Using Malaysian Driving License In Other Countries

Posted on April 20th, 2010

Malaysians must surely have observed numerous vehicles from neighboring countries such as Thailand entering rather freely into our country.

Likewise, in the south, Singapore registered cars and drivers frequently drive across Johore Causeway into Malaysia, especially during the weekends.

Do Thais or Singaporeans who drive into Malaysia possess Malaysian licenses? If not, why is it the Malaysian authorities do not seem to take action against them?

In case you don’t know, according to the 1949 and 1968 Geneva Conference, all signatory nations agree to accept each other domestic driving licenses in each other territories.

This agreement is intended to make it easier for citizens who travel to a foreign country less hassle especially when it comes to finding transport is concerned.

How does one ensure his or her country’s license is accepted by the authorities of the nation in which he is visiting?

First of all, especially where the Malaysian authorities are concerned, foreign drivers visiting Malaysia should make sure their licenses are translated either into the English language or Bahasa Malaysia. This is to enable the authorities such as Police, J.P.J, and other relevant authorities to conduct their duties effectively.

Foreign drivers visiting our country should make certain that their licenses are genuine and not fraudulent. In other words, they are not false ones.

Those holding fraudulent licenses without doubt, will get into mess of trouble when accidents occur. As you well aware, insurance companies tend not to honour insurance policies of drivers who hold fraudulent licenses.

As mentioned earlier, even our neighbor Singapore accepts Malaysian driving into their territory. However, those who intend to work in Singapore, for longer than usual periods, they are advised to get a special driving license issued by the Singapore government.

All Malaysians who hold the C.D.L. driving license are in fact authorized to apply for one such license.

For the above purpose, Malaysians can get a copy of their license at any J.P.J. offices. A payment of RM10 is charged by the authorities for the above purpose.

The requirements to get the said license are:
i) Original driving license
ii) Necessary photos
iii) Identification papers

and most certainly, the Singapore authorities will surely process your application speedily.

It should however be reiterated, that upon issuance of a new Singapore license, you old Malaysian license will become null and void.

As in most countries, the law in Malaysia does not permit one to hold 2 licenses. It is in fact an offense. Section 29 (b) of the Road Transport Act 1987 states very clearly that it is not allowed.

What happens then when a person working or living in Singapore has finished his contract of work in that country?

Not to worry actually, as there are provisions which allows a driver, using a Singapore certified document, request that Malaysian authorities to be issue Malaysian drivers with their former licenses.

While holding the above special Singapore driving licenses, drivers can drive vehicles registered in Singapore or even those registered in Malaysia as well without any problem at all. Well. That’s what neighbors are for, as the saying goes.

For those holding C.D.L., in reality a Malaysian visiting Singapore or even Thailand for that matter, can drive their vehicles into the two countries mentioned above without any problem at all. Your domestic licenses issued by the J.P.J. here are acceptable to the transport authorities over there.


For those who do are not aware, the Geneva Conference 1949 and 1968, signatories to this agreement accepts each other’s driving licenses! Like U.S. dollar, which is legal currency in Malaysia, Malaysian driving licenses are accepted worldwide.

To my knowledge, there are one or two countries whose license Malaysia does not recognize. Israel is one of them, as we do not have bilateral relations with that country concerned. As for the other countries, Malaysian authorities accept their driving license to be used in our country. But there are certain rules and regulations to be followed. These have already been mentioned earlier.

In fact, licenses from other countries or nations can even be converted into Malaysian driving licenses. This subject, I believe, have even be broached in earlier post. As such, it will not be brought up this time around.

For those visiting our country, and if you feel like seeing our all the lovely places more extensively, go ahead, if you own a valid driving license from your country, rent a car by all means. And have a wonderful time.

And why not? Driving licenses are meant to take you everywhere, isn’t it?


