Driving licence in Singapore
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A driver licence (or driving licence) is required in Singapore before a person is allowed to drive a motor vehicle of any description on a road in the country. Like many other countries in the world, an individual must possess a valid driving licence before being permitted to drive on the road, and driving licence holders are subject to all traffic rules.
The minimum age to drive a motor vehicle and getting a Qualified Driving Licence (QDL) in Singapore is 18 years old. The driving licence is for the normal lifespan of a person. For those who accumulated 13 demerit points and above within one year probation, the licence will be revoked.
Classes of driving licence
The classification of motor vehicles and eligibility of a driving licence in Singapore is as follows:
|1||Invalid Carriages.||18||Only issued to those with physical disabilities, in lieu of other classes of licences|
|2B||Motor cycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 200cc.||18|
|2A||Motor cycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 400cc.||19||Possession of Class 2B for at least one year|
|2||Motor cycles with an engine capacity exceeding 400cc.||20||Possession of Class 2A for at least one year|
|3||(a) Motor cars of unladen weight not exceeding 3000 kg with not more than 7 passengers, exclusive of the driver; and
(b) Motor tractors and other motor vehicles of unladen weight not exceeding 2500 kg
|18||Manual and Automatic Transmissions.|
|3A||(a) Motor Cars without clutch pedals of unladen weight not exceeding 3000 kg with not more than 7 passengers exclusive of the driver; and
(b) Motor tractors and other motor vehicles without clutch pedals of unladen weight not exceeding 2500 kg.
|18||Automatic Transmission only. (It is an offence for a 3A licensed persons to operate a Class 3 (Manual) Vehicle. Any persons who wish to operate a Manual Vehicle is required to have a full Class 3 Licence.)|
|3C||(a) Motor cars constructed solely and adapted to carry not more than 7 passengers (exclusive of the driver) and the weight of which unladen does not exceed 3,000 kilograms only.||18||Work Permit and S-Pass holders only need to pass the Basic Theory Test to convert their foreign driving licence to be allowed to drive all Class 3 vehicles except for light goods vehicles, mini vans and small buses.|
|3CA||(a) Motor Cars without clutch pedals of unladen weight not exceeding 3000 kg with not more than 7 passengers exclusive of the driver.||18||The Class 3CA licence is introduced to new drivers who only want to drive automated Class 3C vehicles.|
|4A||Omnibus||21||Persons must be working for a public bus company as a Bus Captain. Licence will be revoked once he/she leaves the company.|
|4||Heavy motor vehicles of unladen weight exceeding 2500 kg which are constructed to carry load or passengers.||21||Persons must hold a Class 3 Qualified Licence before applying for a Class 4 licence. The minimum age for driving this vehicle is 21.|
|5||Heavy motor vehicles not constructed to carry any load and the unladen weight exceeds 7250 kg.||21||Persons must hold a Class 4 Qualified Licence before applying for a Class 5 licence. The minimum age for driving this vehicle is 21.|
Types of driving licence
- Provisional Driving Licence (PDL) - possessed by learners in driving schools. A PDL can only be applied after passing the Basic Theory Test(BTT), which can be taken at any of the established driving schools in Singapore. From 1 Dec 2017 onwards, PDL Hardcopy will no longer be issued. The learner can now apply on the Police@SG Website. The PDL is required before any person can start learning to drive on public roads and operating a motorcar. This licence itself carries several restrictions, some of which are listed below:
- A Certified Driving Instructor (CDL) must be present to guide the learner driver.
- A learner driver is not allowed to use the expressway and some busy roads such as those in Chinatown and Orchard Road.
- A "L" plate must be placed at the front and rear of the car.
- A PDL is valid for 6 months from the date of grant and can be renewed subsequently for every 6 months if the licence is granted before 1 Dec 2017.
- For PDL Granted after 1 Dec 2017, It will be revamped to 2 years validity officially to allow learners to have more time to learn and pass their driving tests.
- Upon the passing of a Final Theory Test(FTT), the learner driver can then proceed to take the Practical Driving Test.
- Qualified Driving Licence (QDL) - full licence. On passing the Practical Driving Test, a driving licence will be issued. The licence holder will undergo a 1-year probation period, in which he is required to display the probationary licence plate, a triangular plate, at the top right portion of the front windscreen and the rear windscreen, as seen from the outside of the vehicle. If the licence holder accumulates more than 12 demerit points within the probationary year, the licence will be revoked. Failure to display Probationary Licence plates may also cause the offending driver to receive a fine for the first time, then an immediate revocation for the subsequent time.
However, if the driver has a licence of Class 3A that has had lasted a year or more and he recently passed his Class 3 (Manual) Licence for less than a year, he will need to only place the Probationary Licence Plate when he drives or operate a Class 3 (Manual) Vehicle.
- Vocational Driving Licence (VDL) - a special driving licence for commercial vehicle drivers of taxi and bus. There are three types of VDL. Bus Driver Vocational Licence (BDVL) , Private Hire Vocational License (PHVL) and Taxi Driver Vocational Licence (TDVL). To apply for the bus driver vocational licence, the applicant must have a Class 3 Singapore driving licence with at least one year's driving experience and a clean driving record. To apply for the taxi driver vocational licence, the applicant must be a Singapore Citizen of at least 30 years of age and have a qualified Class 3 Singapore driving licence with at least one year's driving experience and a clean driving record. To apply for the private hire vocational licence, the applicant must have a qualified Class 3 Singapore driving licence with at least one year's driving experience and a clean driving record.
How to learn driving class in Singapore
There are two ways you can learn driving class in Singapore: 1) Driving schools; 2) Private instructors.
- Driving Schools - There are three driving schools in Singapore. Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) is in Woodlands, ComfortDelGro Driving Centre (CDC) is in Ubi and Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC) is in Bukit Batok. These three driving schools are the places to register for Basic Theory Test, Riding Theory Test, Final Theory Test and Practical Driving Test
- Private Instructors - Private instructors are those who may be registered as self-employed instructors or registered under a private driving institution company. Typically private instructors would use personal or company cars for instruction. Only class 3 or 3A can be learned through private instructors. All other classes can only be done at the three driving schools in Singapore.
Conversion of driving licence
Foreigners holding foreign driving licence and intend to remain in Singapore for less than twelve months are not required to convert their foreign driving licence to a Singapore driving licence. They may drive in Singapore with a valid foreign driving licence. However, if the licence is not in English, in addition to a valid foreign driving licence, they are required to have an International Driving Permit. If an International Driving Permit is not available, an official translation of the driving licence in English is required.
To convert to a Singapore driving licence, the foreigner is required to pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT) for familiarisation of traffic rules and Singapore's Highway Code pertaining to traffic related issues specific to Singapore. A Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) who wishes to drive in Singapore is required to convert his foreign driving licence after becoming a PR.