Steering Through Malaysian Driving Regulations

Comprehensive Guide for International Drivers

Exploring Malaysia by car offers travelers a unique opportunity to witness the country’s diverse cultures and stunning landscapes. To ensure a hassle-free journey, it is crucial to navigate through Malaysia’s driving regulations and requirements.

According to Section 28 outlined in the Road Transport Act 1987, of the act, ASEAN license holders can drive in Malaysia with their domestic licenses, provided they are valid. Hence, drivers from the 10 ASEAN member countries may freely use their national driver’s license in the other nine member countries without requiring an IDP.

These participating countries include:

  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Brunei
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Philippines

Furthermore, it is essential for ASEAN license holders to present a valid driving license along with an English or Malay translation if the license is in a different language.

On the other hand, non-ASEAN citizens will require a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) to be allowed to drive on Malaysian roads during their trip here. 

This comes as, according to the Malaysian Department of Road Transport (JPJ), obtaining an IDP  is a MUST for drivers from non-ASEAN countries. 


ASEAN License Holders:

Drivers from ASEAN member countries (Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines) may use their domestic licenses in Malaysia. English or Malay translation is needed if the license is in a different language.

Non-ASEAN Citizens:

  • Require a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Malaysia.
  • IDP is essential and recognized worldwide.
  • Valid for up to one year.

Document Submission to process IDP:

  • Submit passport and valid driving license to your country's embassy.
  • Embassy validates the license and issues the IDP.

IDP Eligibility Criteria and Application:

  • Check specific requirements of your home country.
  • Follow application procedures outlined by your country's automobile association or government agency.

General Tips for IDP Application:

  • Research requirements of the issuing country.
  • Plan for varying processing times.
  • Beware of third-party services charging high fees.

In conclusion, understanding license recognition, obtaining an IDP when necessary, and adhering to specific requirements ensures a legal and enjoyable driving experience in Malaysia. Follow this guide for a smooth journey through the scenic roads of this culturally diverse country.

on 04/12/2023

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