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Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

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138BCL
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Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby 138BCL » Fri, 05 Feb 2016 8:52 pm

It appears that PRs must convert their foreign drivers licenses (i.e. complete & pass the Basic Theory Test) within 3 months of receiving PR status.

Does anyone know if what happens, i.e. if it is not possible to do this within the 3 month period due to necessary travel outside of Singapore? Who should I contact or speak to, to get more information?

Many thanks,
138 BCL

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Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 05 Feb 2016 9:04 pm

The risk is that you may not be able to convert easily and have to redo all your tests.
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Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:12 pm

138BCL wrote:It appears that PRs must convert their foreign drivers licenses (i.e. complete & pass the Basic Theory Test) within 3 months of receiving PR status.

Does anyone know if what happens, i.e. if it is not possible to do this within the 3 month period due to necessary travel outside of Singapore? Who should I contact or speak to, to get more information?

Many thanks,
138 BCL


You should contact the Singapore Police Force and explain your situation. They can, and have, granted waivers and extensions.

But, here's the question. It's a rare bird that just waltzes into Singapore and gains PR. Most PR's have already been in Singapore at least 2 years, most more than that. A foreigner has 12 months in which to convert their foreign license for a Singapore license, from the date of their work permit, after which they are required to take the standard SPF training courses to get a license. Did you not do this? If you did not do this, I suspect you are SOL and will need to take the 6 month long driver training program.

The 3 months for PR, AFAIK, normally means that you must convert from your FIN based Singapore license, which expires every 5 years, to your NRIC based license which never expires and never needs to be renewed.

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Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby bro75 » Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:24 am

If you can prove that you have a driver's license before you came to Singapore, you can convert your foreign driver's license to a sg license by passing the Basic theory test. I came to Singapore in 2000, became a PR in 2005, and converted my DL only in 2011. But I have had my foreign driver's license since 1994 (continuously renewed up to present). But that was in 2011 and I am not sure if anything has changed by now.

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Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:38 am

bro75 wrote:If you can prove that you have a driver's license before you came to Singapore, you can convert your foreign driver's license to a sg license by passing the Basic theory test. I came to Singapore in 2000, became a PR in 2005, and converted my DL only in 2011. But I have had my foreign driver's license since 1994 (continuously renewed up to present). But that was in 2011 and I am not sure if anything has changed by now.


You had no issue in obtaining auto insurance on a foreign license, then?

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Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby bro75 » Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:52 am

I do not have a car yet

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Re: RE: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby jasonlel » Sun, 07 Feb 2016 7:34 pm

138BCL wrote:It appears that PRs must convert their foreign drivers licenses (i.e. complete & pass the Basic Theory Test) within 3 months of receiving PR status.

Does anyone know if what happens, i.e. if it is not possible to do this within the 3 month period due to necessary travel outside of Singapore? Who should I contact or speak to, to get more information?

Many thanks,
138 BCL

Well worst case is you can't drive in Singapore (assuming u are holding your country international driving licence).

Next step is to convert your current driving licence to SG driving licence. Check with SG driving school for more info.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby wwww » Fri, 10 Mar 2017 2:11 pm

I recently converted my license after being PR for nearly 5 years. It is incorrect that you have to convert within 3 months of receiving your PR to convert only with BTT , even though SPF's website says so. I checked directly with SPF and was told that it is still possible as long as you already had a valid license before coming to Singapore.

I just converted after doing the BTT without any hassle.

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Re: RE: Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 10 Mar 2017 2:46 pm

wwww wrote:I recently converted my license after being PR for nearly 5 years. It is incorrect that you have to convert within 3 months of receiving your PR to convert only with BTT , even though SPF's website says so. I checked directly with SPF and was told that it is still possible as long as you already had a valid license before coming to Singapore.

I just converted after doing the BTT without any hassle.


It states somewhere in some official website that you must convert within X months. I don't say one ..

So what passport do you hold ? That makes a big difference in such matters ..

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Re: RE: Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby GSM8 » Fri, 10 Mar 2017 3:30 pm

ecureilx wrote:
wwww wrote:I recently converted my license after being PR for nearly 5 years. It is incorrect that you have to convert within 3 months of receiving your PR to convert only with BTT , even though SPF's website says so. I checked directly with SPF and was told that it is still possible as long as you already had a valid license before coming to Singapore.

I just converted after doing the BTT without any hassle.


It states somewhere in some official website that you must convert within X months. I don't say one ..

So what passport do you hold ? That makes a big difference in such matters ..

