One of the most convenient forms of transportation is driving. Not only do you have the freedom to go anywhere you want but you’ll also have the ease and comfort of travelling with your family or group of friends. Owning an international driving licence is ideal for family and group trips abroad because, aside from the convenience, you’ll get to save on hefty shuttle charges. All you’ll have to do is rent a vehicle or, better yet, bring your own car. We list down some of the things you can do to get your international driving permit (IDP) in Singapore.
Where can you get one?
The Automobile Association of Singapore (AA) is the only authorised organisation to issue IDPs in Singapore. You can walk in at any of their offices located at Kallang Bahru and Ang Mo Kio to apply for an IDP. With a complete set of requirements, IDPs can be issued on the spot and it will only take an hour. The cost is also minimal at just $20 for a one-year validity.
What are the requirements?
- All applicants (Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Foreigners) must have a valid Singapore driving licence.
- Singaporean applicants must present BOTH a valid Singaporean driving licence and NRIC.
- The IDP cannot be issued to holders of valid foreign driving licences. They must apply for the IDP in the country that issued their driving licence.
Can I apply online?
Yes! AA Singapore provides online application forms on their website. Before filling up the form online, make sure you have these requirements on hand and attach it along with your online application form.
- A scanned copy of your Singapore driving licence (front and back)
- A scanned copy of your NRIC (front and back) for Singaporeans
- For Foreigners and Permanent Residents, a scanned copy of employment pass/FIN Card (front and back)
- A clear coloured passport size photograph of the IDP applicant in plain light background taken within last 2 years, sharp image resolution and without any watermark.
Please note this process will take around y working days. If you need to have your IDP as soon as possible, walk-in is recommended.
What if I hold a Foreign Driving License?
A foreigner above 18 years old and holding a valid foreign licence may drive in Singapore for a period of not more than 12 months. A Singapore driving licence is required after 12 months. For licence not written in English, you’d need an International Driving Permit or an official translation in English language.
For expats living in Singapore who wish to obtain a full Class 3 licence, Work Permit and S-Pass holders will have to pass the Class 3 Practical Driving Test (PDT) on top of the existing requirement to pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT) for a successful conversion.
- International driving permits only last for a year from the date issued.
- When driving internationally, you must still carry your valid Singapore driver’s licence.
As you can see, getting an international driving permit is a fairly easy experience. There are so many handy benefits to owning one. You can drive in most foreign countries you’ll visit and it is often a necessary requirement for car rentals abroad. Additionally, it is also considered as valid form of identification.
A self-drive vacation will give you more time to discover destinations you would not have experienced in any other form of transportation. Whether you’ll use your IDP for a road trip or as a convenient means of transportation overseas, possession of one will ensure that you have a free and easy trip abroad.
If you have motor insurance in Singapore, find out if you would still be covered in your country of choice. (Most comprehensive car insurance in Singapore will cover West Malaysia and parts of Thailand.) If it doesn’t cover your destination, most car rental companies offer short-term car insurance.
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