Exchanging international drivers license


By any chance do you guys know if I can convert my New Zealand drivers license to a Malaysian one?? I had my international driving permit but it expired today, just want to know so that if I need to order a new international permit I can do it ASAP! Also, if I can, do you know what the process is?


You can get a Malayisan driving license easily.  Paperwork and photo at the JPJ.

Hi Paddy,

I just tried that route August last year - they said that they stopped this system 2 years ago.

I had to go through the lessons and exams... finally got my P license December last year.


Were you on a student license or professional from Philippines?? Mine is a full license from New Zealand, so I doubt I would have to go through the lessons and test all over again!! But if that's the case I'll just get my international permit again

Even if you have professional license from New Zealand ,still you need to go for full lessons and test. I think total 14 days you need to go there.

Student license? I wish I was that young  :)
Its a non professinoal license from Philippines. I also had UK license before.
I was told they don't exchange starting 2 years ago... For reference - 3 years ago I tried and they still did. I talked to a few people including the head in my city.

Re international license - from what I remember - there's a limit to the period you can use it. I think 6 months or 1 year. If you stay in Malaysia then you can't use it after that period.

I heard the same thing about them no longer transferring driving licenses. If you can't get a NZ IDP via mail then I also suggest taking the test in Malaysia. I used to renew my UK IDP by applying online with the AA but that no longer works.

MM2H holders with a full foreign license from several countries can get a Malaysian P license (not a full one) via a fairly tedious process documented in the Malaysia section of the other expats forum which I probably shouldn't mention here. I've done it.

Hi Paddy.  My husband and I are from NZ too.  This is our experience re applying for a Malaysian driver's licence  for my husband after expiration of  his International licence.
Firstly, not sure where you live but we're Kuching, Sarawak, and have Malaysia my Second Home.  Arrived 1 March of 2020.  Below are the steps we took for new licence:
Went to Sarawak State Transport Road Dept
Given two forms to be completed (take away with you)
Before completing/returning forms you need to phone NZTA and request 'Certificate of Particulars.'  Cost NZD 11.10
Certificate was emailed to my husband
My husband then had to email it to High Commission in Kuala Lumpur
Cost NZD 100
Document certified at embassy and returned to my husband by email
We then went back to Sarawak State Transport with the two completed forms and certified Certificate of Particulars from NZ
Everything checked and advised processing takes approximately 30 days - this was back in November
We were told we could log into website to watch progress
Website didn't work so we went back out to Sarawak Transport and they couldn't get it to work either
Sarawak Transport took husband's mobile number and would call when licence ready
Still nothing by January and went back out to Sarawak Transport to find out what was happening
We were told that licences are 'on hold' (no other information) at present - will let us know when licence is ready
Have not heard anything to date.
I hope this provides clearer idea of process but may differ if you are in West Malaysia.
Best wishes.

Hi there,

Here is my research & reply from JPJ Malaysia about Road & Transport Act 1987 Section 28

I have asked them about section 28.

"Recognition of driving licences of other countries
28. A driving licence issued under the corresponding provisions
of any law in force in any country which is a party to a treaty to
which Malaysia is also a party and which purports to recognize
domestic driving licences issued by the contracting countries shall,
so long as such licence remains in force in that country, be deemed
to be a driving licence granted under this Part."


Then I went to IBU Pejabat ( JPJ Johor) and ask them about my IDP with attestation ( From Pakistan High Commission Kuala Lumpur).

here is what she replied we only accept Booklet type IDP rather than Smart PVC Card. but she agreed that I can drive as long as my Domestic Licence & IDP is valid.

first, you have to check that if New Zealand is a signatory party in Geneva Convention of Road & Transport ACT where Malaysia is also a signatory.

you can get more info here. Geneva Convention on Road Traffic

download the English version of the act 1987

Hi Paddy!  I'm from Bangladesh.  My husband has been driving here using his international driving licence. When it expired, he got it renewed from Bangladesh. If I remember correctly, my husband told me that the international driving license cannot be converted into Malaysian one.

You can now exchange your (most) foreign driver's license for a Malaysian license. This was possible before October 2018, and now made possible again in December 2020.

