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Old Aug 24th 2017, 8:16 am   #1
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Question Driving Licence Conversion

Hi Everybody,

I hold a UK Licence and have actually been driving around since 2014 after I married my Malaysian wife and moved over here. This was under the assumption that I did not need a Malaysian licence having a UK one to drive here. This assumption came from this source:

Portal Rasmi Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Malaysia

Section 28 of the Road Transport Act (APJ) 1987, states that "a driving license issued under the corresponding provisions of any law in force in any State which is a party to a treaty to which Malaysia is also a party and purporting to recognize domestic driving licenses issued by the contracting countries shall, so long as the license remains in force in that State, be deemed to be a driving license granted under this Part. ""

Pursuant to Section 28 of APJ 1987, as mentioned above, the holder of a foreign country’s driving license can drive in this country as long as the foreign domestic driving license is still valid, and is accompanied by a translation in English or Malay (where the license is in a language other than English or Malay), which is confirmed by the embassy of the country of origin in Malaysia, or by the authority issuing the driving license concerned.
In this regard, a foreign citizen is not required to hold a Malaysian driver's license to drive in Malaysia.

In addition, foreign nationals who want to drive in this country also have the option to use an International Driving Permit (International Driving Permit-IDP) issued by the country concerned before entering Malaysia.

Driving licenses from the countries listed below are recognised and can be used for driving in Malaysia subject to regulations under the Road Transport Act 1987:

LIST of COUNTRIES...


United Kingdom is one of the countries listed.

However, I found through this forum that there is a requirement to convert UK Licences to a Malaysian one. I have tried calling into my local JPJ - but the phone never seems to be answered.

Anyone has any clue on this?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 24th 2017, 4:29 pm   #2
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

My only questions would be:

Q1. "Are you permanently resident in Malaysia or do you have a UK home as well?"
Q2. "What is the date of expiry on your driving license?"

DVLA have become a lot stricter with residency checks in recent years due to UK residents moving abroad permanently and retaining their UK license by changing the registered address with the DVLA to friends / relatives in the UK before they go.

They are allegedly cross-checking DVLA and HMRC (Income Tax) records to identify license holders that are no longer UK resident. However, I wouldn't get too worried, since the incompetence of UK Government IT systems is legendary and well deserved.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 2:10 am   #3
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholasmalaysia View Post
....I found through this forum that there is a requirement to convert UK Licences to a Malaysian one....
If you are resident in Malaysia you can ask for a Malaysian driving licence but you still get to keep your UK licence. Hardly worth the bother IMHO.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 2:49 am   #4
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoflostfools View Post

DVLA have become a lot stricter with residency checks in recent years due to UK residents moving abroad permanently and retaining their UK license by changing the registered address with the DVLA to friends / relatives in the UK before they go.
What's in it for them to deny you of a license?
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 9:57 am   #5
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Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
If you are resident in Malaysia you can ask for a Malaysian driving licence but you still get to keep your UK licence. Hardly worth the bother IMHO.
While this is true, there is a measure of hassle getting it organised and those of us who have done it (self included) have either gone through an agent to get it organized or have had to deal with a certain amount of bureaucracy with the JPJ, since obtaining a Malaysian Driving Licence for a UK driving license holder is more complex than say an Australian doing so (because of ASEAN rules)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepen View Post
What's in it for them to deny you of a license?
The traditional cantankerousness of British government bureaucracy would be a fairly accurate description, but the DVLA are just following (very strictly) the rules that they have been given about the issuance of driving licenses.

Their view is that a British non-resident should exchange their British license for a foreign one in whatever country they are now resident in.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 3:39 pm   #6
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

This has been debated ad nauseum in the past. In essence, until your UK driving license passes it's sell by date any casual glance from a Malay police officer in connection with a minor misdemeanour will almost certainly pass inspection. But, should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in a serious accident then by their very nature your insurers will be looking for any excuse not to pay out.

If we agree or not, the DVLA stance is quite clear, should you leave the UK to live elsewhere your license in invalidated after 3 months (although it will be validated again if you return to the UK before it's expiry) and you should get it converted to a license in your new country of residence. So the insurers will have a perfect get out clause if you are driving on an invalid license. Once they refuse to pay out the local police will wake up and you will find yourself in trouble with the law to add to your woes.

Yes there is some beaurocracy involved but compared to how much you pay for your car insurance every year it is a pitance and will keep your insurance valid. In my view it is the most cost effective insurance you can buy.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 4:36 pm   #7
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

And discussed ad nauseum on several other threads too. The majority view seems to be that your UK licence remains valid even if you leave the UK. I left the UK 26 years ago and changed for a French licence and then a Malaysian licence. A quick check here:- https://www.viewdrivingrecord.servic...licence-number shows me that my original UK licence is still valid (as is my French one).
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 6:57 pm   #8
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

In fairness, it is discussed ad nauseum because most people are concerned about it and the UK Government takes a ridiculously harsh, yet vague line on it.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 9:39 am   #9
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Why do I feel nauseous every time I see ad nauseum ?
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 9:46 am   #10
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
And discussed ad nauseum on several other threads too. The majority view seems to be that your UK licence remains valid even if you leave the UK. I left the UK 26 years ago and changed for a French licence and then a Malaysian licence. A quick check here:- https://www.viewdrivingrecord.servic...licence-number shows me that my original UK licence is still valid (as is my French one).
I left the UK 12 years ago and the link says that my driving licence is expired.
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Old Aug 28th 2017, 7:40 am   #11
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

Thanks everyone for your input and replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoflostfools View Post
My only questions would be:

Q1. "Are you permanently resident in Malaysia or do you have a UK home as well?"
Q2. "What is the date of expiry on your driving license?"

