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How to convert your motorcycle license into a Singapore one

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taxico
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How to convert your motorcycle license into a Singapore one

Postby taxico » Tue, 15 May 2012 2:38 am

2015 update here: viewtopic.php?t=87776&start=75#p721834

i hope this helps expats (and maybe singaporeans). originally written in 2010 elsewhere, i (re-)wrote it for this forum.

here's the link to the official Singapore Police Force website on what documents you'll need, where to go, how much to pay, etc:

http://driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg/services/driving_in_singapore/services/information.html

please read that website carefully and click around the website before asking a question... don't be lazy.

this is the Traffic Police website:

http://www.spf.gov.sg/abtspf/tp.htm

congratulations! if you're still reading this page, it probably means you have a keen interest in riding bikes and probably ride some sort of motorcycle in your home country!

as a non-Singaporean rider (singaporeans, please read on), you may ride in singapore and hopefully not get harmed by cagers! you may, for example:

ride a foreign bike with a foreign license (eg, malaysian bike + malaysian license), or

ride (or drive) in singapore for less than 12 months on a pre-existing unrestricted foreign license.

note that as long as the bike is singapore-registered, there is a legal requirement for each licensed rider to be insured for it.

if you are riding on a foreign license, you will not be able to insure your bike beyond the 12 month mark, so plan ahead.

CONVERSION:

to convert to a singapore class 2B/2A/2 license, you will need to hold a VALID motorcycle endorsement on your foreign license: eg, being able to ride up to 125cc motorcycles (eg, CBT) or <50cc mopeds on a motor car endorsement DOES NOT COUNT as a "valid motorcycle license."

your motorcycle license MUST have been obtained through a series of tests ("purchased" licenses are not valid).

you generally do not need an extract of your license from your country's issuing office.

you DO NOT need to sit for the "Riding Theory Test," only the Basic Theory Test (yes, you must pass the BTT).

BTT:

nobody has any idea how long you will take to get a BTT date. please defer to the driving schools' websites for registration and dates.

a passed BTT does not expire so i do not believe there's any harm in taking the BTT early - in fact i believe it may save your life because it will familiarize you with local traffic rules and signs.

more info available here

http://learn-to-drive.spf.gov.sg/services/learn_to_drive/faq/3faq.htm

THAT MYSTERIOUS 2A:

all 3 classes of motorcycle licenses may be obtained. but usually 2B or 2 are the most common classes. BUT... for example, in Japan, they have <400cc licenses so most japanese people i know have that 2A conversion.

YOUR RIDING HISTORY & HOW TO STAY OUT OF JAIL:

one (1) year is the magic number (previously three years) for getting your license converted.

you need one year's worth of an unrestricted endorsement. the conversion procedure looks at the date listed on your license issued by your country.

some countries do not indicate when a particular endorsement was obtained, preferring to only list the original date of issue of the first full endorsement obtained (say, you pass your unrestricted motorcar test in 2008 and your unrestricted motorcycle test in 2010, your license might not reflect any information about the 2010 pass date).

please remember that you are making a statutory declaration on a legal document and singapore is not the best place to make a false declaration...

the same statement applies to the question that asks if you took your motorcar test on an automatic or manual transmission vehicle... if you check the AUTOMATIC box, you will get a singapore 3A (automatic only) motorcar license.

FULL CLASS 2 (& RETURNING SINGAPOREANS):

so this follows on to: how can you, a foreign license holder, obtain a full class 2?

read the information on the URLs located above. done that? good.

