This is a question most often asked by students when they wish to pick up driving in Singapore. It is a usually a personal choice when deciding whether to apply for a Class 3 or Class 3A licence.
It is best to understand what Class 3 and 3A driving licences allows you to do.
Both Class 3 and 3A driving licences apply to:
- Vehicles with unladen weight weighing 3,000 kg or less (max 7 passengers with one driver)
- Other vehicles with unladen weight not exceeding 2,500 kg.
However, there are differences between the Class 3 and Class 3A licences.
Class 3 driving licence
- You can drive a car with manual transmission and a clutch pedal.
- You can also drive an automatic transmission vehicle (Class 3A).
- You will need a Class 3 licence to apply for a Class 4 or Class 4A licence.
Class 3A driving licence
- You can drive only an auto transmission car with an automatic transmission.
- You cannot drive manual transmission vehicles (Class 3); and
- You cannot use a Class 3A licence to apply for a Class 4 or Class 4A licence.
Depends on your needs and with the above information, you are able to reach a better decision on which licence to apply for in Singapore.
After making your decision, you will need to engage a driving instructor to start your driving lessons.
Short term visit (less than 12 months) in Singapore
If you are planning for a short-term stay in Singapore not longer than 12 months, you do not need to convert your driving licence. However, you will need to be above 18 years old and have a valid class 3, 3A or 2B foreign qualified driving licence written in English language. An international driving permit or an official English translation of the licence is required.
Long term stay in Singapore
Foreigners who hold a Work Pass/Dependent Pass/Student Pass may drive in Singapore with their valid class 3, 3A or 2B foreign qualified driving licence up to a period of 12 months. After 12 months, it is mandatory for foreigners to acquire a Singapore driving licence when driving in Singapore.
If you are planning for a long-term stay in Singapore of more than 12 months, you need to convert your driving licence after 12 months. It will be advisable to start your conversion as early as possible, probably on the 9th month of your stay to avoid any inconvenience. The process of foreign driving licence conversion requires some administration and you will need to pass the Basic Driving Theory Test (BTT) and the Class 3 Practical Driving Test (PDT).
Working in Singapore
Foreigners holding a Work Permit is not allowed to drive in the course of work on public roads unless the occupation stated in the Work Permit shows he is employed as a driver. It is advisable for foreigners holding a Work Permit to acquire a Singapore driving licence.
Singaporean/PR with foreign driving licence
If you are a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident, you will need to convert your foreign qualified driving licence upon returning to Singapore and upon obtaining PR status respectively.
You will need to provide documentation proof that you have valid reason to be staying in a foreign country for a period of 1 year or more due to work or study, and have a total stay of 6 months within the one year period.
Foreigners, Singaporeans or PR who wish to convert their foreign Class 3 driving licence are required to pass the Basic Driving Theory Test (BTT) and the Class 3 Practical Driving Test (PDT).
It will be appropriate and advisable to seek the help of a private driving instructor or driving centres on the process of passing the Class 3 PDT.
Our private driving instructor will be able to help you familiarize with individual driving centres test routes and provide crucial and important insights on what to look out for during the Class 3 PDT.