DVLA have become a lot stricter with residency checks in recent years due to UK residents moving abroad permanently and retaining their UK license by changing the registered address with the DVLA to friends / relatives in the UK before they go.

They are allegedly cross-checking DVLA and HMRC (Income Tax) records to identify license holders that are no longer UK resident. However, I wouldn't get too worried, since the incompetence of UK Government IT systems is legendary and well deserved.
A1. Yes, permanent resident in Malaysia; but have let go of my home in the UK.
A2. Till 2025!

I'm just more worried about what the Malaysian side would be looking at to issue me a Malaysian Licence.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonHippy View Post
This has been debated ad nauseum in the past. In essence, until your UK driving license passes it's sell by date any casual glance from a Malay police officer in connection with a minor misdemeanour will almost certainly pass inspection. But, should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in a serious accident then by their very nature your insurers will be looking for any excuse not to pay out.

If we agree or not, the DVLA stance is quite clear, should you leave the UK to live elsewhere your license in invalidated after 3 months (although it will be validated again if you return to the UK before it's expiry) and you should get it converted to a license in your new country of residence. So the insurers will have a perfect get out clause if you are driving on an invalid license. Once they refuse to pay out the local police will wake up and you will find yourself in trouble with the law to add to your woes.

Yes there is some beaurocracy involved but compared to how much you pay for your car insurance every year it is a pitance and will keep your insurance valid. In my view it is the most cost effective insurance you can buy.
May I ask what the bureaucratic hurdles are? I have a document which I'e gathered online which seems to describe the process. As with all things in Malaysia... seems straightforward enough? http://www.mm2h.gov.my/pdf/mm2h11.pdf



Quote:
Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
If you are resident in Malaysia you can ask for a Malaysian driving licence but you still get to keep your UK licence. Hardly worth the bother IMHO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
And discussed ad nauseum on several other threads too. The majority view seems to be that your UK licence remains valid even if you leave the UK. I left the UK 26 years ago and changed for a French licence and then a Malaysian licence. A quick check here:- https://www.viewdrivingrecord.servic...licence-number shows me that my original UK licence is still valid (as is my French one).
Good to hear that I will get to keep my British licence. I guess I will follow your lead and @NeonHippy ; and @kingoflostfools; in taking up a Malaysian licence. I'm particularly worried since I no longer have a residence back in the UK (house's gone, everyone's moved away).
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Old Aug 29th 2017, 7:01 am   #12
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholasmalaysia View Post
May I ask what the bureaucratic hurdles are? I have a document which I'e gathered online which seems to describe the process. As with all things in Malaysia... seems straightforward enough? http://www.mm2h.gov.my/pdf/mm2h11.pdf
In principle the method is quite straightforward. Everything you need is listed on the JPJ Web site. When I did it for myself and my wife we hit two problems. The first is the so called 'letter from embassy'. The British Embassy will not issue any letter of this nature. Our have to get a certificate of authorisation from DVLA. This is the first road block. DVLA will not issue a certificate until you have left the UK. Onice you leave you cannot call their free phone number from outside the UK!! I got around this by buying a few dollar of skype credits and calling the fee phone number using skype.

The next hurdle was actually getting the certificate. DVLA ARE very polite and enthusiastic to send you the certificate (over the phone) but three times I called and asked for a certificate and three times one never arred. Since post from the UK seems to take anything up to 4 weeks to arrive that was a three month delay. The solution(partial see below) solution was to request DVLA to fax the certificate. Who the hell uses a fax test days? So it took a while to organise an office to receive the fax and then getting it sent.

Now, when we went to JPJ on the mainland there was a reluctance to accept a fax in case the fax ink fades. I know, it is the same printer ink that is used to make a photocopy. Eventually we persuaded the guy to simply photocopy the fax and use the copy. Although he did need to check with KL headquarters for permission.

So in summary a simple process but be prepared for a few delays along the way.
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Old Aug 29th 2017, 10:57 am   #13
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Default Re: Driving Licence Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonHippy View Post
Now, when we went to JPJ on the mainland ...
Why did you go to the mainland? I applied for my Malaysian driving license at JPJ on Penang island. Although I hold a driving license from a country mentioned in appendix A, I guess they can also handle countries from appendix B.
By the way: funny to see that they were not able to translate several of the countries' names properly. Which country is Mesir? (answer: Egypt)
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 12:27 pm   #14
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Why did you go to the mainland? I applied for my Malaysian driving license at JPJ on Penang island. Although I hold a driving license from a country mentioned in appendix A, I guess they can also handle countries from appendix B.
Unfortunately there is a big difference between getting an "Appendix A" conversion and an "Appendix B" conversion. As far as I am aware the "Appendix B" conversion can only be done at Butterworth.

The hard part seems to be speaking to a JPJ official that actually understands the "Appendix B" conversion requirements rather than quoting off chapter and version (including the Embassy letter nonsense) which doesn't apply to the DVLA.

I think the biggest part of this is a combination of luck and determination.
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Old Sep 4th 2017, 9:06 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SushiFan View Post
Why did you go to the mainland? I applied for my Malaysian driving license at JPJ on Penang island. Although I hold a driving license from a country mentioned in appendix A, I guess they can also handle countries from appendix B.
By the way: funny to see that they were not able to translate several of the countries' names properly. Which country is Mesir? (answer: Egypt)
Short answer is both. When I started the process JPJ were doing appendix b conversions on the island. But by the time I had managed to get the afore mentioned letter from DVLA the process had moved back to the mainland.

I have heard that they are now doing them on the island again but have not verified this.
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