Visit JPJ - if you're in KL, I suggest to go to JPJ Wangsa Maju on Jalan Genting Kelang.

Note, that while an International Driver's Permit is valid for 12 months, you are only allowed to use it for the first three months in any country. Malaysia included. After three months, you are no longer considered a tourist and you are supposed to convert to a local license.

That said, most police officers will still let you drive on your IDP, but it is actually not a valid or legal solution, and you could be going to court. Also, your insurance may not cover any major claims, if you are not legally allowed to drive in Malaysia.

Reshma Hossain wrote:

Hi Paddy!  I'm from Bangladesh.  My husband has been driving here using his international driving licence. When it expired, he got it renewed from Bangladesh. If I remember correctly, my husband told me that the international driving license cannot be converted into Malaysian one.

Unfortunately, your husband is driving illegally in Malaysia, if he is still driving on an IDP. Most foreigners do this, but risk ending up in court - or worse, if their insurance chooses not to cover major claims due to lack of valid driver's license.

Thanks micern for that information.

Actually I drove in Malaysia for about 7 years using only my IDP which I renewed each year via mail to the UK. I can't recall ever being stopped by the police and I didn't have any accidents during that time so I guess I was lucky. Didn't know an IDP was officially only valid for 3 months in a country either.

@Shill88, so did you encounter any issue buying a car with your IDP specially from a dealer?

I bought a new car from a Nissan authorized dealer and I remember they asked for a copy of my letter confirming that I had MM2H so but that was so I could get the tax-free price which meant about RM55k discount on the price. If they required it I would have showed them my UK driving license only since when I bought the car I didn't have an IDP. The dealer also arranged my car insurance along with the loan. That was back in 2008 so the requirements might have changed, but everything was smooth and easy when I bought mine.

For my first year, I had an IDP. After that I just drove on my EU license for four years until finally getting my license converted to a Malaysian one (which then took about 30 minutes). When I returned after several years abroad, my Malaysian license had expired and I didn't get a new one before they stopped doing the conversions. In November I got my Malaysian license after taking the driving test - and a few weeks later they returned to doing the conversions again.  :D

You can buy a car tax-free based on an MM2H letter? I wasn't aware of this... that makes it an even more interesting program!

It used to be like that. But I believe that advantage has been scrapped so no longer applies. It seems the government was more willing to give advantages back then.

My car was originally around RM146k but after tax deduction and discounts I ended up paying RM91k for it. I took a five year loan with a bank arranged by the car dealership and repaid about RM780 per month over 5 years.

My husband and I purchased a new Perodua MYVI June 2020 as government had removed sales tax.  We didn't have MM2H at that stage.
Removal of sales tax incentive was meant to finish end December, 2020, but has been extended to end of June, 2021.
Please note that this does not apply to imported vehicles.

As an addendum to my post of 15 February re driver's licence ex New Zealand.
My husband finally heard last week that licence was ready.  Got to Sarawak Transport at 12.15pm only to find they were closed until 2pm.  Decided to go home.
Went out there early Monday morning only to find computer system down.  Went home.
Phone call Tuesday to say everything working again.
Back out there yesterday and my husband finally got his licence.  Valud for two years.
I am now undertaking the paperwork for my licence.

I have shared my experience in this blog post with evidence as per law, please take look and share your views.

https://www.spicyblogging.com/2021/03/M … ional.html

Based on the facts i believe that country list (Shared by University Malaysia Pahang). The national of listed countries are eligible to drive in malaysia if the they have Domestic License along with IDP.

I hope this will help.

Ishtiaq Ahmad

From what I know, convert license is available last time, then stop for some time. Then in December 2020 starts to available again.
However, due to the covid movement restrictions, the JPJ does not open for counter services, so there is a big delay in the application process.
I found the document check list here:

The JPJ offices are open now and I guess they are accepting the applications.

Is there a way to convert Philippine driver's license to local driver's license?

Hi. Your Philippine license should have authentication by both the LTO and DFA. Then another step at the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia.

http://www.philembassykl.org.my/main/in … -s-license

I'm curious, I found the document online. I wonder if it is accurate. If I read it right, it says you can use your home license if it is from any of the countries listed.

https://cir.ump.edu.my/images/FOREIGN_L … NITION.pdf