80 Comments • Posted in Driving License

Comments

  1. Gwen

    Hi Cikgu Yap,

    I’m an expatriate here wanting to obtain a Malaysian Driver’s license but don’t know a good driving instructor or even how to get started. Can you help? I’d like to know what is the first thing i should do and how much does it cost to take driving lessons here? I’m living in Mt Kiara Area, working near KLCC, i cannot speak bahasa melayu but can do in english, chinese or cantonese … do you have a good patient instructor to recomend?

    Thank you!

    • Cikgu Yap

      Sorry, the only good driving instructor friend near KLCC speaks Malay only and no English.

      • Gwen

        Oh, anyone you can recommend in Mont Kiara then Cikgu?

        • Cikgu Yap

          Try contacting Metro Driving Academy in Petaling Jaya. They may have the right driving instructor for you. Here’s their web site: http://www.metrodriving.com.my/

  2. Shashi

    Hi I am Malaysian ,have recently returned home after living 13 years in Australia. I currently hold an Australian Driving license, driving for 12 years. Can I still use my aussie license over here and how long for? How easy would it be to convert my license? Many thanks

    • Cikgu Yap

      Your Australian license can certainly be used to drive here for a reasonable period. What represent “reasonable”, unfortunately, I am unable to determine.

      Yes, you can convert it into a Malaysian license. If in Selangor, you could go over to counters 12 or 13 for the above purpose.

  3. V

    Hey I just have a few questions. I am a Malaysia citizen, like I have a Malaysia ID and passport but I am currently living in Hong Kong. I will be going back to Malaysia soon to get my driver’s license. I am already 18 years old, but I only have a limited time to get my driver’s license because I will be going to university in Australia very soon after I obtain my driver’s license. So my question is, how long is the quickest time it will take for me to obtain my driver’s license? and should I get my international driver’s permit in Malaysia or Australia?

    • Cikgu Yap

      Quickest time to attend all necessary courses, practical (internal) test, & practical JPJ test is at least 45 days.

      P license are not allowed to apply for International Driving License.

  4. Shashiself

    am i able to drive overseas with my P license? I’m currently posted overseas to work

    • Cikgu Yap

      As I explained to others who ask, I am uncertain if “P” is acceptable in foreign countries. “P” is not a full fledged license. As such, ask around to confirm if “P” is acceptable when you are there.

  5. WJY

    Hi, I would be travelling to South Africa in this coming June for tourist purpose. Would like to know whether I could use my Malaysian license to drive in South Africa?

    • Cikgu Yap

      Yes, your Malaysian license can be used for a reasonable period in South Africa.

      • Angelina Michael

        Please help me. I am a Malaysian living in South Africa for the last 7 years. I was informed by the Malaysian Embassy that the Malaysian Driving Licence is valid in South Africa as long as I have the letter of translation from the embassy. I was stopped by the police who said that I need to convert my licence to SA. When I spoke the Malaysian Embassy this morning, they say that as far as they know it is valid and carry my translation.
        I spoke to the local licencing office and they say that since I am living here for 7 years, I would need to sit for the learners and driving test. I am hoping that you might have the correct answer for me.

        • Cikgu Yap

          7 years is too long a time for a foreigner to use the Malaysia license. You can only drive in South Africa with a Malaysian license for a reasonable period only. In fairness to the S. Africa authorities, get a S. Africa license quickly. Failing which, you shouldn’t be driving at all.

  6. Siti

    Hi

    Just wondering you able to help me? im singaporean, lives in johor. I wanna take malaysia driving license, is it possible? and where do i start from? can i learn with you? pls guide me . thanks

    • Cikgu Yap

      Yes, you can test for Malaysian license in Johor. 1st attend 5 hour undang-undang course. Then sit for the computerised Highway Code test. Followed by 6 hour theory course and get your L license for cars out.

      Driving lessons may cost from RM550 – RM750. All in all, it takes approximately 45 – 50 days to get your P license. No, you can’t learn under me because I am based in Selangor.