That applies if you want to drive in Singapore beyond the X months. My wife was just told she can convert after BTT, a China license (issued 10 years ago) to Singapore DL in order to drive here (7 years after coming to Singapore and now citizen). Some licenses like Philippines and India may need a verification statement from the embassy.

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Re: RE: Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby wwww » Fri, 10 Mar 2017 3:37 pm

ecureilx wrote:
wwww wrote:I recently converted my license after being PR for nearly 5 years. It is incorrect that you have to convert within 3 months of receiving your PR to convert only with BTT , even though SPF's website says so. I checked directly with SPF and was told that it is still possible as long as you already had a valid license before coming to Singapore.

I just converted after doing the BTT without any hassle.


It states somewhere in some official website that you must convert within X months. I don't say one ..

So what passport do you hold ? That makes a big difference in such matters ..


The website says that you must convert within 3 months of obtaining PR but upon asking I was told that this is not necessarily the case and I should check with the counter staff. The counter staff then told me that it is no problem at all, I just needed to proof that I already had a license before moving to Singapore. I have copied the original email received from traffic police below.

I am Swiss, my wife is Japanese. We both converted after getting the BTT.



_______________________________
Although you received your PR in XXXX and did not convert to one of a Singapore Driving Licence within the first 3 months however it does not necessary mean that your application for conversion will be turned down immediately without consideration. Our counter staffs at the driving centre will assess your conversion eligibility on a case by case basis.



2 There are two options which you can try:



Option 1: Conversion of your foreign driving licence:



3 Notwithstanding the above which is mentioned in paragraph 1, you may wish to note that the basic criteria of conversion of foreign licence that must be fulfilled is that one must be issued with a foreign driving licence before he is issued a Work Pass / Student Pass/ Long Term Visit Pass/ NRIC etc. He must be able to provide documentation proof (either through passport or visa) which reflects the minimum stay of one year period when the foreign driving licence was issued. There must also be a 6 months stay within that one year period (before, during or after obtaining a foreign licence), it need not be continuous and can be accumulative.

4 Should you fulfil this criteria may go to any of the driving test centre (listed in red below) with original and photo copies of the following documents:

· Passport

· Work Permit / Dependant Pass / Student Pass / NRIC etc

· Valid foreign driving licence (if the licence is not in English, a translation is required & if it had expired then it would be deemed invalid)

5 Our staff at the test centre will be able to assess your eligibility for the conversion. If you are eligible for the conversion, you are only required to pass the Basic Theory test (Final Theory & Driving Practical Test is not required) before converting your driving licence.

6 Successful applicant needs to produce one recent passport- size photograph with white background and the licence fee is $50/- .

Option 2: Getting a new Class 3 Driving Licence:

7 In this option there are 2 choices, you can either find a private driving instructor through the Singapore Driving Instructors Association http://idrive.com.sg/home/ or

You may go to any of the following driving test centre to register yourself as a student and the school will assign you an in house driving instructor:

· ComfortDelgro Driving Centre, 205 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408805

· Bukit Batok Driving Centre, 815 Bukit Batok West Ave 5, Singapore 659085

· Singapore Safety Driving Centre, 2 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757387

8 You will then have to pass the Basic Theory Test, Final Theory Test and eventually the Practical Driving Test in order to get your Class 3 Driving licence.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:26 pm

wwww wrote:The website says that you must convert within 3 months of obtaining PR but upon asking I was told that this is not necessarily the case .......


therein lies the answer ... no offence...

Case by case approval, in my humble opinion, doesn't equate to anything other than that - case by case.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Conversion of foreign driving licenses for PR

Postby The Ref » Tue, 14 Mar 2017 9:18 pm

ecureilx wrote:
wwww wrote:The website says that you must convert within 3 months of obtaining PR but upon asking I was told that this is not necessarily the case .......


therein lies the answer ... no offence...

Case by case approval, in my humble opinion, doesn't equate to anything other than that - case by case.

I converted mine in Feb 2013, 3 years after coming here.

What I was told at the time was that you must convert after 12 months if you drive. I asked about the time frame seeing I had been here 3 years without driving and they said "don't worry about it" or words to that effect, but I did explicitly ask the SPF.
So:
a) Come here and get a car (on an expat package :P ) and you can drive here for 12 months before you must convert. If you drive after that you are breaking the law.
b) Come here and don't drive for a number of years (assuming more than 12 months) you cant drive on your international license, but you can still convert simply by doing the BTT and paying for the license after you pass.
As mentioned above, ring the Police and they will set you straight.


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