Can Malaysian Driving Licenses Be Used In The United Kingdom?

Driving In UK

There are certain countries in the world which adheres to strict norms or standards of driving.

United Kingdom, Germany, Australia even our neighboring country, Singapore, expect very high standards and discipline from its drivers.

If they could, the United Kingdom and Australia, would not accept Malaysian drivers driving in their countries.

The reason for the above being, Malaysia, unfortunately are considered as one of the worst drivers in the world, so to say.

Malaysia, even though a small country with a population of only about 30 million, which includes Sabah and Sarawak, has an accident rate the 3rd highest in the world.


The nation considered as possessing the highest accident rate is China, with India coming behind a close second.

As reiterated earlier, Australia and the U.K., due to its close political relationship with Malaysia, have little choice but to accept the use of Malaysian driving licenses in their countries.

Under the Geneva Conference of 1949 and 1968, the United Nations make it compulsory for all signatory countries to accept each other countries licenses for the sake of convenience to its people.

As such, people especially tourists, students and those coming over to countries like England, Australia, Germany and so forth, are permitted to drive, using their domestic licenses.

But it should not be forgotten however, certain rules and regulations are imposed by the host nation.

Some countries even go to the extent of allowing certain countries to convert its licenses into their countries full license automatically.

Singapore drivers can convert their licenses into British full licenses.

However, it is believed Malaysian drivers cannot have their licenses converted in this manner.

The British authorities, it is said, are not ready to accept Malaysian licenses for conversions.

Malaysian licenses are considered not up to the standard by our British counterparts.

Whatever it is, Malaysians who come over or visit the United Kingdom as students or tourists can use their domestic licenses to drive in the United Kingdom if they so desire.


However, as the famous saying goes, โ€œwhen in Rome, do as the Romans doโ€.

This essentially means that Malaysians should follow the rules and regulations that are imposed by the British authorities.

For example, Malaysian should see to it that:

i) Their domestic licenses should be valid, that is not expired.

ii) That they should ideally possess International Driving Licenses (I.D.L.).

This license is normally issued by the country of origin, that in this case, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As far as I am concerned, and according to a blog site which I read, Malaysian should remember that their domestic driving licenses and I.D.L. mentioned earlier can only be used for a period of not more than 120 days in the U.K. only.

Should a Malaysia driver in the United Kingdom wish to continue to drive in the country, then he or she should contemplate getting a full British license instead before the expiry of the 120 days permitted.

Driving after the above period will obviously land him in hot soup with the British authorities.

The procedures towards obtaining a full British license are:

i) Secure a provisional or โ€œLโ€ driving license first.

ii) Sit for the full British license later.

Malaysian should however realize that to get a full British license takes time.

Unlike in Malaysia, getting such a license is no easy task!

Any foreigners, who is capable of securing a British driving license will obviously end up a good and better driver all round.

One in fact should feel immensely proud to be able to secure a U.K. driving license while he or she is on a social visit or on a student mission while in the United Kingdom.

It is in fact an achievement in itself!


I will continue later to write upon in more detail on the procedure of getting a full British license in my forthcoming articles.

Suffice that this blog advises Malaysians driving in the United Kingdom to drive on the left, give way to traffic on the right always and also to remember to wear your seat belts, both front and rear passengers, and most important of all, have insurance coverage while you are driving there.


By | 2017-08-14T21:56:08+00:00 May 31st, 2010|Driving License|22 Comments

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22 Comments

  1. Wong June 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hi, how r u? I was informed by the Aust Road Transport Authority that I need to provide a letter from Msia Govt as one of the supporting documents for me to apply for Aust’s driving license.

    The letter is to confirm that I’ve been having my driving license for more than 5 years. Which dept do I request it from – would it be JPJ at Putrajaya? Do you know of any forms that I may have to fill up?

    • Cikgu Yap June 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Driving in Australia with a Malaysian license is one thing. To try and convert Malaysian license into Australian domestic license is another.

