Can Malaysian Driving License Be Used In Other Countries?

I am frequently asked by readers of this blog if Malaysian issued licenses an be used in a foreign country like South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany and so forth.

Once and for all, I wish to reiterate again, the answer to the above question is YES.

Malaysian licenses can very well be used over there.

However, readers are advised to ensure a few things are in proper order.

Amongst the few things that you have to make sure are:

i) That your driving license is valid and not expired.

ii) That the license that you possess is a real license and not a fraudulently obtained one.

I’m sure you must be aware what is meant as a license that has obtained via fraudulent means.

iii) As you will be visiting a foreign country, make sure that your license is translated into the language of that country.

Translate Your License Into English

In most countries, I’m sure English would be understood by the authorities there.

Policemen, transport authorities personnel and so forth will obviously understand the English language.

Therefore, you are advised to have your license translated into English before your going there.

How Long Can You Use Malaysian License Overseas?

Another frequently asked question that readers ask of me must surely be, “For how long can my Malaysian license be used when I’m in that particular country?”

For this, it is of my opinion that you are allowed to driver in a foreign country for a reasonable period of time.

Taking England as an example, Malaysians going to the United Kingdom, the rules and regulations there say that you can be allowed to drive in that country for as long as 120 days.

After that, a foreign driver has to take steps to secure a domestic license by first of all securing a provisional or “L” (learner’s license) and eventually going for his real practical test.

We can safely then assume that Malaysian, be it in South Africa, Australia or Germany can therefore drive there for a reasonable period of time.

It might differ slightly from country to country.

I’m certain that when the time comes for that particular country’s officials to take action against you for driving in that country, the time will then be up for you to leave that country after all.

Converting Malaysian License To International Driving Permit

Having answered the question of can Malaysian driving licenses be used to drive in a foreign country, we arrive next to the question of, do we have to convert our domestic license or Competent Driver’s License (C.D.L.) at all.

Some drivers would like to convert their domestic licenses into International Driver’s Permit (I.D.P) prior to their going over to a foreign country,

To secure an I.D.P, which is obtained from any state J.P.J. office of J.P.J.

Headquarters at Putrajaya, one has to pay a sum of RM150.

The above license can even be obtained at Automobile Association Malaysia ( A.A.M.) offices throughout the country also.

In actual fact, a Malaysian who wishes to drive in another country need not have to go through all the hassle of securing an I.D.P. at all.

Just our ordinary Malaysian license will suffice.

Limitation Of Malaysian Driving License

There are a small group of drivers from our country, who after going over to say, United Kingdom, and after staying over there for a short period of time, then decides to convert our domestic driving license into U.K. driving licenses.

Many drivers have in fact written in to ask about this.

Can Malaysian convert their driving licenses into U.K. driving licenses?

The answer to the above question is unfortunately No.

The United Kingdom permits only certain countries like Singapore, Australia, Germany etc to convert their driving license into British licenses.

But unfortunately, sad to say, the British authorities have a rather low opinion of our local licenses.

Malaysia, which possesses one of the world’s highest accident rate is not a license that is acceptable by the U.K. authorities.

To end this article on the question of using Malaysian driving license overseas, a word of advice before I penned off.

If you are planning to rent a car or a caravan to go sightseeing the country you are visiting, you are advised to secure the necessary insurance coverage required to protect yourself and your family.

Car rental enterprises should be aware of all these requirements. Leave it to them to take care of whatever you might need. Happy sightseeing and enjoy yourselves.

By | 2017-05-12T10:21:19+08:00 July 29th, 2010|Driving License|28 Comments

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  1. Harald July 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    hi cikgu yap, i m harald and i m studying in perth, i just got my western aussie driver’s license yesterday, by right i m supposed to get my full aussie license, but i could not proof that i hold a P license for 2 years before and i renewed my malaysian driver’s license to the full license on 10-12-2008, they though i got my license in 2008 and have to issue a provisional license for me until 2010 december, is there any way i can proof that i m holding a malaysian driver’s license for almost 4 years already so that i can have my full aussie driver’s license and don’t need to display the green P plate which is annoying? thank you


    • Cikgu Yap August 3, 2010 at 12:20 am - Reply

      You could approach the nearest JPJ office to get your old records for the Australian authorities.

  2. Sean August 2, 2010 at 8:11 am - Reply

    I am a malaysian student studying in Austrialia now. I am only holding on to my domestic License. Can I still drive in Australia or do I need an international License to be able to drive here? Is so can I use my domestic License to rent a car??

    • Cikgu Yap August 3, 2010 at 12:26 am - Reply

      Some countries insist on an IDL. Ideally, convert your license into IDL before crossing over to Australia. Likewise, you might probably find rental car companies that you possess an IDL.

