Getting an international driving licence (IDP) in Singapore

Elle Kasser

Planning an overseas trip and thinking of hiring a car? You’ll need to apply for a Singapore International Driving Permit or IDP.

In this handy guide, we’ll show you how to apply for an international driving licence in Singapore in just a few easy steps. You’ll be a global driver in no time.

And remember - if you have any overseas driving costs to cover (such as car rental or insurance, for example), you can save money by using Wise. You can send money worldwide for tiny fees and the real, mid-market exchange rate, which means no money lost to high bank charges.

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But more on that later. For now, let’s get you sorted with an IDP.

What is an IDP driving licence?

This essential legal document will give you a convenient way to drive in other countries, which can be especially handy in places where English isn’t widely spoken. Rather than trying to negotiate a foreign country’s licence application process, you can simply use your IDP.

The IDP driving licence features driving terms in different languages, and is designed to ease communication between authorities and car rental companies in different countries. It’s also useful for motor insurance claims, or in the case of traffic violations or accidents.

And in many foreign countries, an IDP is a legal requirement to drive. It can also be used as a valid form of ID in 150+ countries¹.

Where is the IDP recognised?

The international driving licence is recognised in a large number of countries worldwide, including Malaysia, Thailand, UK, US, New Zealand, Australia and many European countries. You can find a full list here.

How to get an international driving licence in Singapore - a step-by-step guide

Ready to get your IDP? Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Automobile Association of Singapore website to apply online. You can also apply in person if you prefer, by heading to your local AA centre.
  2. Enter your personal and contact details, plus your Driving Licence Class and the country you plan to visit².
  3. Upload photos of the front and back of your Singapore driving licence, and do the same for your NRIC or Work Permit. Plus, a passport-size photograph of yourself. You may also need to upload a photo of your passport if you’re not a Singapore citizen².
  4. Choose where you’d like your IDP delivering and pay the application fee of S$20³.
  5. Wait for your licence to arrive.

And that’s it - then you’re ready to start driving overseas with your Singapore license.

How long does it take to get an IDP?

If you apply for your Singapore International Driving Permit online, your application will take around 4 days to process. Then, it’ll be another 2-3 days for your IDP to be delivered by courier service².

It can be much quicker to apply in person, as you can get your IDP within as little as 1-2 hours³.

Have overseas driving costs to pay? Save money with Wise

So, you’ve got your IDP sorted. But what about renting or buying a car in another country, or paying tax and insurance? If you have international driving costs to cover before a big trip, always use Wise.

With a Wise multi-currency account, you can send money worldwide for very low fees and the fairest exchange rate around. It’s quick, convenient and secure, so you can get back to planning the rest of your trip knowing that your driving costs are covered - and you haven’t lost even a cent to high currency conversion fees and bank charges.

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And that’s it - the easy guide to getting a Singapore International Driving Permit. Provided you have your documents ready, it should be relatively quick and straightforward.

And it’s good to know that if you’re in a hurry, you can get a walk-in slot at an AAS centre and convert your Singapore driving license to an international one in as little as 2 hours. Have a great trip!

Sources used for this article:

  1. International Driving Permit - Why carry an IDP?
  2. International Driving Permit Online Application
  3. Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) - International Driving Permit (IDP)

Sources checked on 24 May 2021

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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