  7. Rama

    I will be going to South Korea next week.
    I have a valid Malaysian license.
    I am told that there is no need for conversion to International license as the Malaysian license can be used to convert to Korean.
    I have a friend who got his Korean license within an hour without his Malaysian license being held and did not have to go thro the issue of translating the driving license. He also did not have to sit for any exams.
    Please advise.
    Thank you.

    • Cikgu Yap

      Good for you Rama. If what you say is true, all these augurs well for Malaysian with domestic licenses. All readers should kindly take note. I for one will take special note of it.

  8. Crystal

    I have Malaysian P drivers license i’m a foreigner student here in KL so next year i will be back in the Philippines so can I change my License here to International license?thanks

    • Cikgu Yap

      IDL is normally for Malaysian. Whether a Philippine citizen can be given Malaysian IDL, I am uncertain.

      However, you are advised to visit JPJ office in Putrajaya for advise.

  9. shohael

    i want to know… i have a P licence… do u think i can drive into thailand with just my P licence

    • Cikgu Yap

      You should have problem using your P in Thailand.

  10. Autumn

    I will be in Hokkaido for tour. Thinking to rent a car there. Is Malaysian Licence acceptable in Japan? Do I need to apply for international license before I go?

    Thanks!

    • Cikgu Yap

      Malaysian driving license can be used in Japan. Not necessary to get I.D.L.

      • jp

        but according to this http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2022.html and this http://www.rainbowfia.or.jp/en/living/page.php?id=45, foreigner need to get International Driving Permit (IDP), which is a booklet having many different language translations inside it, is required to drive in japan.

        • Cikgu Yap

          Most countries accept the use of Malaysian license in their country. However, in Japan, as you say insists that you need an IDL. Then, you really have no other choice. You have to abide by their requirement. You have to get an IDL.

          Thanks for the link. It’s very informative.

  11. adi fikri

    I about on my trip to South Africa on 1st July.do i need an international license for me to drive a car there?Some of my friends said i dont need an international license in Commonwealth Country

    • Cikgu Yap

      Use your Malaysian license in South Africa. No need for I.D.L.

  12. Lee

    Dear Cikgu Yap,

    I am a Malaysian and I will be relocating to China for work. My question is can I use my Malaysia Driving License in China? If not, what would be the easiest way to obtain the driving permit in China? Is the international driving license regconized in China?

    Thanks in advance

    • Cikgu Yap

      Yes, Malaysian license can be used for reasonable period of time. I.D.L. is recognised in China.

      • Ong

        Hi Cikgu Yap,

        What do you mean by ‘Malaysian license can be used for reasonable period of time’? Is there any official website that can be referred for more detail?

        Thanks in advance.

        • Cikgu Yap

          In England for example, foreign drivers are allowed 120 days to driver there. Reasonable period of time in any countries differs. For this, you’ll have to ask the locals there.

  13. Valen

    Hi Cikgu

    I have a rather complicated scenario.

    I converted Malaysian license to Singapore license under 12 months ago. Now I want to go Australia and the authority said the license used for car rental and driving must be at least 12 months. I have held my Malaysian license for many years, meaning that I’m not an inexperienced driver. But because of converting it to a Singapore license less than 12 months ago, I can’t use this SIngapore license to drive in Australia? Can you advise please?

    • Cikgu Yap

      There’s is nothing much you can do about the Australian requirement. Try t get a confirmation letter from the Malaysian authorities. For what I see, it’s going to be troublesome.

      • Valen

        Hi Cikgu

        Can I use my Malaysian license together with an IDP in Australia, instead of my Singapore license? My Malaysian license is still valid and I presume should not be a problem?

        • Cikgu Yap

          If you still have your Malaysian license, why not. Use it with IDL of yours.

          • Valen

            I thought now once you convert to another country’s license, your Malaysian license will be void.

            • Cikgu Yap

              When issued with a Singapore license, by right, your Malaysian license becomes null and void. No one is allowed to hold 2 licenses.

  14. Valerie

    Hi, I’m a Malaysian in the USA, studying now. I currently use my Malaysian drivers license to drive. I recently decided to get a USA drivers license, but they punched a hole in my Malaysian drivers license. Would I be able to convert my US drivers license back to a Malaysian one when I go back to Malaysia?
    Thanks.

