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license conversion

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 10 Nov 2011 7:41 pm

richie303 wrote:BTT is really easy, although, you need to read the highway code - can get from bookshops it's around $5 I think.

If you want to drive continually from when you get here you must convert the license before 12 months, otherwise you can convert you license later but cannot drive (after 12 months) until you have done so.

One thing to note is: You are expected to know the law of the road in Singapore if you drive and cannot be excused for not knowing it (in regards to parking/speeding/minor offences) whether you have taken your test or not.

Also, please note that there was a waiting list for around 3 months when I booked mine last year, I imagine it's still similar, so book well early!

Test costs $6, License card costs $50(or $150) and book costs $5 max. - Dead simple!


Actually, so long as you book within the 12 month period, you will still get your conversion. And if you are thinking motorcycle, you might want to buy something greater than 400 cc, ride it for most of the year, then convert. You will have nearly a year's experience on big bikes in Singapore to justify your request for an unlimited motorcycle license... if you already have a motorcycle endorsement... otherwise not legal to ride.

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Postby Joisey » Thu, 10 Nov 2011 8:45 pm

Thank you. I appreciate all the feedback.

It would be great to be close enough to work and all amenities so we don't need a car but since we have a big dog and want a yard, we might end up a bit further out, in which case a motorcycle might be good for my commute. Also, it would probably be easier to get around with her if we have a car (I can't imagine taxi's stopping to pick us up with her).

We'll see...this whole Singapore idea keeps getting more and more expensive...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 10 Nov 2011 9:15 pm

You will enjoy a daily commute on a bike as all the cage drivers try to make a sandwich filling out of you or just force you off the road. Not counting the daily thunderstorms and steaming road following same. The bike will spend most of it's time during the work week parked in the carport.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 10 Nov 2011 9:44 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You will enjoy a daily commute on a bike as all the cage drivers try to make a sandwich filling out of you or just force you off the road. Not counting the daily thunderstorms and steaming road following same. The bike will spend most of it's time during the work week parked in the carport.


Hmmm... maybe for some... I'm almost always a daily rider... rain suit, etc.

Riding skills are paramount... there are idiots and assholes in cages... and knowing how to deal with them is essential to stay alive.

Riding in Singapore is lot safer than riding in Houston.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 11 Nov 2011 8:41 am

Strong Eagle wrote:OTOH, if you have no motorcycle endorsement, you will not get any motorcycle endorsement here. Your only option will be to do the course to get a motorcycle DL. Takes 6 months to do it, minimum.

It took ~4 months in my case including all the tests but things might have changed in the meantime. If not, 3 months to complete the course (lessons etc) and one month for the rest is sufficient without a major sweat. The main obstacles as for today could be the final and RTT tests booking queue. You are only allowed to do the booking after you complete or pass related parts of the course. At the time I did it the queue for the final test was ~2 weeks and no queue for RTT.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 11 Nov 2011 8:56 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You will enjoy a daily commute on a bike as all the cage drivers try to make a sandwich filling out of you or just force you off the road. Not counting the daily thunderstorms and steaming road following same. The bike will spend most of it's time during the work week parked in the carport.


Maybe I am not really appetizing :) but nobody tries to make any sandwich out of me during daily commuting or they do it with the same frequency as for the cars. Bigger bike, bright lights and laud horn are essential and should be used when needed - call it assertive riding. You are only more vulnerable on the road by the nature of the bike and not by the caged drivers behavior. True, there are tons of idiots around but comparing to the Western countries they are idiots by passive negligence, not by mean, consciously harmful action.
...and if you have a good work commuting timing and use the rain location radar map you can avoid 80% of the thunderstorms :)

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Postby Joisey » Fri, 11 Nov 2011 8:39 pm

This is all great perspective. I appreciate the help.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:44 pm

x9200 wrote:True, there are tons of idiots around but comparing to the Western countries they are idiots by passive negligence, not by mean, consciously harmful action.
...and if you have a good work commuting timing and use the rain location radar map you can avoid 80% of the thunderstorms :)


The only problem I see with that is that you are just as dead. Don't matter whether is aggressive or passive. :o

And 90% of all the bikers in Singapore seem to be aggressive to me, otherwise, they would stay IN the lane instead of "tearing along dotted line"! Unless you are riding a really big bike you don't get any respect here at all. It does, however tend to keep your reflexes and the eyes in the back of your head at max & 20:20.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 12 Nov 2011 11:23 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
x9200 wrote:True, there are tons of idiots around but comparing to the Western countries they are idiots by passive negligence, not by mean, consciously harmful action.
...and if you have a good work commuting timing and use the rain location radar map you can avoid 80% of the thunderstorms :)


The only problem I see with that is that you are just as dead. Don't matter whether is aggressive or passive. :o

Actually it does. The passive ones are much more predictable. There are certain patterns in their behaviour. You need like 2-3 months of active participation in the local traffic to learn them.
I once even compared the statistics for motorbike lethal accidents between Singapore and the UK (IIRC) and Singapore had them less - I will try to do it again later when I have more time.
The true distinctive danger from the passive idiots is IMO only in the situation where you can not really avoid the accident even if you can predict some possibility of it to happen.


