Monthly Archives: August 2008

Conversion of Foreign Driving Licence

Any driver with foreign driving licence may apply for conversion to a Singapore driving licence to drive the equivalent class of motor vehicle, but the particular class of licence cannot be one that was granted automatically without test and on the merit of attaining of another licence, eg a motorcycle licence granted with class 3 licence without going through a test that is practised in some countries.

Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Singaporeans and Permanent Residents may convert a foreign driving licence that they have obtained overseas while residing in that foreign country over a period of one year or more for valid reasons such as study or work.

New PRs who already have a 5-year Singapore driving licence will have to replace it with a lifetime driving licence that reflects their new NRIC number.

Foreigners

A foreigner above 18 years of age and holding a Work Pass/Dependent Pass/Student Pass may drive in Singapore with a valid class 3, 3A or 2B foreign licence, for a period of not more than 12 months. A Singapore driving licence is required after 12 months. Those on short term social visit may drive with their foreign licence for up to 12 months each time they enter into Singapore . For licence not written in English language, an International Driving Permit or translation is required as explained below.

Please note that Work Pass holders may not drive for work-related purposes unless the occupation stated in the Work Pass is “Driver” or permission has been granted by the Controller of Work Pass. If you do so, your Work Pass may be revoked and you are liable to be prosecuted for an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

For more information on Work Pass restrictions, please visit http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal/en/communities/work_pass.html

Classes of driving licence that may be converted

Foreign licence conversion is only granted for class 2B and class 3 qualified driving licences. Learner driving licence may not be converted.

Those who wish to obtain a class 4 and/or class 5 licence need to go through training and a prescribed practical test before they can obtain the Singapore class 4 or 5 licence. No direct conversion is granted for these heavy vehicle licences.

Conversion for a higher capacity or open category motorcycle licence is normally not granted unless there are documentary proof of training, testing, ownership of bigger motorcycle and insurance policy indicating that you have gone through proper training and testing regime and have had at least one year riding experience on the road.

Conversion procedure

In order to convert your foreign licence to a Singapore driving licence, you are required to pass the Basic Theory Test (BTT). Overseas theory test results are not admissible for consideration.

You may book for a BTT in person at any of the 3 driving schools. On passing the BTT you may then proceed to apply for conversion at the Traffic Police Driving Test Center counters in person, with the relevant documents. The 3 Traffic Police Driving Test Centers are co-located with the 3 driving schools. Their addresses are:

* Ang Mo Kio Driving Test CentreĀ  ( http://www.ssdcl.com.sg/ ) at 3 Ang Mio Kio St 62 Industrial Park 3 Singapore 569139.
* Bukit Batok Driving Test Centre, ( http://www.bbdc.sg ) at 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5 Singapore 659085.
* Kampong Ubi Test Centre ( http://www.cdc.com.sg/users/homepage/index.asp ) at 205, Ubi Ave 4 Singapore 408805.

Please bring along the following documents where applicable, when applying for conversion of licence:

* Passport and NRIC/Entry Permit/Employment Pass/Dependant Pass/Social Visit Pass/Work Permit
* Valid Qualified Foreign Driving Licence
* Processing fee of $50 (Cash, Cashcard and Nets Only)
* Matt finish passport-size colour photograph with white background, eyes looking straight and both ears and eyebrow visible in the photograph. There should be no headgear worn unless normally worn for religious purpose, and glasses worn should not be tinted.
* For Malaysian licence holders, an extract from JPJ Malaysia showing information of your driving record and licence information
* For Singaporeans studying overseas for one year or more, please produce proof of stay in the country, e.g. educational transcripts or Letter of Acceptance by the educational institution and the relevant student visa in the passport.
* For Singaporeans employed overseas, please produce Income Tax Returns or supporting documents from employers and the relevant employment visa in the passport.

Driving licence not in English language

For a foreign driving licence that is not in English language, you are required to have an International Driving Permit in addition to the foreign driving licence. If an International Driving Permit is not available, an official translation of your driving licence in English is required. You may obtain translation from the relevant Embassy, High Commission, the Singapore Subordinate Court or the Singapore High Court. Translation is not required for licence issued by Brunei , Indonesia and Malaysia .

Foreign Driving licence that expires with the expiry of a foreign visa

If you hold a driving licence that expires with the expiry of a foreign visa, you are required to obtain a written extract from the licence issuing authority of the country that your licence was issued. The extract should show the passing date, date of issue of your licence, the class of licence attained and your driving record.