      Should you want to convert Malaysian license into Australian license, as you said you have to get a confirmation letter from Malaysian authorities. I suggest you get the above letter from J.P.J. office in Putrajaya.

  2. sai sai June 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Can u tell me that can i have car driving license with guardian permit ? How long will take to learn driving the car . How much it does cost ? How can i contact u to learn for driving? please reply me.very thankful for ur own blog.

    • Cikgu Yap June 3, 2010 at 1:27 am - Reply

      You’ll need your passport. Capable to sit Highway Code in English. D license (cars). B2 (motorcycles below 250cc).

  3. Stacey June 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    I am a Malaysian currently residing in Indonesia. I plan to obtain my driving license here as opposed to getting one back home in Malaysia because I will not be returning to Malaysia for another good 3 years.

    I want to know whether I would be able to use my Indonesian driving license back in Malaysia, or whether it is convertible into one that is recognized in Malaysia.

    Thank you so much!

    • Cikgu Yap June 3, 2010 at 1:28 am - Reply

      It all depends whether your Indonesian license is a real or bogus. I will not commit myself to say if Indonesian license can be converted into Malaysian license.

  4. chris June 16, 2010 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    i am a P license holder, heading to johor. i was wondering about driving down to singapore. i need your help to explain what do i have to do to be able to drive down to singapore. thank you

    • Cikgu Yap June 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Your P license allows you to drive to Singapore. Ideally, you are advised to bring a photocopy of your insurance policy along too.

  5. Chin June 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I am a Malaysian currently residing in Australia. Is that possible to obtain confirmation letter from J.P.J. office while I am in Australia?

    • Cikgu Yap June 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      You could try writing to the state JPJ with your request.

  6. Alvin W June 26, 2010 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Currently, I’m studying in France and thinking of driving a car here. Can a Malaysian full license be used here?

    • Cikgu Yap June 29, 2010 at 12:07 am - Reply

      Yes, Malaysian license can be used in France for reasonable period. Find out what deemed as reasonable period when you are in France.

  7. Keith William MacHendry August 2, 2013 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Why do UK citizens have to sit a driving test in Malaysia to obtain a Malaysian licence when German’s who drive on the other side of the road don’t? Is this some kind of a wind up?
    What walaper made up this rule or, is this because the British, “NOT English” had an empire which included what is now called Malaysia? The people here are very nice but, their driving is piggin awful & they have some nerve making UK people re-sit a driving test in this country, considering how badly so many of them drive. What a bigoted policy!

    • Cikgu Yap August 4, 2013 at 9:35 am - Reply

      UK driving license can be used here in Malaysia for a reasonable period of time. However, should you desire to drive here longer, then you’ll have to take steps to get a local license. I certainly concur with you that Malaysians, on the whole, are poor drivers.

  8. Mas August 4, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Hey i dont know where did you get your facts on Malaysia being the 3rd highest contributor of death due to road accidents. But at this link you can see that Malaysia is not even in the top 10. Check it http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/01/18/a-surprising-map-of-countries-that-have-the-most-traffic-deaths/ . I know this was posted 3 years ago but i do not think that it has changed much. So please dont blow things out of proportion,as i dont think you are being synical either. Thanks

    • Cikgu Yap August 8, 2013 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Thank you for enlightening us regarding Malaysia’s accident rate status.

  9. Ng Yinn Jye June 29, 2014 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    i would like to ask that what is the procedure for me to convert my Malaysian driving licence to UK driving license? many thanks.

    • Cikgu Yap July 4, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

      I doubt if your license is acceptable for conversion by British authorities.

      • B Tan July 10, 2014 at 10:41 pm - Reply

        Does it mean we have to get a Provisional license then take the practical test?

        • Cikgu Yap July 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm - Reply

          That’s correct. Yap.

  10. Law September 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am holding the old Malaysian driving license (the one that is laminated and in Malay). May I use that to drive in England? Or do I need something else for it as well?

    • Cikgu Yap November 1, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Have your license translated into English before going to England.

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