And 90% of all the bikers in Singapore seem to be aggressive to me, otherwise, they would stay IN the lane instead of "tearing along dotted line"! Unless you are riding a really big bike you don't get any respect here at all. It does, however tend to keep your reflexes and the eyes in the back of your head at max & 20:20.

I agree, they are aggressive and equally thoughtless. Also majority of the rides are some smaller bikes but there is no problem of getting a bigger one within class 2b - I am riding Piaggo X9 200 and its visibility is good greatly further enhanced by the HID lights.
As for the dotted line I figured out it is here safer to ride this way - tailgating accidents are here IMO most common. You don't really want to be within the lane and two cars when it happens.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 12 Nov 2011 11:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
x9200 wrote:True, there are tons of idiots around but comparing to the Western countries they are idiots by passive negligence, not by mean, consciously harmful action.
...and if you have a good work commuting timing and use the rain location radar map you can avoid 80% of the thunderstorms :)


The only problem I see with that is that you are just as dead. Don't matter whether is aggressive or passive. :o

And 90% of all the bikers in Singapore seem to be aggressive to me, otherwise, they would stay IN the lane instead of "tearing along dotted line"! Unless you are riding a really big bike you don't get any respect here at all. It does, however tend to keep your reflexes and the eyes in the back of your head at max & 20:20.


Actually , SMS, lane splitting is overall safer for bikers, assuming they get it right. California studies show that lane splitting is safer as opposed to having to stay in the lane, which results in more rear end collisions. No question in my mind that lane splitting is safe and efficient... I do it all the time.

Second, lane splitting benefits both bikers and cagers. For bikers, we gt to go to the head of the line. For cagers, your line is shorter because bikers are not in it.

SMS, you don't drive... all your evidence has to be third party. I ride almost everyday. And, I've ridden in many cities. Comparatively speaking, Singapore is easy peasy.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 11 Jan 2012 1:24 pm

Just to add, when the conversion involves Malaysian license, be extra careful, or else you may end up 'accidentally' terminating your Malaysian DL (forever!) for a Singaporean DL that has 2-year expiry. This happens after receiving the extract from Malaysia's JPJ and there's nothing TP here can help with.

Personal story :(

Now trying to get hold of JPJ for explanation. This is shockingly strange...

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 11 Jan 2012 6:44 pm

the lynx wrote:Just to add, when the conversion involves Malaysian license, be extra careful, or else you may end up 'accidentally' terminating your Malaysian DL (forever!) for a Singaporean DL that has 2-year expiry. This happens after receiving the extract from Malaysia's JPJ and there's nothing TP here can help with.

Personal story :(

Now trying to get hold of JPJ for explanation. This is shockingly strange...


But if you get PR, your SG license never expires.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 11 Jan 2012 9:02 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
the lynx wrote:Just to add, when the conversion involves Malaysian license, be extra careful, or else you may end up 'accidentally' terminating your Malaysian DL (forever!) for a Singaporean DL that has 2-year expiry. This happens after receiving the extract from Malaysia's JPJ and there's nothing TP here can help with.

Personal story :(

Now trying to get hold of JPJ for explanation. This is shockingly strange...


But if you get PR, your SG license never expires.


You have a point, the expiry applies to work pass and will be permanent if one becomes PR/citizen.

The thing is, what if I'm not and I don't intend to?

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Postby randomluser » Sat, 28 Jan 2012 3:56 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
DimWit Kid wrote:Basic test. You have to register for that at any traffic police station..


Make that DRIVING CENTER... like Bukit Batok Drivng Center. You can do it online.

What do you mean "international license"? If from another approved country, then no problem. If one of those pieces of paper you pick up somewhere it won't work.

Must do the conversion within 12 months of your date of arrival.




hi all,
at the risk of resurrecting an old thread (and getting some posting points)

you do not need to convert within 12 months of arrival. i converted after ~ 2 years without issues.

here's the relevant extract from the email that the beloved Singapore Police Force sent to me...

Foreigner may drive in Singapore with a valid Foreign Driving licence for
not more than 12 months from date of first grant of work pass / resident
pass / student pass etc.

They are required to apply for conversion of their foreign driving licence
to Singapore Driving licence if their stay in Singapore is more than one
year .

Foreign licence conversion is subjected to meeting our criteria.



I specifically asked if you need to convert within 12 months or face the whole procedure (basic/advanced theory, 6-month probationary etc.) so.. you can drive for 12 months with your existing license, you don't need to convert within the first 12 months.


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