You have to register for the Basic Theory Test within 3 months from the date you return to Singapore so that your conversion may be granted subsequently.

Additional Documents

Where the authenticity of a driving licence is in question, you may be asked to produce other documents for further verification. Such documents may including extract from the licence issuing authority that issued your licence and endorsed by a notary public.

Drivers of age 65 and above

If you are 65 years old and above, you need to be certified fit to drive by a Singapore registered medical practitioner. The prescribed form for the medical certification can be obtained at all Traffic Police Driving Test Centre counters. Application for conversion has to be accompanied by a favourable medical report that is complete.

If you have an existing medical condition or physical disability that may render you unfit to drive in Singapore under our law, you will be asked to obtain a confirmation of your fitness to drive at any of the hospitals below.

(1) Alexandra Hospital
(2) Changi General Hospital
(3) KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
(4) National University Hospital
(5) Singapore National Eye Centre

(6) Singapore General Hospital
(7) Tan Tock SengHospital

(8) National Cancer Centre
(9) National Dental Centre

(10) National Heart Centre
(11) National Neuroscience Institute

(12) National Skin Centre
(13) Institute of Mental Health/Woodbridge Hospital

You may be required to undergo further assessment by our driving testers to confirm that you are fit to drive in Singapore .

Displaying of P-plate

You are required to display the P-plate sign on your vehicle if the issue date of your foreign licence is less than 1 year. You may stop displaying it after the 1 year period like new Singapore licence holders.

Drivers Improvement Point System (DIPS)

In the form that you submitted during the application for conversion of your foreign licence, you have affirmed that you have been informed that your licence will be revoked if you accumulate more than 12 demerit points within a 12 months period from the date of issue of your licence.

You will have to sit for all the prescribed driving theory and practical tests one year after the revocation in order to regain a new driving licence.

Source: http://driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg/services/Driving_in_Singapore/Information/drivinglicence/conversion.htm

Speed Cameras in Singapore

Traffic Police employ the usage of speed cameras to ensure that traffic safety is not violated. This article will provide you with the locations of such speed cameras, which could be stationary, or installed as temporary checkpoints. Usually there are traffic signs to warn you of the presence of speed cameras.

For people who rent cars and received traffic summons, some companies would impose an additional charge for extra administrative work.

Stationary Speed Cameras

This is how a speed camera looks like:

Speed Camera

According to a forumer at SgForums (see Post):

– Upper Serangoon Road (Morning 9am-11am) – VERIFIED
– Farrer Road / Adam Road (Morning 10am onwards)
– East Coast Highway, after Bayshore Exit (After 5pm) – VERIFIED
– Tunnel between Bartley Road and Braddell Road under Upper Serangoon Flyover
– Braddell Road seen on the long pedestrain bridge near SPH
– West Coast Highway before the new MacDonalds
– TPE both direction under the Tampines Bridge. – VERFIED
– Tampines Ave 10 Stretch. (That ROAD 60 km/h limit.) – VERIFIED
– Along Jln Boon Lay, from AYE towards Jurong Point, at junction of Chin Bee Dr.(50 km/h limit)
– Clementi Ave 6, from PIE – AYE, just before entering the underpass, at the traffic light

junction of Clementi Loop. (60 km/h limit)
– Road along Orchid Country Club ? VERIFIED

Mobile Speed Camera / Volvo Sightings / Spot checks
1) Tanjong Katong Flyover – VERIFIED
2) Telok Blangah Viaduct. Flyover over Telok Blangah Road along world trade centre.

(near carribean condo)
3) Upper Changi Road, at a secluded lobang opp Singapore Expo. Blue Police van with camera

taking through van’s side window – VERIFIED
4)Hougang Ave 3 towards Ang Mo kio, below the flyover
5)Upper serangoon road, opposite Serangoon Sec Sch, towards Sengkang
6)TPE just after Tampines Ave 10 exit (under the bridge)
7)Jalan Boon Lay towards AYE (Near Chartered Industries of Singapore, Jurong Point)
CoolLentor Ave
9)Clementi Ave 6
10)Old upper Thomson road, going towards Lornie Road/Toa Payoh/Braddell direction
11)Bartley Road/Braddell road (opp old outram instiute) before underpass – VERIFIED
12)Pasir Panjang Road (between the wholesale market & PSA Gate 5)
13)Gambas Avenue towards Woodlands
14)Mandai road – VERIFIED
15)Tampines Road adjacent to Paya Lebar airbase – VERTIFIED
16)SLE joining CTE (under the bridge)
17)TPE Sengkang exit (under the bridge)
1CoolKJE (Along road shoulder, near new military camp)
19)KJE Choa Chu Kang exit. (under the bridge) – VERIFIED
20)SLE towards Woodlands Ave 2 (under the bridge or after bends) – VERIFIED

