6 Requirements To Become A Taxi Driver In Malaysia

In Malaysia, school buses, factory buses, taxis as well as express buses come under the control of the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB).

School buses are painted canary yellow. Factory buses, for your information, are painted blue. Taxis in Malaysia, are however painted white and red in colour. The above commercial vehicles are all painted in their distinctive colours for easy recognition by the public and also the authorities which are the police and the Road Transport Department.

A friend of mine, Johari who hails from Gombak is an illegal taxi driver. Johari operates his taxi service from the Gombak LRT station to the Genting casino. Although Johari has been a taxi driver for many years, unfortunately, his attempts to secure a registered taxi permit from the Road Transport authorities has been in vain.

I also know a few taxi friends and colleagues as well. One is Ah Suei, now 70, and the other is Wong who is currently a driving instructor. Talking about taxi drivers, Singapore is renowned to have one of the best taxi services. England, is also said to possess excellent taxi services.

My brother-in-law, Mr. Ooi, once went to England for a short holiday. He was reported to have left an old camera in the taxi in London. A few weeks after he returned to Malaysia, Mr. Ooi received a letter from the taxi agency from London, requesting him to claim the camera from the taxi company.

Unfortunately, according to tourists who visit Malaysia, Malaysian taxis have been described as smelling like toilets. Malaysian taxi drivers are said to be discourteous and the service they provide rank as one of the worst in the world.’

To become a legal taxi driver in Malaysia is actually not easy. The authorities which issues the taxi permits, the CVLB in Putrajaya, has spelt out some strict and stringent requirements.

In today’s article, I shall endeavor to touch upon 6 rules and regulations which the J.P.J. look for.

1) A driving license and many good years of experience in driving.

A person intending to apply for a taxi permit should ideally possess good and clean driving records. In short, the capability to be able to drive competently would be a boon. It is my understanding that many ex-soldiers or army personnel, eventually land up as taxi drivers as they are said to be of good and impeccable character as well as disciplined.

2) Possess a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license.

Not everyone can become a taxi driver in Malaysia. A person who wishes to become one must first of all attain the PSV license. To get a PSV license, one has to go through a rather tedious process. Amongst the requirements are:
i) Attend a 1 ½ day course organized by driving institutes and Road Transport officials.

ii) Sit and pass a 50 question subjective examination.

iii) Getting a PSV license to enable him to drive a taxi.

iv) Must also sit for a practical test conducted by the J.P.J. at driving institutes which have taxis and cater for such practical exam. Most driving institutes do not have such facilities. Such services are only available in large institutes in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.

3) Must be in possession of good character and not black listed with the police.

To be accepted as a taxi driver in Malaysia, the rules require a person to be of sound character and to be trustworthy person as well. As such, people who were once ex-gangsters and bad hats will obviously not be permitted by the authorities to apply to become taxi drivers.

4) Must have the ability to own a vehicle.

A person must also have the ability to possess, ideally a new vehicle which can cost quite a large sum of money. A normal vehicle of say, a 1300 cc can easily cost anything from RM40,000 to RM50,000. In short, to own a taxi, you should have the financial capacity too.

5) Knowledge of local and popular place in towns and cities.

To be a good taxi driver, one has to know places, as they say. One for example, has to know popular destination such as KLCC, the Petronas Twin Tower, Bukit Jalil Stadium, PWTC and ideally all the roads which tourists and local folks might normally wish to go.

In fact, the authorities issuing permits subject a potential taxi driver to such geographical knowledge during the practical test.

6) Able to provide a fair calculation of distances travelled and usage of meters.

Taxis operators must be able to give an accurate calculation of the distance passengers traveled. Most taxis nowadays use meters. As such, the price of distance traveled should not be much of a problem.

A good taxi driver should be able to give passenger a correct calculation of taxi fares that are used after 12:00 pm. Such ability by taxis driver is very important as passengers will not feel short changed by unscrupulous taxis operators. By being fair and courteous, it will go a long way in redeeming the image of taxi drivers in this country.

Permits of taxis can be issued for:
i) Town and cities service.

ii) To outstations like airports such as KLIA and Penang airport.

iii) To provide services at specific places like Genting Highlands for example.

Tourists and local people alike seem to have a poor impression of services provided by taxi drivers today. But to be fair, there exits a saying which reiterates, “there are always 2 sides to a coin”. Without a doubt, there will always be bad taxi drivers and not forget too that there are also taxi drivers who are good as well.

To end this article, permit me to relate to you a touching episode of one Chinese taxi driver in Cyberjaya My youngest daughter was once waiting for a bus to arrive near her campus in Multimedia University at 7:30 pm. It was getting dark as night was approaching.

