Fees up for tests to get driver's licence

It will cost more for those learning to drive to obtain a licence from next month.

The fee for theory tests will go up to $6.50 from $6, while the current $20 fee for practical tests and the Proficiency Driving Test will be raised to $26 next month, and go up to $33 in June next year.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement yesterday that the fee hike, which applies to all who book their tests on or after June 1, is due to the rise in operating costs over the years.

The current fees have not changed since 1997, it said.

The SPF also said yesterday that work permit and S Pass holders with foreign driving licences who wish to convert them to Class 3 licences will have to pass a practical test as well.

From next month, they will need to take the Class 3 practical driving test if they want to drive small buses, motor cars, mini vans or light goods vehicles.

Currently they need to pass only a basic theory test to convert their equivalent foreign licences.

But foreign workers who need to drive only cars and not vehicles such as mini vans can apply for the new Class 3C licence.

This licence, to be introduced next month, is only for cars and requires foreign workers to pass only the basic theory test.

These changes - passed in Parliament in September last year - are to ensure these drivers are competent and familiar with driving on Singapore roads.

Those who have already converted to Class 3 licences have two years or until their licence expires to take the practical test if they want to continue driving.

Businesses which hire foreigners as drivers said they have made plans to send them for refresher lessons, before taking the driving test in the next two years.

They said they are willing to incur the additional training time and cost to meet this new requirement, as it means that roads will be safer for all users.

TA Corporation chief executive Neo Tiam Boon said it started sending its foreign drivers - about 27 of them - for lessons and practical tests in September last year. It costs about $1,500 to send each worker for extra lessons and several test attempts, but Mr Neo said it is worth it.

"We want drivers to be properly trained so that it's safe for everyone," he said.

OKP Holdings group managing director Or Toh Wat said it has at least 15 foreign drivers, mostly from India, and he hopes to send them for the practical test over the next two years.

"They are seasoned drivers but passing a driving test is something quite different," he said.

"We will spread their test dates out so it doesn't affect the work schedule."


This article was first published on May 30, 2015.
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