How to easily get an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

Driving is a part of the Malaysian lifestyle, for good or ill. So it is only natural to want to drive on roads around the world. I’m sure when you think about visiting the US or Japan, you must have thought of taking road trips on those nice, smooth, well-maintained roads. Fortunately for you, you can! You just need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). This simple document will open the door to a world of driving adventures, allowing you to navigate international roads legally. So buckle up, fellow traveller, as we embark on an exciting (short) trip to obtain your very own IDP!

What is an International Driving Permit?

International Driving Permit 1948

An international driving license, officially called an international driving permit (IDP) is an official document which shows you have a competent driving license (CDL) in your home country. The IDP allows you to drive overseas without taking another driving test.

There are 2 different types of IDP based on two international treaties: the 1949 Geneva Convention and the 1968 Vienna Convention. 1949 format IDPs have a validity of only 1 year, while the 1968 format documents can last for up to 3 years, as long as your original country’s licence is still valid for that time. You will need to check if the country you are visiting is a signatory of the 1949 Geneva Convention IDP or the 1968 Vienna Convention IDP to be able to use an IDP. Unfortunately for Malaysians, Malaysia is only a signatory of the 1949 Convention so if you are visiting a country like many in Europe, your 1949 IDP will not be recognised.

But do remember, when travelling overseas, you need to take both your IDP and your driving license with you. Your IDP does not replace your driving license and it only “extends” your driving license’s validity to other countries. If you are going to emigrate, however, it is better to convert your Malaysian driving license to a license issued by the country you moved to.

Online procedure

Now, in this day and age, you can do everything online. That includes getting your IDP! Here are the simple steps you can take to get your IDP without going to a JPJ office!

  1. Visit the mySikap website and log in!
Source: JPJ

2. After logging in, click Driving License.

Source: JPJ

3. Then simply click International Driving Permit (IDP).

Source: JPJ

4. Then check your information then click PAY if everything is correct.

JPJ info page, IDP
Source: JPJ

5. Select your payment method and make the payment!

IDP, JPJ payment page
Source: JPJ

Once the payment is complete, you should receive your IDP in the mail. Remember to turn off popup blockers or you will not be able to proceed with the transaction!

Offline procedure

If you insist on doing it in person, you will need to fulfil several requirements and possess these documents:

  • Not be blacklisted
  • Have a Competent Driving Licence (CDL) class B2 and/or D for more than 1 year
  • Have a CDL with more than 1-year validity left
  • Photocopy of the driving licence (both sides)
  • Original and photocopy of Identity Card (both sides), or passport if you’re a foreigner in Malaysia
  • Passport size photographs
  • Complete Form JPJ L1
  • Payment of RM150

Then you can go to the nearest JPJ office to make the application. Once complete, you should receive your IDP on the same day. In either case, once you get your IDP, you can drive worry-free around the world! Where the 1949 Geneva Convention IDP is accepted at least.

If you do not have a valid CDL, you can check out how to get a driving license. But if your driving license is expiring, you can learn how to renew your driving license, even online! You can also convert your driving license to a Malaysian one if you are an expat. Just don’t forget to pay your saman before you renew your license!

If you need a car for Malaysia instead, check out our inventory of myTukar Certified cars. Buy your dream car and enjoy our 5-day money back guarantee and more for a hassle-free car ownership experience.

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