A driving license is a very important tool in the world today. The ability to drive is important because it grants the driver additional mobility as well as access to areas which cannot be reached via public transport. Every country’s authorities which oversee the issuance of a driving license have the authority to distribute such licenses. However, these licenses generally pertain to that country alone and no others. Therefore, if a person has a driving license from a country which is not the country in which the person currently lives, the person would find it very difficult to drive in the country to which the person moved. Despite this fact, there is a way in which this problem might be solved. People who have a foreign driving license can have it converted to one of the country in which they currently live. This is possible in Singapore as well. Holders of foreign driving licenses, be they foreigners, permanent residents of Singapore, or citizens of Singapore, are allowed to have their foreign driving licenses converted to a Singaporean one.
Singapore Driving Licenses
In Singapore, there are 11 classes of driving license which may be obtained. These classes are 1, 2B, 2A, 2, 3, 3A, 3C, 3CA, 4A, 4, and 5. Class 1 licenses are for invalid carriages and can only be obtained by those who have physical disabilities. Class 2, 2B, and 2A licenses are for motorcycles, while licenses under classes 3, 3A, 3CA, and 3C are for cars. Class 4A licenses allow one to drive a bus, while class 4 and 5 licenses give their owners the right to drive heavy motor vehicles such as trucks or large vans.
There are also three separate types of driving license which are categorized based on the driver’s level of driving experience and purpose behind obtaining a license. One of these is the Provisional Driving License. This license is received by those who are learning to drive in a driving school. Those who are to receive it only do so after they pass the Basic Theory Test. It is required by anyone who plans to learn to drive on any of Singapore’s public roads. After a driver passes the Practical Driving Test, the driver will receive the Qualified Driving License. A new owner of a Qualified Driving License will be placed under probation for one year, during which a Probationary Plate will be placed on the exterior of the driver’s vehicle. During this period, the driver must not accumulate an excessive amount of demerit points, which can be collected for committing driving offenses. Singapore is one of 22 countries in the world which imposes a system of demerit points upon its drivers. A third type of driving license in Singapore is the Vocational Driving License. This license is meant for commercial private hire car, taxi, and bus drivers. The Vocational Driving License is divided into three sub-categories: the Bus Driver Vocational License, the Private Hire Vocational License, and the Taxi Driver Vocational License. Each license corresponds to the driving of the vehicle specified in its name.
Learning to Drive in Singapore
A person can learn to drive in Singapore through one of two methods: by attending a driving school or by being taught by a private instructor. Those who choose to attend a driving school may select any of Singapore’s three driving schools which are authorized to provide driving lessons. Any class of license may be obtained through lessons at a Singapore driving school. Those who prefer to be taught by a private instructor must ensure that the instructor is a person who is either registered as a self-employed instructor or has been registered under a company which is a private driving institution. These instructors usually use private or company cars for their lessons. Private instructors may only supply lessons for Class 3 or 3A licenses.
Foreign Driving License Laws in Singapore
A foreigner who owns a foreign driving license is allowed to drive in Singapore as long as certain criteria are fulfilled. If the foreigner is 18 years old or older, holds a Dependant’s Pass, Student Pass, or Work Pass, and the foreign license which is owned is in one of the classes 3A, 3, or 2B, the foreigner may drive in Singapore, but only for a one-year period. At the end of this one-year period, the foreigner is required to obtain a Singapore driving license.
A citizen or permanent resident of Singapore who owns a foreign driving license is barred from driving in Singapore. Only citizens and permanent residents with Singapore driving licenses may drive. Thus, in order to continue driving, they are to convert their foreign driving license to a Singaporean one.
Those who have just become citizens or permanent residents of Singapore are to have their foreign driving licenses, should they own one, converted into their Singapore equivalents within three months of becoming a permanent resident or citizen.