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Expat Guide: How to Get a Driving License in Singapore (For Filipinos and other Nationalities)

Getting a Driver’s License in Singapore As an Expat

How to Get a Driving License in Singapore

Expat’s Guide to Getting a Driver’s License in Singapore

Driving is one of the best life skills you could ever learn. When you know how to drive, you can travel to different places conveniently. In Singapore, although they have subways and bus transports, it’s generally a great city to drive in. If you’re planning to get a driver’s license once you move to Singapore, here’s a comprehensive guide for you. Whether you’re a first-time driver or you already have an existing driver’s license from your origin, let this guide you in how to get a driver’s license in SG!

How to Get a Driving License in Singapore
How to Get a Driving License in Singapore

For first-time drivers

Singapore allows foreigners to get a driver’s license. For those of you who are new to driving, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and have to pass a set of tests:

Basic Theory Test

This compulsory test is needed to obtain a Singapore driving license. Both first-time drivers and foreigners who want to convert to a Singaporean driver’s license must be able to pass this test.

Final Theory Test

After passing the Basic Theory Test, you’ll need to take the FTT to get a Provisional Driving License (PDL) which allows you to drive on public roads with a driving instructor. You’ll have an “L” plate learner driver. It’s also the final test before the Traffic Police (TP) test. The FTT consists of 50 multiple choice questions, and you must at least score 90% to pass the test.

Practical Driving Test

The Practical Driving Test (PDT) is done by qualified instructors who are appointed by Singapore’s police department. The first part will be an initial assessment of driving skills, while the second part will be conducted along public roads. Driving errors mean points will be deducted from your score.

Once you pass the practical test, you can now apply for the Qualified Driving Licence (QDL) online. For foreigners with valid work passes issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) or Student/Long-Term Visit passes issued by the Immigration Checkpoints Authority (ICA), you may apply for your QDL online using your own Singpass account.

For those who have passed the practical test but are ineligible to apply for Singlass (with work permit holders and student pass holders), apply for QDL online using the following details to log in:

  • FIN number
  • Birthdate
  • Card serial number

Note: Make sure that you apply and pay for your QDL online or else, you won’t be allowed to drive or ride.

For those with an existing driver’s license

For those who already know how to drive and have an existing driver’s license, you must convert your foreign license to a Singapore driving license. To do that, you’ll also have to pass the Basic Theory Test. After booking your BTT at any accredited driving center in Singapore, you need to apply for conversion.

Bring the following requirements to apply for conversion at the Traffic Police Test Centre in person:

  • Original and photocopy of passport and NRIC/entry permit/ employment pass/ dependent pass/ social visit pass/ work permit
  • Original and photocopy of the valid foreign driving license
  • Matte and colored passport-sized photo with white background
  • $50 processing fee (via CashCard and NETS only)

For those with a driving license that is not in English, you’ll need:

  • International driving permit or
  • Official translation in English from relevant embassy, commission, or Singapore-registered translation companies (translation not required for licenses from Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia)

For those with a license that doesn’t have the 1st date of issue, get an extract of driving license record from Licensing Authority

Important Notes:

  • You’ll be on probation for one year after getting a Singapore license. Make sure to not have more than 12 demerit points or you might have your license revoked.
  • Display your Probation Plate for one year.
  • Foreigners’ Singapore driving license will be valid for 5 years from the issuance date. Renew one month before the expiry date.

Have you experienced driving in another country with an international license? How was your experience? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source: Singapore Police Force, Living in Singapore

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