Being in a new country–whether it’s for a visit or a more permanent stay–comes with unique hurdles. One major thing to tackle if you intend to drive while you’re staying overseas will be getting a functioning license! To help you with this, we’ve put together this helpful guide to renting a car with a foreign license, so keep reading!
What you need when Renting a Car with a Foreign License
- Minimum 23 years of age
- NRIC / Driver’s License
- Debit/Credit Card (American Express, VISA or Mastercard)
- Minimum 2 years of driving experience
What are the requirements for an Expat to lease a car in Singapore?
Less than 12 months
For Foreigners who are residing in Singapore for less than 12 months, you will have to produce a valid foreign driving license accompanied by a valid International Driver’s Permit (IDL). If the IDL is not available, the foreign driving license is required to be translated into English. If you belong to any ASEAN member countries, then a valid foreign driving license would be sufficient without the IDL.
More than 12 months
For foreigners who are planning to reside in Singapore for more than 12 months, you are required to obtain a Singapore driving license before you begin driving in Singapore.
Converting a Foreign Driving License
Step 1: Pass the Singapore Basic Theory Test:
Firstly, in order to convert your foreign license into a Singapore driving license, you need to pass the Singapore Basic Theory Test (BTT). Overseas theory test results will not be considered for admission. In order to book your BTT, you can visit any of these three driving centres to create an account with them.
815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085
Contact Number: 6561 1233
2, Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757387
Contact Number: 6482 6060
205 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408805
Contact Number: 6841 8900
Step 2: Applying for conversion
After taking the BTT, you are required to go down in person to apply for conversion at the Traffic Police Test Centres located in the driving centres as stated above. Please refer below for the items you are required to bring:
- Original and a photocopy of your passport and NRIC/entry permit/employment pass/dependent pass/social visit pass/work permit
- Original and a photocopy of a valid foreign driving license
- A recent matte passport-sized colour photograph of you with a white background, eyes looking straight with both ears and eyebrows visible in the photograph. Other than for religious purposes, no headgear should be worn, and glasses worn should not be tinted.
- A processing fee of $50 (payment made by CashCard or NETS only).
- If your foreign driving license is not in English, you need to have an international driving permit or an official translation of your driving license in English obtained from the relevant Embassy, High Commission or any translation companies registered in Singapore. (Translation is not required for licenses issued by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia).
- If your foreign driving license does not have the 1st date of issue, you need to obtain an extract of driving license record from the Licensing Authority.
- Foreign Driving License must be obtained prior to the issuance of your Work Pass/Dependent Pass/Student Pass, etc.
You are required to produce documents that show that you have studied or worked in a foreign country for one year or more (e.g. education transcripts or tax returns documents). You must also have stayed there for at least 6 months within a period of 12 months.
If you are holding on to a foreign driving license that has expired with your foreign visa, you have to obtain a written extract from the foreign license-issuing authority. The extract has to include the following details:
- Passing date of your driving test
- Date of issue of your foreign driving license
- Class of license attained
- Your driving record
It’s important to note that you must register for the BTT test within three months of returning to Singapore.
Issuance of License
Once the license is issued to you (approximately within 2 weeks of applying), you will be placed on probation for a year and you should not accumulate more than 12 demerit points during this period or else your license may be revoked by the Traffic Police. You are also required to display the Probation Plate for one year. The Singapore driving license is valid for 5 years from the date of issue and renewal has to be done one month prior to the expiry date as stated on the license.
Car Rental Services for Foreigners in Singapore
We know how stressful it can be settling down in a foreign country, and we want to make the whole process easier for you by providing convenient expat car leasing in Singapore. So if you’re still unsure of how to go about renting a car, simply give our team at BizLink Rent-A-Car a call at 6285 6616 and we would be happy to help you!