(TP doesn't like dishing out motorcycle licenses to singaporeans who obtained their licenses overseas... so) don't give them a reason to not issue you a class 2 license.

it is recommended that you furnished proof of OWNERSHIP of high-capacity motorcycle(s). this will be in the form of 1) insurance papers and/or 2) vehicle registration papers.

they need to be owned by YOU (stated on the above-mentioned paperwork) for a similar period of time as your foreign driver license.

with the above proof, you should have no problems getting a full class 2. unless you're really young.

as i do not know what the proper definition of high capacity is, i would advise here that "the higher the better."

if you're a non-Singaporean, it is recommended by some that you ride a high capacity bike on a foreign license for as much of that 12 month period as possible prior to conversion - and bring along your insurance papers as proof that you can handle a crotch rocket.

however, as noted by others, you will not qualify for finance on a bike without a singapore license. you will find out it is more difficult to get financing for a $10,000 motorcycle than a $100,000 car. i don't know why.

FREEBIE:

also, if you already hold a valid singapore license (eg, class 3/3A), conversion is FREE and instantaneous! a class 2B/2A/2 endorsement will added on as a sticker laminate to your existing license.

of course, if you choose to not use this sticker laminate and insist on a re-printed driver license, you'll have to pay extra. in this case, you should be smacked.

WHAT IF I _STILL_ CAN'T GET A FULL CLASS 2 LICENSE?

if you're denied a full class 2 (for reasons out of your control, despite complying with the above), you DON'T HAVE TO PROCEED with the application (nothing is cast in stone until payment made).

you should be able to find out if you're given a class 2B, 2A or 2 BEFORE making payment.

walk away and you can simply try again at another TP counter in a different driving school.

you can also WRITE IN to the TP. they will have to give you a reply and, if you furnish enough valid reasons they will probably grant you a full class 2 license.

(it happened to me! i was issued a class 2B license despite doing everything listed above and i finally got a full class 2 when i wrote a tear jerking letter to TP)

IMPORTING YOUR OWN BIKE:

it needs to be less than 3 years old from original date of registration. it's probably not worth the hassle unless you are importing a special model unavailable in singapore.

this guy did it, and you can too:

http://f800gsrider.blogspot.com/2009/04/self-importing-motorbike-from-uk-to.html

good luck and be safe out there.
Last edited by taxico on Sat, 06 Jun 2015 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 15 May 2012 7:01 am

^^^^^
+1

Excellent and defo sticky material, so..... a sticky it is! ;-)

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 15 May 2012 4:20 pm

Interesting. Just to add my experience, as I just converted a California DL clases C and M1 (car and motorcycle) at Woodlands about two weeks ago:

Auntie: "What's M1 mean? how many cc lah?"
Me: "No CC limit"
Auntie gives me class 2/2a/2b

No other questions at all, I didn't even really care about the class 2. I left that part of the conversion form blank when I was called up.

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Postby HouseRocker » Tue, 12 Jun 2012 11:12 pm

Thanks! I think this is indeed very useful as expats may be rather confused with different issues as they live in Singapore. The different classes of Bike License doesn't help them understand better too. Most do not understand why locals need to go through this.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 13 Jun 2012 8:49 am

To go through what?

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Postby kuzyone. » Mon, 18 Jun 2012 10:43 am

Booking the Basic Theory Test - for converting a foreign car license.

The booking time to take the BTT seems impossible. I need to take the test this week and all three of the test centres are booked out to August.

Are there any choices on this? My license is expiring and I am taking an overseas trip and NEED to drive.

I can't renew my license unless I go in person back to Canada to renew (I have no plan to do that any time soon).

Are there any private test centres available?

Any advice would be great!

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 18 Jun 2012 4:21 pm

kuzyone. wrote:Booking the Basic Theory Test - for converting a foreign car license.

The booking time to take the BTT seems impossible. I need to take the test this week and all three of the test centres are booked out to August.

Are there any choices on this? My license is expiring and I am taking an overseas trip and NEED to drive.

I can't renew my license unless I go in person back to Canada to renew (I have no plan to do that any time soon).

Are there any private test centres available?

Any advice would be great!


Nope. This is why you get a year to convert.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 18 Jun 2012 4:24 pm

HouseRocker wrote:Thanks! I think this is indeed very useful as expats may be rather confused with different issues as they live in Singapore. The different classes of Bike License doesn't help them understand better too. Most do not understand why locals need to go through this.