  3. Liza Low August 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I’m a Malaysian and I have a Malaysian Driving License. I’m planning to stay in Australia for good. Do I need to obtain an International Driving License to drive there? Or can I just use my local driving license?

    Thank You.

    • Cikgu Yap August 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Ideally, get an IDL if staying permanently in Australia. You might even have to test for an Australian license as yours proceed. IDL normally lasts 1 year only. See the Australian authorities regarding your problem.

  4. Hamed August 19, 2010 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Thank you for the useful answer.
    I’m Syrian coming to Malaysia after a month, staying years for study, rarely I drive time to time without license. I have the opportunity to take the license here, or take it at KL. It cost here about 500 RM. of course there is the cost of gitting the My lisense which I don’t know? my concern is time and cost because I need a car very soon at MY: what do you recommend? can I take the tests without lessons at Malaysia?

    • Cikgu Yap August 21, 2010 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Ideally, engage a driving school institute to assist you. Many things require an instructor or driving institute’s help.

  5. David August 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    What if I have a P license and i would like to rent a car in the UK?? Is that possible?

    • Cikgu Yap August 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Frankly, I think it’s possible. No harm trying. Best of luck anyway.

  6. Anita December 13, 2011 at 7:37 am - Reply

    What kind of translation do I have to do to my Malaysian driving license before able to driving abroad? Is it just simply a translation into English wordings by ourself ? Does it have to go through an authority for a verification?

    • Cikgu Yap December 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      All words which appear on your driving license in B.Malaysia, translate them. Ideally, type it out clearly. The authorities don’t need to verify them.

      • Ang May 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm - Reply

        I can just use my normal driving licence which is written in Malay and get a piece of paper translate it? Or need any type of certified?

        • Cikgu Yap May 10, 2012 at 11:41 am - Reply

          Try JPJ for a copy of the translation in English. You might have to pay some money for it.

  7. lee July 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Hi cikgu yap, I am a malaysian going to perth for a holiday soon. I’m still a “P” driver. I was wondering if I could drive in perth with that license. Do I need to get an IDP or translation?

    • Cikgu Yap July 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Dear Lee, You can drive in Perth. Not necessary to get IDL or translation.


  8. Wooi Ling Hui March 10, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap, I am a Malaysia student currently studying in the UK and planning for a road trip in France with my friends. I is not manage to get an international license permit as I did not foresee I’ll be having a road trip during my stay in the Europe. Am I able to drive in France using my current driving license?

    • Cikgu Yap April 15, 2017 at 9:46 am - Reply

      You should be able to use your driving license for a reasonable period of time.

  9. Michael March 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Hi cikgu yap, i have a P license at the moment and i’m going to uk for work. Is it possible to use the P license? Thank you so much.

    • Cikgu Yap May 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      If you are planning to work in UK for an extended period of time, it is best to get an international driver’s permit. However, you can only get a Malaysian international driver’s permit with a Competent Driver’s License (CDL). It seems you are in a predicament. Alternatively, you can apply to get a UK driving license.

  10. Soo April 20, 2017 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,

    I am Soo from M’sia. I am going to have a roadtrip in Germany. I would like to check whether a translation in English or German language is required to drive in Germany.

    • Cikgu Yap April 20, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Translation is required. It is best to get an international driving permit before your trip.

  11. may July 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Sir,
    As visitor, is Malaysian driving license valid in Vancouver for driving? Or I need to obtain IDP to drive in Vancouver for about 1 week?

    • Cikgu Yap July 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      You can use your Malaysian driving license to drive in Vancouver.

  12. Nigel July 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    I have a L license and was summoned in a roadblock by the PDRM. So the summoned was “L” bawa penumpang. The summoned said it is compoundable and also ORDERED TO COME TO COURT.I settled the summon of RM70 the very next day by paying at the ATM. The question here is,do I still need to go to court even after I payed the summon?

  13. Sara Daniel September 2, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Hi…. Can I use my Malaysian driving license in France?

  14. YUU August 6, 2019 at 10:07 am - Reply

    no is not true. I’m in JPJ NOW I showed your article to the pegawai they say only IF you are driving on an ISLAND then you dont need IDP. or ales you still have to get IDP to drive around the world because if your show ur license to the foreign country police you can only prove you have driving license but it doesn’t mean you have the permission to drive in that country..

    • Cikgu Yap August 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      When the writer of a “blog” gives an opinion, it represents his personal view. His opinion follow international conventions e.g. United Nation and Geneva Conventions Members countries normally accept each other’s driving License. However, there are certain countries which requires you to undergo further tests, as according to their LOCAL conditions. Japan is one example. Qatar, I believe is another. Nevertheless, if local officials hold a different view from that of this writer, this writer therefore cannot be faulted. This is something you as a reader should be able to understand.

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