At the bus stop where my daughter was waiting, was a group of rowdy ruffians. Her safety was in fact threatened. While she was waiting for her bus to arrive, surprisingly a taxi stopped beside her. Sensing the apparent danger that my daughter was experiencing at that time, the taxi inquired why my daughter had not opted to hail a taxi instead.

On hearing that my daughter was at that time low on funds and therefore unable to use the services of a public taxi, the driver finally requested her to enter his taxi and ferried her to her destination to Kuala Lumpur free of charge.

This story has touched my heart tremendously. I do not know who the Chinese taxi driver is. All I wish to reiterate is, there will always be bad taxi drivers around. But at the same time, do not forget that there will also be taxi drivers who are caring and humane as well.

I am very sure that in your encounter with taxi drivers, you will one day surely come across taxi drivers who are not only courteous, fair and provide you the good services which you require. To all taxi drivers, do not be disheartened with the bad publicity your profession has garnered thus far. Persevere and I am certain you will prevail one day!

By | 2017-04-05T20:40:00+08:00 February 11th, 2011|Public Service Vehicle|38 Comments

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  1. Simon Yee February 14, 2011 at 4:24 am - Reply

    Having good knowledge of the the towns and cities are important not do not think they are walking GPS. Even they can get lost sometime.
    So being a passenger you need to know your way like your own hand held GPS, Google Map, Map Book or even some other friend with you going to the place.
    Asking for directions are not a sin but having a good sense of the landmark, direction and also a little help from someone around that area will help.
    At least you will not cause an road accident just because the taxi driver made a wrong turn.

  2. yong October 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    hi i’m yong here. i like to ask if i want to be a taxi driver in malaysia wat i need to do? where to get a license. how munch the cost n is it i must have my own taxi after i get a license or i can just rent a car from some where??? Thx for help!

    Best Regard,

    • Cikgu Yap October 20, 2011 at 11:27 am - Reply

      The article above will give you the answers.

  3. Buddy February 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    hi i’m Buddy, i would like to Enquire on how to get a “Premier LCCT taxi” (Black colour one) for sewa beli (like hundai sonata, merce, or nissan cerfiro), i have the down payment and everything but just dont know where or who to apply from. (it’s a black colour taxi service), i recently took one from the lcct airport and saw that it’s a good coice for working on flexible hours as i need to take care of a family member daily on difrent time basis and cant be working in office or shift hours anymore. I really really need someone’s help on this as i need flexible working timing but a good car like premier taxi black colour service from lcct only. Please help as i’m only looking for black colour premier taxi service from lcct (using ticket coupon system, tq)

    • Cikgu Yap February 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      I suggest you go to JPJ Putrajaya and try to talk to the officers regarding your desire in regards to LCCT taxi. I wish you luck.

  4. hasan March 24, 2012 at 2:01 am - Reply

    good to hare the story. bad my experience is really bad. I arrived Malaysia 4 month ago. at fist I had took taxi some times. but most if time they ripping me by using wrong road. when u tried ti correct them they said that this is the perfect road. but I also get some good service too. one Malaysia driver teach me every rute I need. sorry to say, now I just aware if Tamil driver. one time I got muged . other times thay charge me over. now I only use Malaysian and Chinese driven taxi.


  5. Lim April 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Hello Cikgu Yap,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    I’m interested to get a taxi driving license. Appreciate much if you could recommend a proper driving school for the purpose of just getting the taxi license.

    Many thanks & regards,

    • Cikgu Yap April 11, 2012 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      To get a taxi permit is rather difficult. if this problem is solved, by all means you can proceed on to attend necessary courses and secure a taxi license. You could try Safety Driving School in PJ.

  6. Chang May 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,

    If i have psv with me now, can i rent a taxi to start my business? If yes, could you advise roughly how much rental charge normally?

    Many thanks in advance!


    • Cikgu Yap May 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Renting a taxi takes more than a PSV badge. I suggest you visit JPJ promises to seek their advice.

  7. kenny September 14, 2012 at 3:35 am - Reply

    I m a taxi driver myself. Hv been using d meter since day 1 when i got my psv & hv return a number of purse, wallets, iPhones to its owners(so what, i dont ask 4 anything in return). But still many city taxi drivers especially d indians not wanted to used d meter instead charged as they wish. ALMOST all tourist especially d Africans is d prime target. I also heard stories if anyone left their belongings or h/p, just pay to BUY it back or probably u can say bye-bye 2 it. Some even got robbed. On 1 occasion, a Singaporean lady was charge RM60 a trip from Bkt Bintang – The Curve driven by a malay lady. Upon returning in my taxi, it was only RM20. My friend from India was charge RM45 a trip from PJS 9 Sunway – Pelangi Utama (indian taxi). Many more stories & xperiences. So WHAT D HELL IS SPAD GOING TO DO ABOUT IT!!!! When they arrive, all taxi ran & scatter like ants. and the SPAD only standing & observing. (Sorry 4 i talk 2 much but i m 2 piss off with their attitude) want me 2 say more?….later lah. V wait 4 any counter reply on my comment from others……

    • Cikgu Yap September 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Very glad there are still honest and wonderful taxi drivers like yourself around. Keep up your good work. We need taxi operators like you. Syabas!

