This information is for citizens in Malaysia looking to get the International Driving Permit. I will share my personal experience going to the JPJ state office and some tips for you to consider.
What is the International Driving Permit?
The International Driving Permit (IDP) allows for the driving of vehicles in certain countries for a period of one year. Based on the Convention on Road Traffic 1949, those countries are called Contracted States and there are 156 of them. The vehicle that you can drive in those countries depends on the type of vehicle that you got your driving license for. Typically, it is the small motor vehicle for the transport of passengers.
Are you eligible for the IDP?
Based on the Road Transport Department Malaysia (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan), you need to hold a Competent Driving License (CDL) with validity of more than one year and must not be blacklisted. You cannot apply for the IDP online and must physically go to a JPJ branch.
What documents do you need?
According to the JPJ website, you would need to bring along:
- Original / copy of identification
- Original identification if made by a representative
- Competent Driving License (CDL)
- 1 passport-sized colour photo
Two things from this:
- I assumed that I'd only need the original copy of my identification card (IC) and driving license. But they also need a copy of each. Thankfully, there was a photocopy service in the vicinity.
- Apparently, you can get someone to get the IDP for you as long as they have your original IC and CDL as well as the passport photo.
Here's the improved list of documents for the IDP application:
- Original identification card (IC)
- Original driving license (CDL)
- Photocopy of IC
- Photocopy of CDL
- One (1) passport photo
My experience and what to expect
The JPJ office I went to was at UTC Selangor, since it was the nearest. Parking is available and you would need your Touch N Go card.
I went there on a weekday morning, arriving at a quarter past 10am. I'd recommend this time or after lunch time for less human traffic but then again you can't really predict. Those two times are just my preferred times.
The JPJ office at UTC Selangor is at Level 3. Look for the counter that has the ticket number machine and wait for your turn.
There were 60 people ahead of me and my waiting time was a little more than one hour. I thought this was long but my cousin said that this was a relatively quick turnover.
Once my number was called, I told the officer I wanted to get the International Driving Permit. They asked for the documents and a fee of MYR 150. They processed the IDP immediately. It took about 10 mins.
So 1+ hour wait time for 10 minutes processing of the IDP.
My advice – allocate at least 2 hours for the whole thing including commute time.
Tip: bring a book or read the news to kill time.
Why do I need the International Driving Permit?
I'm publishing this article on the same day that I went to get my IDP – 21 November 2023.
Obviously, getting the IDP means that I'll be going abroad. I do have travel plans for the next few months but I'm not sure exactly in which country I'll be driving.
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