How to Get an International Driving License in Singapore | DirectAsia
Now that travelling restrictions have been lifted, what’s stopping you from hiring a rental car and road-tripping across the country of your choice? Having an International Driving Permit can minimise inconvenience for drivers – especially in non-English speaking countries – and give you the freedom to explore the cities at your own pace. Besides, losing your way as you cruise along and discovering new hotspots with your family or friends are all part of the process.
But, did you know that you may require an International Driving Permit (IDP) when you’re driving in certain countries? If you’re unsure of how to apply for one or whether you even require one, read on to find out!
What is an International Driving Permit?
The IDP is basically a translation of your national driving license. It allows motorists to drive their vehicles in foreign countries and it’s a United Nations regulated travel document for your benefit and safety. Just remember that you must always have your IDP together with your national license when driving, at all times.
To get an International Driving Permit in Singapore, you’ll have to visit the Automobile Association of Singapore (AA). It’s the only authorised organisation to issue IDPs in Singapore. Based on the Convention Road Traffic code of 19 September 1949, the IDP issued by AA Singapore has a 1-year validity from the date of issue.
If you’re new to Singapore, you can drive in the country as long as you possess a foreign driving license and an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by an authorised body from your country of origin. The IDP will not be issued in Singapore to holders of overseas driving licenses.
How to apply for an International Driving Permit in Singapore?
In order to obtain an IDP, you must apply for it in Singapore before you travel. There are 2 ways you can request for your IDP - you can do it online or just by walking into one of the AA Centres in Singapore.
Applying for the IDP Online:
You can choose to apply for the International Driving Permit online through the Automobile Association of Singapore website. The process will only take you 10 minutes and the AA requires the following:
- Passport-size photo
- NRIC (front/back)
- Singapore driving license (front/back)
- Credit/debit card for online payment of application fee ($20)
However, do note that delivery will take up to 10 working days and an additional $5.50 will be added to your cart prior to checkout for this courier service.
IDP Walk-In Application Process:
You can also choose to head to the Automobile Association of Singapore counters where the entire process will take about 1 hour, if it’s not during peak hours.
All you’ll need at the AA are these following documents:
- A copy of your physical Singapore driving license (front and back)
- A copy of your physical NRIC (front and back) for Singaporeans / Permanent Residents
- A copy of your employment pass/FIN Card (front and back) for foreigners
- A clear coloured passport-sized photograph in plain, light background of the applicant.
Online applicants can submit a passport-size photo in JPG format; walk-in applicants will have their photos taken on-site at no additional charges. If you are applying on behalf of an applicant, a hardcopy photograph of the applicant is required.
Take note that photographs with watermarks will be rejected so you cannot submit the photo image on your passport, NRIC or Driving License card as there is a watermark on it. Ensure you follow these requirements so your application does not get delayed or rejected.
These are the 3 AA Centres in Singapore:
|AA CENTRE||AA @ GB POINT||AA @ BROADWAY PLAZA|
2 Kung Chong Road
#04-01, AA Centre
(Walk 7 mins from Redhill MRT, exit A)
Mon to Fri : 9:00am to 6.45pm
Closed : Sat, Sun & PH
|535 Kallang Bahru
#01-08, GB Point
(Opp Geylang Bahru MRT station, exit A)
Mon to Sun : 11:00am to 7.30pm
|4190 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6
#03-03 Broadway Plaza
(6 mins walk from Ang Mo Kio MRT, exit B)
Mon to Sun : 11:00am to 7.30pm
Where Can You Use Your International Driving Permit?
The IDP is valid in all overseas territories listed in the Contracting States of Convention on Road Traffic of 19 September 1949. However, it is invalid in China, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. In Sri Lanka, an IDP applicant must visit the AA Ceylon or Department of Motor Transport, with a valid Singapore driving license and IDP, to obtain a temporary driving license if you choose to drive around there.
Your International Driving Permit will come in handy in these situations:
- Car rental
- Traffic violations
- Traffic accidents
- Motor insurance claims
- Verifying driver with photo identification
To play it safe, contact the respective Embassy or Consulate Office of the country you’re visiting to obtain more information on driving license requirements, if you intend to travel for a period longer than 3 months.
Get Equipped for International Travel
An IDP gives you peace of mind while you are out exploring the world even if you are not planning to drive overseas! The IDP is not only a requirement for renting a motor vehicle in many countries, it can be helpful if you find yourself in need of identification or assistance.
A valid IDP also allows you to drive in most foreign countries in case of an emergency under normal IDP conditions. So, besides car and travel insurance, we suggest you get your IDP before travelling too!