BMW/Volvo Sightings
1)East Coast F1 car park
2)TPE leading to Sengkang/Punggol – VERIFIED
3)AMK ave 5 leading to Sengkang.
4)AYE (Jln Ahmad Ibrahim near to Jurong Bird Park) – VERIFIED
5)SLE near Yio Chu Kang – VERIFIED

Spot Checks / Roadblocks
1)Fort Road exit – VERIFIED
2)Loyang road
3)Yishun Dam
4)Robertson Quay towards Havelock Road (Near Liquid room) – VERIFIED
5)TPE (SLE direction) Hougang exit, at the HUGE bend (sat nights usually) Speed Camera –
6)Bedok reservoir Exit from PIE – VERIFIED
7)Bedok Reservoir Rd(near SAFRA) – VERIFIED
CoolBefore CTE from MS
9)PIE exit to Science Centre.
10)Lorine Road exit towards Bishan
11)St.Nicholas Sec School outside the gate(The Downslope leading all the way to bishan park)
12)ECP Marine Parade Exit
13)Bt Panjang Ring road (almost once a week)
14)PIE exit to Science Centre.

Drive Safely.

Driving Techniques to help you save Petrol

Drive within Speed Limit

Your fuel mileage will decrease rapidly when you travel at speeds over 95 km/h.

20% more petrol is consumed when traveling at 110km/h than at 90 km/h.

Remind family members that drive to adhere to this. This will also prevent them from getting traffic summons.

Anticipate Driving Conditions

Use an alternative route if you know the traffic is heavy on a certain road.

This also applies to driving conditions that may cause you to tailgate or practise some other inefficient driving procedures.

The cleaner and smoother that your driving is the more petrol costs you will save. Plan your driving routes accordingly. You’ll save yourself frustration as well as money.

Avoid Peak Timings

In slow traffic, you’ll be wasting petrol and causing wear and tear on your car.

If you are heading home and know that the journey is going to be slow you may want to consider running some errands in the meantime.

Accelerate before going upslope

When approaching upslope, accelerate before you reach it. This will save fuel while you are climbing upslope.

Caution: Accelerate in a safe manner or you wont be able to save fuel ever again.

Employ higher gears

If you drive at fast speeds using the wrong and often lower gears, you will reduce your fuel economy by as much as 40 percent.

Keep foot off Brake when Driving

Try to avoid the habit of keeping your foot on the brake, even lightly, when you are driving. When you rest your foot on the brake you use more fuel than you would otherwise and you also will wear out your brakes much sooner. This brings back to the point that you should drive within the speed limit so as to reduce the frequency of braking.

Buy Environmental Friendly or Smart Cars

Buying a hybrid vehicle can save on the cost of fuel.

Travel Tips

When you are traveling with a carrier or a roof rack, you will be increasing your fuel cost by as much as 5 percent. Reduce the amount of aerodynamic drag and improve your fuel consumption by placing as much as you can in the trunk of your car.

When carrying heavy objects in the car, you reduce your fuel economy by as much as 1 to 2 percent.

It might be more beneficial to hire a truck or borrow one from a friend so that you can reduce the wear and tear on your car as well as keep down your fuel costs.

Tightening the Fuel Cap

It may seem like a small thing to do, but tightening the fuel cap on your car will prevent petrol from evaporating and escaping into the air.

Cruise Control

When you are driving on the highway you should be using cruise control whenever possible to maintain a steady pace.

This will help to increase your fuel consumption.

Many newer vehicles come with cruise control as a feature and not as a luxury choice for just this reason: to save on fuel costs.

How to Save Petrol during Refuelling

Paying attention to little details can save you a lot of petrol in the long run. The routine act of refuelling your machine is one such avenue for you to save petrol.

  • Avoid refueling when your petrol level is lower than half-tank. This is because petrol vapour will escape more readily when the tank is low in fuel. The optimum to refuel is when the fuel reaches 3/4 mark.
  • Refuel during the night or when the temperature is low. When the weather is hot, petrol vapourises more readily to the environment.


  • Furthermore, petrol expands during higher temperature, so you are pumping more fuel but with lower volume when the weather cools down.

