How to Get an International Driver's Permit in Malaysia

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Expats in Malaysia are only permitted to use a foreign license for a three month period before they will need to apply for a new international permit. Though the ease and speed of the process varies depending on the nationality of the applicant and their status, this should not dissuade anyone who wants to drive for long periods in Malaysia.

Expats hailing from countries under the Bi-lateral agreement (Australia, France, Denmark, Singapore, etc) looking to acquire an international driver’s permit in Malaysia, will have to submit the following details to an office of the JPJ (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Malaysia which translates as Road Transport Department Malaysia ). A completed JPJL1 form, which can be acquired at any JPJ office, must accompany the following documentation.

  1. Original and copy of valid driving license. (For expired driving license, the expiry date should not exceed 3 years)
  2. One colored photograph (25 mm x 32 mm).
  3. English translation of the driving license by Embassy of the issuing country. If the country has no Embassy office in Malaysia, translation can be done by Malaysia Translation Institute (
  4. Original and copy of the passport (must be valid for the next 6 months)
  5. Processing fee – RM20.00
  6. Categories of license which may apply for conversion:
  • Competence Driving License (CDL)
    * RM 30.00 (car) – per year.
    * RM 20.00 (motorcycle) – per year.
  • Probationary driving License(P)
    * RM 60.00(car) – two years.
    * RM 40.00(motorcycle) – two years.

It is important to re-assert that different procedural processes when applying for an international driving permit in Malaysia apply depending on the nationality of the applicant. Comprehensive details on the procedures that have to be followed depending on what nationality the occupant falls under can be found on this page, which should serve as the first resource to refer to for anyone looking to acquire an international permit. A list of nations whose expats are offered automatic conversion of their licenses (which takes a mere 1 day) and which expats require their application be sent to the Road Transport Department in Putrajaya (a process which can take up to one month to complete) can be found here.

There are JPJ offices in every Malaysian state, and a list of them and their addresses can be found here.  Opening times for JPJ offices can be found here.

Applicants can also approach AAM (Automobile Association of Malaysia), the office locations of which can be found at the addresses found on this site.
The renewal fee for an international driver’s permit is RM150 per annum, and the procedures and stipulations below need to be followed in order to renew the permit.   

  1. The license may be renewed in Malaysia only.
  2. Provide 2 passport size photographs.
  3. Present your IDP for renewal.
  4. Complete Form JPJ L1.
  5. RM150 per annum for the renewal fee.

It should be noted that drivers licensed by the JPJ must notify the JPJ if and when they change the color of their vehicle.

For expats who do not have a driver’s license but wish to go for one, a five hour road safety course will need to be completed (though this can be complicated by the fact that the majority of these courses are delivered in Bahasa Melayu), a 45 question written examination, 16 hours’ worth of driving lessons and final tests (on the open road and in a car park). Once these are completed successfully, the license given can be converted into an international driving permit.

Homepage highlight photo credit: vernieman, Flickr

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