A person who intends to secure a driving license in Malaysia, should go through a few stages. In most cases, those who attempt to get a Class D (car) and a Class B2 (motorcycle -250c.c.) normally has to pass, through the Learner Driver’s License(L.D.L.) stage, then followed by the “P”(probational license) stage and eventually arriving at the Competent Driver’s License (C.D.L.) stage, to become a full fledged experienced driver.

The above stages a driver has to go through, is a long and tedious one.

The “P” or “probational license” stage above lasts for 2 years. After completion of the 2 years probational or provisional period, as reiterated earlier above, a “P” driver will then be given his “real” or “passed” license.

Our country, Malaysia, follows Australia’s defensive system of driving. Prior to this, Malaysia, which was ruled by England until 1957, driving schools and the Road Transport Department, adhered to the British method of driving.

British method of driving instruction and method of driving, although good, has since gone out of date. Most countries in our modern world today, prefer to adopt Australia’s method of driving, which is known as “Defensive Driving”. For readers’ information, “Defensive Driving” method has resulted in reducing the rate of accidents, especially in Australia itself.

A foreigner, say a Bangladeshi or an Australian, who arrives in our country, Malaysia, to either stay here for quite a long while or to work here, may need to drive a vehicle while they are here. International rules and regulations laid down by United Nations agreement signed in 1949 and 1968 under the Geneva Convention, allows a foreigner holding his or her country’s domestic license, to convert their licenses into Malaysian driving license.

However, it should be reminded though, that foreigners who convert their driving licenses into Malaysia’s, have to follow “P” regulations as required to be followed by Malaysian drivers who have just achieved their driving licenses.

As said earlier, the process of getting a Malaysian driving license is a rather long and tedious one. As such, holders of “P” licenses and other types of licenses such as C.D.L. should treasure their driving licenses well. They should in short, not allow them to be either “suspended” or “banned”, so to say.

A person whose driving license is suspended or banned, will have to go through a “retest”, which involves much financial strain besides tremendous hassle and time wasting procedures.

This article is therefore written to highlight some of the important things and steps which “P” drivers in this country has to adopt, so as to prevent their driving licenses being taken action by the authorities, that is, the Road Transport Department.

“P” license holders face some restrictive measures as they edge towards gaining experience and expertise in driving. Which groups of drivers have to follow the “P” requirements? Those who have to adhere to the above requirements are those who obtain their first license only.

Readers might wish to inquire; does every class of driving license in Malaysia have to follow the “P” requirements? Only license for classes A, B, B1, B2, C, D, F, G, H and I are involved. E, E1, and E2, which incidentally are for “lorries”, are not involved.

What is the “probational” period required for holders of “P” licenses? According to the “Defensive system” of driving, a new driver has to undergo a 2 year period of probation.

Do “P” drivers have to follow some rules and regulations while undergoing a “P” period? As a matter of fact, “P” holders are subjected to adhere to some basic requirements.

Amongst them, “P” drivers have to:-
1. Ensure that they bring along their driving license whilst they are driving.

2. “P” holders should see to it that they affix the P plates in front and at the rear of their vehicles.

3. A driver in Malaysia is disallowed to use alcohol, therefore, they should ensure that their breath, blood and urine has a 0.00 content of alcohol.

Probational “P” holders, who transgress the above rules and regulations, will be said to have broken the rules. Under section 119, of the Road Transport Ordinance 1987, a person can be fined a sum of RM1000 or a 3 months jail sentence upon the first conviction, while the second conviction will get a driver a fine of RM2000 or 6 months jail sentence or both of the above fines.

Besides the above fines, a “P” driver will be given a 10 point demerit deduction and this will automatically cause the “P” license to be suspended right away. A “P” driver who ignores a traffic light, will also be given a 10 point demerit point deduction. Furthermore, a “P” driver who exceeds a 40km/h in a designated area will also be slapped with a 10 demerit point deduction.

The above 3 deductions of “demerit” points will automatically cause a “P” driver’s driving license to be suspended. “P” drivers may wish to know, what will happen should one’s “P” license be suspended or withdrawn by the authorities?

A person, whose license is banned or suspended, is prohibited from driving, to hold any class of driving license for a period of 12 months. Upon completion of the suspension period, a candidate has to repeat the process of learning how to ride or drive and then sit for a retest in order to obtain his new driving license.

A “P” holder also has to affix P plates on the front and the rear of a vehicle. P plates have specific measurements. They are:

  • P plates for cars: 15cm X 15cm
  • P plates for motorcycles: 10cm X 10cm


For motorcycles, owners of bikes should see to it that “P” plates be affixed as follows:

  • Affix P plates above or below the head lamp.
  • Also affix a P plates above or below the registration plate of the motorcycle.


Upon completion of a 2 year probational period, a “P” owner has to convert his “P” license into Competent Driver’s License. The above application has to be made within 1 year of the “P” license expiring. A failure to convert the “P” license into C.D.L. will cause the “P” license to become null or void.

How does a “P” driver go on to convert his “P” into C.D.L.? Documents that are required are as follows:-
1. Original driver’s license.

2. 1 copy colour photo measuring 25mm X 32mm.

3. Payment of RM30 per year for cars. For motorcycles, the payment is RM2 per year.

A driving license can be paid for 1 year (RM30), 2 years (RM60), 3 years (RM90) and 5 years (RM150). Whereas for motorcycles, the rate of payment is RM2 for one year.

There are some “P” holders who would like to know, can a “P” license be converted into a C.D.L before its due date? A “P” license can be converted into a C.D.L. at least 7 days before the “P” period ends. However, the C.D.L can only be allowed to be paid for a period of 1 year only. Besides that, the newly issued license will be monitored automatically by the authorities via their computer system.

Can “P” licenses which have become null and void, its owners make a appeal for it to be reinstated? The answer to the above question is an affirmative “yes”. A “P” license that has expired its 1 year period, can appeal for it to be reinstated by the J.P.J or Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan authorities. Only certain provisions and criteria will be accepted.

Amongst some of the required criteria are:-
1. Provide good criteria and sound basic reasons for consideration.

2. Those making an appeal should ensure that the “P” license has not exceeded the 3 year period as per section 29(1)(b) APJ 1987.

3. The “P” holder has been in a foreign country. Provide evidence that the “P” owner has been outside the country with documents of departure/entry into the country concerned.

4. Failure to, convert “P” into C.D.L due to serious sickness. In this case, medical evidences should be made available.

5. At times, a “P” holder is unable to convert his “P” into C.D.L because the person concerned was behind bars, making it impossible for the owner to convert his “P” license into C.D.L.

6. Inability to convert one’s “P” into C.D.L due to specific reasons. For this, the Pengarah is allowed to weigh the pros and cons whether to allow a “P” license to be reinstated or otherwise. The Pengarah’s decision is final. And finally, it should be borne in mind that the Ketua Pengarah or the Director General, has the right to either Reject or approve a certain appeal.