Singapore’s International Driver’s License Application Process – Is a Foreign License Necessary?


It will be tempting to rent a car and cruise around Singapore, with its well-designed roads and expensive vehicles. However, due to the strict restrictions and regulations surrounding driving in Singapore, visitors risk being arrested rather than enjoying a relaxing drive. The visitors need both an International Drivers License and local licences to legally operate a motor vehicle in Singapore. Before you get behind the wheel of your dream car in Singapore, be sure you are well-versed on the country’s stringent driving regulations.

What does it mean to have a licence valid in many countries?

Foreign nationals who intend to operate motor vehicles in a country other than their own must have a translation of their national driver’s licence known as an International Driving License or Permit. The majority of government workers in each country will be able to read and understand the name, portrait, and other relevant information included in it because it is standard practise to include it in many languages. In addition to proving that you are legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle in that country, the International Driving Permit also confirms that you are permitted to operate a certain class of vehicle on the road. The International Driver’s License is valid for one year.

You may find it helpful to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you want to drive in any of the following countries:

  • Moving violations
  • Renting a Vehicle
  • Incidents in Traffic
  • Verifying the motorist with a photo ID such as a driver’s licence
  • Fraudulent auto insurance claims

When and where must you be to qualify for an International Driver’s Permit, and how long will it be valid for?

The Nature of the Obstacles

Individuals who already possess a valid driver’s licence from another country are not permitted to apply for an IDP. Learner’s permits must be applied for in the same country as the original driver’s licence.

In order to obtain a driver’s licence, an applicant must submit a photograph. By completing the application process online, candidates can include a photograph in JPG format. It is free of charge to snap a picture of the applicant right then and there.

The driver’s licence must be in good condition, with no tears or other damage.


Once issued, the International Driver’s Permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and cannot be renewed.

Both your local driver’s licence and an international driver’s licence are required at all times when you are operating a motor vehicle in Singapore.

It is not possible to drive with a foreign driver’s licence in the nation of residency.

Can Foreigners Drive Freely in Singapore Without Permits or Restrictions?

Short-term visitors to Singapore are subject to a different set of regulations than those with an extended stay. Possessing an International Driving Permit in Singapore streamlines and improves the overall experience for you. Consequently, you should be conscious of the occasions that call for your possession of one.

Under the following guidelines, tourists staying in Singapore for less than a year are permitted to rent cars and drive about the city.

These driving regulations apply to foreigners who want to stay in Singapore for more than a year:

In order to legally operate a motor vehicle in Singapore, visitors staying in the nation for an extended period of time, such as Permanent Residents, Long Term Residents, and Students, must be in possession of a valid Singapore Driving License.

Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are exempt from the requirement to renew their driver’s licence every five years; nevertheless, the international driving licence issued in Singapore expires after five years and must be renewed in the month prior to its expiration. A new citizen or permanent resident must convert their foreign driver’s licence during the first three months of becoming a citizen or permanent residence.