How to convert your foreign driving licence before you can buy or rent a car in Singapore
4.6 min read
Whether you’re looking into car ownership or car rental in Singapore, you’ll need to hold a valid driving licence if you’re a foreigner residing on the island. If you’ve never driven a car before, you’ll need to go for a full driving course to get a driving licence. But that’s not needed if you already have a driving licence from your home country — all you have to do is convert it instead. In this blog post, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about converting your foreign driving licence to a Singapore driving licence.
But before we get into that, who needs to convert to a Singapore driving licence?
Not every foreign driver has to convert their driving licence when driving in Singapore.
If you’re a short-term pass holder or have a social visit pass and you’ll be residing in Singapore for less than 12 months, you’re not required to convert your foreign driving licence. This is provided that your driving licence is in English — otherwise, you’ll need to have a supplementary International Driving Permit from your home country or an official translation of your driving licence in English.
If you’re a long-term pass holder — including Student Pass (STP), Employment Pass (EP) and Long-term Visit Pass (LTVP), you’ll have to convert to a Singapore driving licence as soon as you hit the 12th-month mark if you wish to continue driving.
Take note that the rules are different for Work Permit (WP) or S-Pass holders — you’ll be able to drive in Singapore with your foreign driving licence for only 6 months after which you’ll have to convert it.
Requirements to convert your foreign driving licence
Here are the things you need to have or know to be eligible for a driving licence conversion in Singapore.
- A valid, unexpired driving licence from your home country which contains the date of issuance — if this is not available, you’ll have to provide supporting documents
- A valid work permit or work pass that is not about to expire soon
- Your driving licence from your home country must not have been issued after you’ve received your work pass or work permit
Converting your foreign driving licence to a Singapore driving licence
(Photo: Bukit Batok Driving Centre)
Step 1: Take the Basic Theory Test
The good news is, if you already have a driving licence, you’ll not need to go through the entire driving test process from scratch again. All you need to do is pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT) at one of the driving schools in Singapore and you’re good to apply for your Singapore driving licence.
To book your BTT, you’ll first have to create an account with any of these 3 driving schools. You’ll be able to do this online except for SSDC. We suggest that you choose one that’s closest to where you live so that commuting is convenient.
Bukit Batok Driving Centre
📍 Address: 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085
📞 Phone: 1800 666 8888
🌐 Website: https://info.bbdc.sg/
ComfortDelGro Driving Centre
📍 Address: 205 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408805
📞 Phone: 6841 8900 | 6848 0617
🌐 Website: https://www.cdc.com.sg/
Singapore Safety Driving Centre
📍 Address: 2 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757387
📞 Phone: 6482 6060
🌐 Website: https://ssdcl.com.sg/
After creating your account, you may proceed to book your BTT. This can either be done online or in person. The Basic Theory Course (inclusive of the BTT which has a standardised price across all three schools) costs about $77.95 at BBDC, $86.75 at SSDC, and about $92 to $94 at CDC — check out the breakdown of these costs in this blog post.
If you have a packed schedule and can’t make it to the theory classes at your preferred driving school, you may opt for self-study and only register for the BTT instead.
Tip: Remember to book your test early!
Step 2: Apply for conversion
Once you’ve passed your BTT, head down to the Traffic Police Headquarters to apply for your driving licence conversion. The application will cost you $50 and can be paid either by CashCard or NETS.
Remember to bring along the following documents:
- Your original passport and a photocopy of your passport
- Your original valid driving licence and a photocopy of your driving licence (if your driving licence is not in English, please bring along your International Driving Permit or an official translation of your driving licence in English)
- One recent matte passport-sized photograph of yourself against a white background
- Your BTT result slip
Note that translation is not required for driving licences issued in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
Traffic Police Headquarters
Address: 10 Ubi Ave 3, Singapore 408865
And just like that, you’ll be able to convert to a Singapore driving licence! If you’re not a Singapore Permanent Resident, remember to renew your driving licence every five years to be able to continue driving.
Even if you’ll not be buying a car anytime soon, you’ll still be able to enjoy the #FreedomToDrive with affordable car rental in Singapore like GetGo. Check out our quick guide on how you can get started driving a car in less than 3 minutes with no deposit or membership fees.
(Featured photo: Land Transport Authority)
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