  8. Ben March 7, 2013 at 4:09 am - Reply

    want some of your feedback, say a day of driving a taxi for 10 hours, how much can one earn? and how much will be daily expenses? assume all the driving is in klang valley and no lcct/klia trips. thanks

    • Cikgu Yap March 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Through unable to give you a detail breakdown of your earnings, I’m certain should you work hard, you’ll be able to earn a comfortable and decent living.

  9. benn May 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Hi, i know it is not really seen in Malaysia but i would like to know is it possible for foreigner (mat saleh) to get taxi permit..

    • Cikgu Yap May 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Foreigners are not allowed.

  10. Mike May 26, 2013 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,

    i have some enquiries on psv licence.
    i have heard frm my fren that inorder for me to get the psv licence i need to enroll myself to a driving scholl wic could cost me about rm 400 to rm 450?
    if i were to go to jpj, would they be able to help me to get the psv…i’m just looking for a cheapest alternative..

    • Cikgu Yap May 28, 2013 at 8:06 am - Reply

      JPJ only issues the PSV license. Courses are under the purview of institutes. To get a better offer of prices, contact the institutes straight away.

  11. veron joo September 13, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Dear Mr.Yap,

    I has a private car-Proton BLM 1.3L(Auto), may I know how can I convert my car as a registered texsi. Can the auto car be switch to NGV? May I know shall I go for this process first before getting a psv license?

    Really need to seek for your advise, tq very much.

    • Cikgu Yap September 19, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

      Get a taxi license first to operate a taxi. Other things can come later. Your auto should be able to be converted to NGV.

  12. Lim November 14, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Hi, Mr. Yap,

    I would like ask, how to apply be a LIMO taxi driver?

    Thank you.


    • Cikgu Yap November 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Currently, SPAD is issuing taxi permits under 1Malaysia Taxi scheme. Try asking JPJ Putrajaya. Also liaise with BSN too.

  13. Sivam August 3, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Sir Im planning to be a part time taxi driver.
    Im not interested to owning a permit or taxi. its more to leasing from another person.
    please guide. thank you

    • Cikgu Yap August 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      Your idea not workable. You need proper papers and documents.

  14. mohd nizam September 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    I think this is good site about taxi issues.

  15. Shahji October 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Hello Cikgu,

    I found this article very nice & informative, I m a foreigner by citizenship but my wife is malay. In this case since I don’t have myKad & only have P.R status on my passport.
    Do you think that there any possibility for me to become a part/full time taxi driver.

    I do have Malaysian & International driving license with significant driving experience.

    Thanks in advance (y)

    • Cikgu Yap October 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      Saudara Shahji, As a Malaysian citizen, this blog sees no reason why you can’t become a full time or part time taxi driver.

  16. Reza February 5, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,
    i am planning to buy some cars and give it on lease to taxi drivers who are interested.
    so it would be really helpful for me if you can advice me what to do on the first step?

    thank you.

    • Cikgu Yap February 9, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Your idea is not feasible.

  17. Ami April 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu, I am planning to get Executive Taxi (Innova). I have PSV. How much i have to prepare (downpayment) to get hire purchase Exec Taxi..? Is it a good idea to lease a E.Taxi..?

    • Cikgu Yap April 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Apply a taxi permit first.

  18. ibrahim April 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Dear Che Gu Yap,

    Adakah taxi license and PSV license itu benda yang sama?

    • Cikgu Yap April 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Lesen taxi adalah kebenaran menjalankan perniagaan teksi. PSV untuk membawa teksi.

  19. Mohamed June 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Cikgu Yap,
    thanks for your kind post
    but i have a question i am foreigner working in Malaysia and would like to do a part time job as a taxi driver
    is there any possibilty for this or no


    • Cikgu Yap June 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      Non Malaysians are not allowed to be a taxi driver. That’s the regulation here.

  20. shahid August 5, 2015 at 6:03 am - Reply

    Can a foreigner become a txi driver in malaysia?

    • Cikgu Yap August 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Taxi driver permit in Malaysia is given to Malaysian only.

  21. Priya kunasegran March 24, 2016 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I’m a single mother. I wanted to become taxi driver full time. What d procedures. How much will be cost. I’m not sure whether I can pass d teori exam but I can drive very well n I m driving with valid license for past 15 years. Is there any ways. I’m so confused pls do help me

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