    • Cikgu Yap

      I guess there shouldn’t be a problem converting back to your Malaysian license later.

  15. Jacky

    i’ll be going to Australia to further my studies next year, where can i get the translation of my malaysian driving licence?

    and i would like to ask it against the law if i was sitting in my car with the engine running and my licence expired in malaysia?

    • Cikgu Yap

      Any person competent in Bahasa Malaysia can do the translation. Your 2nd question is an interesting one. If you are checked, explain to the office you’re just tending the car for your friend, not driving it. An officer should be understanding enough not to summon you. Even if you appear before a magistrate or judge, he / she will tend to side you.

  16. Aryanna

    Hi, I am Malaysian who lives and work in Ireland. I am going to visit Los Angeles (USA) and planning to drive while I’m there. Would I be able to use my Malaysian Driving Licence? Is there any other documents that I need?

    Thank you

    • Cikgu Yap

      I think you could use your Malaysian domestic license in America. Nonetheless, it’s always better if you have an international driving license. America, where English being used, it would be good to have a translation of your license in English.

    • michelle

      Hi Aryanna

      I was wondering can you drive in Ireland on your Malaysian licence if you live there and work there what insurance have you been able to obtain. I am Irish my partner is Malaysian and has been granted long visa therefore we want to get him insured on my car.
      Thank you!

  17. Lee

    Hi, i am Malaysian and will go to US for 3months job training. Do i need the international driving license in order to drive in US? Currently i holding Malaysia driving license which is in Malay…Will it be a problem if i using Malaysia drving license instead of International driving license?

    • Cikgu Yap

      You should have no problem using your Malaysian driving license in America.

  18. Winnie

    Hi Cikgu, I plan to travel to Malaysia some time next year. I have a New York (US) driver license. I plan to rent a car in Malaysia. Ques#1: Can I drive in Malaysia and Singapore with US driver license? Ques#2: Would you suggest me to get an IDL?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    • Cikgu Yap

      US license can be used in Singapore and Malaysia. It can be used in Malaysia for a reasonable time period. However, if you plan to be here, it’s better to get an IDL.

  19. Don

    Hi Cikgu Yap,
    I’m a Malaysian, planning to reside/work in Bangkok. I presume I need to have months of bank statement in order for me to buy car there, so I plan to drive my Malaysian car up north. Just want to double confirm our Malaysian driving license is acceptable in Thailand? AND do you know how long I can my car can be in Thailand with such ‘ticket’ of social visit?

    Appreciate.

    • Cikgu Yap

      Malaysian license usable in Thailand. I feel there is no time limit for cars to be in Thailand.

  20. Gap

    Does is mean that if I convert my malaysia CDL to International Driving Permit I can drive Singapore registered car in and out to malaysia freely and permanently? as long as I renew my malaysia IDP.

    SO I not necessary to convert my malaysia license to Singapore license?

    • Cikgu Yap

      With IDP from Malaysia, you can drive Singapore registered vehicles for a reasonable period of time, approximately 120 days. For longer period, convert your Malaysian license into Singapore driving license.

  21. Khotso

    Hi Cikgu Yap,

    I am a South African student studying in Malaysia. I would like to know if I can use my S.A. driving license in M’sia (without an IDP/IDP)
    *The license is in English.

    • Cikgu Yap

      As far as I know, South African driving license should be able to be used in Malaysia.

  22. RK

    Hi Cikgu Yap,
    I am a Malaysian and I am very confused with the IDL system in Malaysia. If the Malaysian driving license can be used in the US then why is there a provision for Malaysians to still pay a fee of RM150 and apply for the permit?

