Obtaining a driving licence
If you do not already have a license
If you are 16 years and older, you can apply to take the basic and advanced driving theory tests to get a provisional driving licence (PDL). The PDL will allow you to take practical lessons from a certified driving instructor, upon completion which you will then take the final driving theory test and practical driving test
If you have a foreign driving license (updated)
A Singapore driving licence is required if your stay here is more than six months. Those who must convert are Singapore citizens who obtained licences overseas, permanent residents and foreigners on work permits, and student, employment or dependent passes. You must take the local Basic Theory Test before you are allowed to convert your foreign driving license to a Singapore licence.
For full details, please click here.
If you are in Singapore for less than 6 months:
You can obtain an International Driver Licence from your home country or from the Automobile Association of Singapore (Tel: 6737-2444)
Some Traffic Rules and Regulations
- In Singapore, drive on the left side of the road (meaningthe driver sits on the right side of the car and the overtaking lane is the right most lane)
- You must be at least 17 to qualify for a car driving licence.
- The speed limit is 50 km/h on roads and 70-80 km/h on expressways.
- Do not drink and drive. The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
- Seat belts and child seats are mandatory.
- Head lights must be turned on between 7 pm and 7 am.
How The Demerit Points System Works:
All new Singapore driving licence holders are issued a one-year probationary licence, which allows up to a maximum of 12 demerit points in the year. If you exceed this, you will lose your licence. After the first year, the demerit points allowable are increased to 24 points over a 2-year period. Some of the more common demerit points are:
- Exceeding speed limit by up to 20kmh: 4
- Exceeding speed limit by more than 40kmh: 12
- Reckless driving: 12
- Using a mobile phone while driving: * NOTE * (June 2000)
Since people have not stopped using their phones while driving, the traffic police have decided to get tough on offenders. The penalty is now 12 licence points, plus a fine of S$1000 and/or 6 months in jail! So you are warned!
- Failing to stop at traffic lights: 12
- Obstructing traffic flow: 4
- Failing to wear seat belt: 3
If a child below the age of 8 years old is travelling in the front seat, a safety seat and seat belt must be used. Failure to do so will result in a fine and a loss of 3 demerit points.
||Stop unless you are too close to the lights to stop safely.
||Lights out of order. Proceed cautiously and give way to traffic on the right.
||Go only in the direction indicated. When turning, give way to through traffic and pedestrians.
|Flashing green arrow
||Signal about to change. Do not proceed if you have not crossed the "Stop" line.
Regulatory signs are usually circular, in red or blue, and are mandatory. They regulate the movement of traffic and failure to comply with them constitutes an offence.
All signs intending to warn road users have a relevant symbol enclosed within a danger warning sign (which is a red equilateral triangle). When you approach these signs, slow down and take caution.
Information signs give the motorist early warning on prohibitions and restrictions ahead, reduction in geometric standards, entry to a built-up area and termination of access control. These signs are usually rectangular and have white letters on blue backgrounds with white borders.
Advance directional signs and directional signs
These signs are usually rectangular on a green background. Advance directional signs are located at specified distances from junctions, giving motorists prior information to enable them to find their way to their destinations. Directional signs are located at junctions. Signs pointing to destinations along expressways have yellow letters on green backgrounds with yellow borders. Signs leading to destinations along other roads have white letters on green backgrounds with white borders.
Common markings across the road
|Parallel white lines
||Traffic approaching the lines to give way to oncoming traffic on major road.
|Single white line
||Traffic required to stop close to and before this line.
|Parallel white lines with pedestrian signals
|Parallel yellow lines
||Pedestrian crossing. Turning traffic to give way to pedestrians at crossing.
Common markings along the road
|Broken white line
||Centre line of a two-way road.
|Parallel continuous white lines in centre of a two-way road
||No crossing of lines and no parking at all times on both sides of the road.
|Continuous white line in centre of a two-way road
||No parking at all times on both sides of the road.
|Continuous yellow line by the side of the road
||No parking between 7 am and 7 pm on that side of the road.
|Parallel continuous yellow lines by the side of the road
||No parking at all times on that side of the road.
|Broken white lines
||For channelling traffic. Do not drive over these areas.
|Zig-zag lines by the side of the road
||Zebra crossing ahead. Motorists should not overtake, wait or park in the vicinity. Pedestrians cannot cross on the zig-zag areas.
||Motorists travelling on this road must give way to traffic on major road ahead.
|Right turn pockets
||Motorists waiting to turn right should stay within the pocket until it is clear to complete the turn.
A Quick Q&A
What do I do if I am involved in an accident?
For minor accidents where there are no injuries and vehicular damage is slight, it is common for both parties to settle the matter without going to the police. You should still exchange particulars with the other party and take down the vehicle's registration number.
However if you intend to submit an insurance claim, a police report must be made within 24 hours. Of course for accidents involving injuries, call 995 immediately.
What do I do if my car breaks down?
It is best to register with the Automobile Association of Singapore, which provides a 24-hour breakdown towing service, as well as car insurance. There is a joining fee of $87 and an annual fee of $56. If you are already a member of the AA in your home country, the joining fee may be waived.
24-hour hotline: 6748-9911
What if my vehicle is destroyed by fire or accident?
Send your vehicle for scrapping at Natsteel Ltd and inform your insurance and finance companies. De-register your vehicle and apply for the PARF benefit or COE rebate, if applicable.
What if my vehicle is stolen?
Lodge a police report and inform your insurance and finance companies. De-register and apply for the PARF benefit or COE rebate from the LTA three months after the vehicle is reported stolen. You will need to provide particulars of the stolen vehicle on a prescribed form and submit the following documents:
- Original vehicle registration book/card,
- Original COE, and
- Police report.
What if my stolen vehicle is recovered?
You may re-licence your vehicle, provided that it is recovered within three years; there is a COE still in force; and the PARF benefit or COE rebate granted earlier is paid back.
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