Really? You don't think having different classes of licenses for motorcycles makes sense? Do you ride? Have you ever lived somewhere where hotshots on 600cc and 1000c sports bikes went *splat* by the dozens on weekends when the weather was nice?

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Postby kuzyone. » Mon, 18 Jun 2012 6:00 pm

Thanks zzm9980,

I found that I may be able to convert my license in Malaysia. Has anyone tried this? It appears very straight forward from reading their website.

All I need to do is drop by with my license (which could be expired up to 3 years). Take my passport with me, with a photo and $20 RM.

Is it really this easy?

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 05 Aug 2012 2:39 pm

I rememebr converting 20 years ago. It was instataneous for all classes at the old Maxwell Rd police staiton.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 05 Aug 2012 3:49 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:I rememebr converting 20 years ago. It was instataneous for all classes at the old Maxwell Rd police staiton.


Yep, didn't even have to take any written exam if you had a US, UK, Aus or Canadian license. I converted mine back in '83 and in those prehistoric days, you didn't even have to have any residency visa either. Now you have to have a residency visa of some sort. (I lived here the first 11 years on a standard 30 days SVP). Had one wife, 2 kids & 3 cars all on a bog standard tourist visa. Those were the days, yeah Offshoreoildude?

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 19 Aug 2012 8:00 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:I rememebr converting 20 years ago. It was instataneous for all classes at the old Maxwell Rd police staiton.


Yep, didn't even have to take any written exam if you had a US, UK, Aus or Canadian license. I converted mine back in '83 and in those prehistoric days, you didn't even have to have any residency visa either. Now you have to have a residency visa of some sort. (I lived here the first 11 years on a standard 30 days SVP). Had one wife, 2 kids & 3 cars all on a bog standard tourist visa. Those were the days, yeah Offshoreoildude?


Well there's a story there... I'd had an accident in a Good Vehicle - a Malaysian bike hit me. I was arrested as I didn't have a Singapore license and you needed (and still need) a Singapore D/L for a goods vehicle - I'd assumed that I could drive on my aussie one for a few months esp. as I had a HGV class. Good old Sargeant R - now retired - hated the Malaysian bike riders who in his opinion ruined Singapore roads. He suggested in our interview - BEFORE the investigation - that I go downstairs and convert my license on the spot and he could then waive all charges. You'd never see that happen now. The Malaysians then made the mistake of trying to extort some money from me - I rang Sargeant R - I don't believe those clowns have worked in this country since.

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Postby Qotb » Sun, 27 Jan 2013 11:50 pm

So I check the site, which's very informative, thnx man... I'm only staying here for 5 months n I have an international driving license 4 my own bike n car driving licenses from egypt, n the site says it's valid 4 12months.... Did I understand wut's written on thAt site correctly?!?! Thnx

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A question of conversion timing

Postby The Ref » Mon, 28 Jan 2013 11:46 am

So if you have had a DL for around 20 years, but a motorbike license for less than 12 months what happens? I would declare as I am either too honest or a really bad lier :oops:

Do you still have to do the practical tests, training, ...?

Given I dont yet have either a car nor a bike should I just wait until I have had the Motor bike license 12 months before converting even if I am not riding one?

Thanks.

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Re: A question of conversion timing

Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 28 Jan 2013 2:01 pm

The Ref wrote:So if you have had a DL for around 20 years, but a motorbike license for less than 12 months what happens? I would declare as I am either too honest or a really bad lier :oops:

Do you still have to do the practical tests, training, ...?

Given I dont yet have either a car nor a bike should I just wait until I have had the Motor bike license 12 months before converting even if I am not riding one?

Thanks.


You'll die much earlier than you wish. Riding a large bike inexperienced in Singapore is no fun. I've been riding (and licensed) for almost 30 years and I find my H-D hard work in Singapore traffic compared to my TW200. Small bikes with short COE left are cheap - buy one and practice. NOTE - cars here do not give way to bikes.
Now I'm called PNGMK


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