    I plan to go to the US for 2 weeks next month and will be required to drive in the US. I am confused now whether I should apply for the IDL or not? The IDL is like a booklet and it lists down various countries where it is is recognised and the US is one of them.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Do Malaysians only need to apply for the IDL if they are planning to stay in a foreign country for more than a certain number of days, i.e. more than 120 days? Next, our Malaysian driving license once renewed, only a slip with the new validity period, name and i/c number is given. If presented with the original one with the picture, is this laminated slip suffiecient for foreign authorities in the US?

    Awaiting your reply with many thanks in advance.

    • Cikgu Yap

      If you intend to be in US for over 120 days, get an IDL. Regarding your 2nd question, yes, the renewal slip and original license has to be shown.

  23. RK

    Thank you for your prompt reply Cikgu Yap. Really appreciate it.

  24. Hafiz

    Hi cikgu,
    I’m going to australia next week for about 50days for job training.
    Can i use my malaysian driving license to drive rental car there?
    I noted that our driving license got small english translation below
    the malay heading, and i think that translation is enough for people there
    to understand our license.
    Just this morning, my friend said that i need the IDL if i want to drive in
    Australia ( as advice by his JPJ friend, and he has already paid rm150 for it.
    I double checked with the malaysia high commisioner website, and
    was noted that can i use my driving license without need for IDL, but
    they advise us to get the english translation( which is free from the website).
    Can you reconfirm this thing for me. Thanks

    • Cikgu Yap

      It’s always better to get IDL before going to Australia. it’s up to you whether you wish to heed my advice or otherwise.

  25. Isabella

    Hi there. I’m leaving to the states in about 2 months and im wondering if i should apply for a drivers license in the states. i will be renewing my license in July so should i apply for an international license?

    also, do u know of any exemptions/cheaper rates if i were to apply in the states since i’ve already taken my drivers license exam and have a driving license. \

    appreciate your help. rgrds.

    • Cikgu Yap

      Ideally get an IDL. Later only decide if you need to get US license or otherwise.

  26. Shrini

    Hi, I have a small clarification. I am on a working visa and I posses a valid Indian driving license. I went to JPJ Putra Jaya last month and applied for an approval seeking for the conversion of my India driving license to a Malaysian one. However I just received a letter stating that the approval is rejected and that I can use the International Driving permit or my Indian Driving License here. I just wanted to Clarify whether I can use my domestic Indian Driving License here without any hassles cause that is what the letter stated. I am also planning to buy a car soon so I need to know whether insurance formalities will not be affected if I use my Indian license.

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards

    Shrini

    • Cikgu Yap

      You can use your Indian international driving license and Indian domestic license in Malaysia. Keep your letter from the Malaysia authorities as a reference. You can well purchase a vehicle here. I believe insurance won’t be a problem.

  27. Robert

    Hi, hope you can help me.

    I’m a Dutch man living and working in Malaysia. Currently I only hold the Dutch driving license but I’m thinking of getting my Malaysian soon as I’ll be staying here for a while.

    Now in May next year I’d like to do a road trip vacation in China. I’d like t know what’s the easiest to rent a car in China and if I’m allowed to drive (and am insured). Can it be done with Dutch driving license? Or Malaysian? Or should I apply for IDL in Holland? Do I need to do tests in China?

    Thank you,

    Robert

    • Cikgu Yap

      Foreigners issued with a driving license from their home country can apply for a temporary driving license in China without having to undergo any related tests. This takes effect on 1st Jan 2007. The above temporary license is valid for 3 months at the most. Also, you are advised that the temporary Chinese license should be used with the foreigner’s domestic license. In short, take the 2 driving licenses with you.

      However, foreigners have to attend classes to study Chinese road safety regulations prior to their being issued with a temporary Chinese license.

      • Robert

        Thank you, most helpful. So just a classes on safety, no test.

        Is there any website on these classes? How many? What does it cost? Can I take them in Kuala Lumpur? Do I need an International Driving License?

        Thank you’

        • Cikgu Yap

          Your briefing on Chinese transportation matters. I think it can only be done when you’re in China.

