foreign license should be equivalent to Singapore’s 3, 3A or 2B class.
With these boxes ticked, you can drive around only for 1 year. Beyond that, you will have to go for a Singapore driving license conversion.
How can I convert my foreign driving license to Singapore’s?
All driving in Singapore with a foreign license or citizens holding international license can convert it to Singapore’s through the following procedures.
- First, you will need to take the BTT test at any driving centre.
- Then, approach a Traffic Police Test Centre in person, located in the driving school itself, with your student, employment or dependent pass (original and photocopy), entry permit and foreign driving license.
- Submit a digital photocopy at the TP Test Centre.
- Lastly, wait for 7 days for the photo card to arrive.
What if I have lost my SG driving license? Can I get a replacement?
You can apply for a replacement for your lost motorcycle license in Singapore through Singapore Traffic Police’s QDL online application website mentioned above. The process of getting a replacement in case of a lost/damaged/defaced license is the same as applying for a new one.
I am a foreigner and I have lost my license. What should I do?
As a foreigner, you will have to apply for the replacement for your lost driver’s license in Singapore in person by visiting the Traffic Police Headquarters. The documents you will need include your passport, the employment, student or dependent pass along with credit or debit card to make the processing payment.
Replacement for lost QDLs also arrives within 7 days of your application.
What if I find my lost license after filing for the replacement?
In that case, you will have to return the original car or bike license in Singapore to the Traffic Police within 7 days of discovery or upon receiving your replaced QDL. You can either mail your original photo card to the Traffic Police Headquarters or travel in person to put it in a drop box placed there.
How can I renew my motorcycle or car license in Singapore?
If you are a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, your motorcycle or car driving license in Singapore will be valid until your 65th birthday. Following that, you will have to renew your license every 3 years which can be easily done online.
Foreigners have a license expiry date of 5 years on their QDL. You will have to visit the Traffic Police Department in person to renew your license one month before the expiration date with all the documents required to apply for a new or replace your QDL, mentioned above.
Can I drive immediately after receiving my QDL?
Of course, you can. However, the Singapore Traffic Police will place you under a probationary period of 12 months following your QDL receipt date.
During this, you will have to display a probation board both on the front and back of your vehicle. Also, you will have to stay on guard regarding committing driving offenses. Singapore Traffic Police hands out demerit points for every offense and your license can be revoked if you get 12 demerits just during probation.
There you go!
You are finally ready to fire up your Honda or Vespa and drive out. Still, we will have to add another “but” here. It is great to own a new vehicle and the feeling is incomparable when your driving license in Singapore arrives, but riding every day with a basic insurance is like placing a time bomb on your hard-earned savings. A comprehensive plan with a slightly higher premium is the better option. Right from a simple dent to major accidents, the best Singapore motorcycle and car insurances cover all. Then, you can really enjoy your ride without worries.
DirectAsia has one of the best car insurance and motorcycle insurance plans in Singapore. We boast of a customer satisfaction rate of over 90% where our TPO, COMP and TPFT insurance coverages are specifically designed to meet your needs. Plus, we offer NCD30 to NCD20 holders in motorcycle insurance and NCD60 to NCD50 holders for car insurance, the highest in the town.
Get a quote from DirectAsia as you apply for your driving license in Singapore. Ride out insured and drive smart.