In some countries, some drivers actually jerk their vehicles when they refuel. The reason behind it is to fill the tank more fully. However critics had mentioned that cars are engineered in such a way to leave some space within the tank.

Tips on Driving to Malaysia

Before Setting Off

Prepare for the long distance driving

  • Have a good night rest before leaving on a trip
  • Plan route and take breaks every 2 hours
  • Bring your sunglasses and plenty of drinking water
  • Wear comfortable clothing and adjust seat to optimum comfort level
  • Do get a co-driver
  • Research on all the relevant information about your route. Obtain an updated map and information from books or from friends and relatives who have recently travelled there. Maps are available at Streetdirectory.com
  • Bring along car jack, torchlight, breakdown triangle sign, wheel spanner, tool kit & Car Owner’s Manual
  • Carry Driving License and International Driving Permit, Car Owner’s Manual, copy of motor insurance policy, spare ignition key, copy of vehicle log card and passport, anti-theft devices i.e. a steering wheel lock.
  • Buy a Travel Insurance

There are rest and service areas, located at every 50 to 100 km along the North-South Highway.

Pre-Trip Car Inspection

  • All Oil fluids’ level should be at optimum
  • Check car battery water level. Battery cables should be tightly connected and corrosion-free
  • Check brake pedal. If it feels “spongy”, get it checked by mechanic
  • Ensure lights, instrumental panel indicators and seatbelts are in proper working order
  • Check and adjust tyre pressure (including spare tyre) and tread depth to see if any of the tyres need to be replaced. Increase tyre pressure based on your car owner’s manual if you are carrying heavier loads and traveling at high speed.

During Driving

  • Drive carefully and always be alert to the other motorists and your surroundings
  • Keep a lookout for animals crossing. Do not sound your horn, and do not attempt to feed them
  • In kampong areas, look out for children playing, cyclists and other road users
  • Do not stop your car along the highway. To stop, drive off the highway and into the special lay-byes.
  • Do not U-turn along North-South Highway. It’s illegal. To U-turn, first exit the highway
  • Speed limits for most stretches of the North-South Highway is either 90 or 110km/hr
  • When met with an accident on rural roads, DO NOT alight from your car but drive straight to the nearest police station.
  • If you have to drive through a flood, engage first gear & move forward slowly to avoid stalling the engine. Rev your engine to prevent backflow into exhaust pipe
  • Crosswinds may cause your car to veer off course. Look out for warning signs at spots particularly prone to this. When you encounter a strong wind, slow down to maintain control of your car

During Breakdowns



  • If possible move your vehicle off the carriageway onto the road shoulder, or drive into the nearest rest area
  • Switch off ignition
  • Switch on hazard lights to warn other drivers
  • Place the reflective hazard triangle at least 30m behind the car so motorists know well in advance there is a potential hard ahead
  • You may wish to also open your car bonnet and boot to be more visible to other approaching motorists
  • Look out for emergency public phones located every 2km along the highway
  • While waiting for help, do not stay in the car or stand in front or behind it. Stand at the side furthest from traffic and behind guardrails if any
  • If you are driving a rented car and it breaks down, you should call your car rental company for assistance

Useful Emergency Telephone Numbers

Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) – (60)3-21610808
PLUS Repair Service on Highway – 1800 88 000

Malaysia Tourist Police (KL)
– Hotline = (60) 3-2149 6590
– Enquiries = (60) 3-2149 6593

Malaysia Traffic Police Hotlines
– TP Police Control Centre Bukit Aman = (60) 3-2262 6481
– TP KL = (60) 3-2071 9999

Malaysia Police Hotlines
– Federal Police HQ, Bukit Aman = (60) 3-2262 6222
– Perlis Police HQ = (60) 4-908 2222
– Kedah Police HQ = (60) 4-774 1222
– Pulau Pinang Police HQ = (60) 4-222 1522
– Perak Police HQ = (60) 4-245 1222
– Selangor Police HQ = (60) 3-5514 5222
– Kuala Lumpur Police HQ = (60) 3-2146 0522
– Melaka Police HQ = (60) 6-285 4222
– Pahang Police HQ = (60) 9-590 2222
– Terengganu Police HQ = (60) 9-635 4722
– Kelantan Police HQ = (60) 9-745 5622
– Johor Police HQ = (60) 7-225 4422

References:
http://www.aas.com.sg/msia_safely_08.htm

Also see:
http://travelmalaysiaguide.com/tips-on-driving-a-car-in-malaysia/