  28. Jerrie

    Hi, Cikgu,
    I’m malaysian living and working in Ireland, and I am going to study for 2 years in Sydney, Australia.
    Can I just request a translation of my m’sia driving license with Malaysia Embassy in Ireland, for let me driving in Australia?

    *I called to M’sia Embassy in Ireland before and asked about apply IDL via the Embassy, but they said they don’t do that, and they suggested me to post my IC, my driving license back to m’sia, and ask my family to do the IDL for me. But i’m worrying my IC and license will lost in the postage :S

    Thank you

    • Cikgu Yap

      It’s doubtful if Malaysia Embassy in Ireland can assist you. Send your particulars back home. Ask your family to help you.

  29. David

    I am going to South Africa for a tour for two weeks, I don’t need to convert my driving license to IDL, as i saw some comment and reply above, what if i was check by the police and can’t understand my driving license because it is in malay writing? They won’t be able to understand, so can i translate my license into english before going?

  30. danielhtong

    We bikers always ride in Thailand. Laos. Cambodia. Myanmar & Vietnam sometime for almost 30 days. Do we all need a international permit to ride or to drive?

    • Cikgu Yap

      Delighted to not your group appears very active. I advise its better to get an international permit. Ans also, proper insurance and proper driving or riding gears.

  31. Farah

    Hi , Im 19 years old holding P licence and studying in uk.
    Im just wondering if i can use my License to drive in UK?
    I arrived in UK on January.

    • Cikgu Yap

      I see no reason why your P can’t be used in UK.

  32. Mathew Khoo

    Hi, I’m 19 years old going to study in the States, I’m just wondering if I can purchase a second hand car and drive over there with my P licence?

    • Cikgu Yap

      I suggest you purchase your 2nd hand vehicle in the US.

  33. Ann

    Hi, I’m planning to drive at South Africa for 2 weeks, can I just use my Malaysian license ?

    • Cikgu Yap

      Dear Ann, Go ahead to use your licence in South Africa.

      Yap

Leave a Comment...

Blog Search
Recent Comments
  • Ms Long: Dear Cikgu Yap, Can foreign worker go for lorry driving classes without wanting to obtain driving license?...
  • Hanif: Setahu saya, merujuk website dari Portal JPJ, pemohon boleh wakilkan individu yang diperakui oleh pemohon utk...
  • Wong: hi!currently im working in singapore,but i plan to drive a mini bus for my son sake,he will be in primary one...
  • Thiang: Hi Cikgu, i’m sorry. i din’t get any email from you yet, could you send the email again?
  • stefenie: Hi Cikgu Yap, im looking for class for my boss (diplomats) wife, prefer driving lessons conducted in...
  • jacky: can u contact me on email?
  • Madam Soon: Cikgu Yap, My child ,age 17 would like to have driving lesson with you . May I know the procedure...
  • jacky: hi cikgu yap .. i am international student desire to drive in malaysia whats the procedure of getting driving...
  • Angah: Hai cikgu yap.. saya nak tanya adakah NCD kereta yang telah genap 10 tahun usianya akan menjadi 0%...
  • kina: Saya nak tanya. Saya dari kota bharu, dan nak ke kuala lumpur minggu nie. Tetapi masalahnya, saya akan mengguna...
  • radhakrishnan: I am a foreigner working in Malaysia. I have learned car driving long back and I would like to refresh...
  • Wan: Salam sejahtera..Kawan saya telah mengalami buta mata di sebelah kanan akibat kemalangan jalan raya.....
  • Stef: Hi I like a refresher course but problem is i m scare of driving hope u can help
  • hassan: HELO CAN U CONTACT ME ON EMAIL here it would be not possible to talk. a guy i know he got one year a go thats...
  • Yas: sorry cikgu yap, I just noticed that I gave you the wrong email address because I no longer have access to it....
  • Omar: Hi Cikgu Yap, I have driving license and I need refresher course in Bukit Jalil area. Would you please send me...
  • zel: hai cikgu yap, bagaimana nak dapatkan tajaan dari institusi memandu, saya dah lama berminat mahu berkhidmat...