International Driving Permit

Applying For International Driving Permit in Malaysia

Thinking of driving overseas? You will need to apply for an International Driving Permit before departing from Malaysia.

Are you a Malaysian planning to drive in a foreign country? To ensure a smooth and legal driving experience, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). This document serves as a translation of your Malaysian driving license and is recognized internationally, allowing you to drive legally in most foreign countries.

Whether you’re embarking on a self-drive adventure to explore the scenic beauty of Hokkaido on your way to Club Med Resorts in Japan or planning an exciting trip in Australia, the International Driving Permit (IDP) will be your trusted companion for these unforgettable journeys abroad. Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how to obtain an IDP for driving overseas.

International Driving Permit - Car Rental
Your Key To Driving Overseas: The International Driving Permit

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is an official document that allows Malaysian drivers to operate a vehicle in foreign countries that recognize it. It serves as a supplement to your local driving license, translating your driving credentials into multiple languages for easy understanding by foreign authorities.

How to Apply for an International Driving Permit in Malaysia?

Applying for an IDP in Malaysia is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to obtain your IDP:

Step 1: Check Eligibility

Before applying for an IDP, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You should hold a valid Malaysian driving license.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Prepare the necessary documents for your IDP application:

  • Original MyKad
  • Valid Malaysian driving license with more than 1 year validity
  • One license size photograph with white background

Step 3: Visit the Nearest JPJ Office

Locate the nearest Jabatan Penangkutan Jalan (JPJ) office or UTC and bring all the required documents mentioned in Step 2. Submit the documents to the JPJ officer, who will process your application.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fee

To proceed with your application, please make the required payment of MYR150 as the required application fee. Kindly note that the payment must be made in cash and is non-refundable.

Step 5: Wait for Processing

The processing time for an IDP is remarkably quick, usually just a few minutes. Once you’ve submitted your application and fulfilled all the necessary requirements, you can expect to receive your IDP promptly.

Step 6: Familiarize Yourself with Driving Laws in the Destination Country

Before embarking on your journey, familiarize yourself with the driving laws and regulations of the country you plan to visit. Each country may have different road rules and requirements for foreign drivers.

Step 7: Keep Your Malaysian Driving License and IDP Handy

When driving overseas, always carry both your Malaysian driving license and your IDP. The IDP is not a standalone document but a complement to your local license.

International Driving Permit
Driving a Go-Kart in Japan requires an International Driving Permit

Do I need an International Driving Permit to drive overseas?

In ASEAN countries such as Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, you can easily rent and drive with your Malaysia driving license without any issues.

However, for countries outside of ASEAN, it is highly recommended to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) before driving. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the last thing you want to discover is that you are driving illegally or unable to claim insurance due to non-compliance with local driving regulations.

Often, many of us overlook the fine print in insurance and rental agreements, especially when they are not in English. Finding yourself in such a situation could lead to significant expenses for repairs, sometimes even equivalent to buying a brand-new car.

To avoid any potential legal and financial complications, it is prudent to obtain an International Driving Permit when driving outside ASEAN countries. This small investment in the IDP ensures a worry-free and legally compliant driving experience wherever you go.

What should I take note of when driving overseas?

Always adhere to the posted speed limits while driving in foreign countries. Many nations enforce strict speed regulations, and even a slight excess of just 1km/h can result in costly fines. Avoid attempting to bribe authorities if caught, as this may lead to serious legal consequences, including imprisonment.

Importantly, make sure to purchase comprehensive car rental insurance. Familiarize yourself with its coverage and the extent of your liability in case of an accident. Opting for car rental insurance that waives all charges is highly recommended for added peace of mind.

Keep in mind that certain rental companies may impose additional charges if the driver falls within the age range of 25 to 30 years old. Be prepared for such potential surcharges while renting a car.

FAQs About International Driving Permit

Can I use my Malaysian driving license alone to drive overseas?

Except for Asean countries, you need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive overseas. The IDP works in conjunction with your Malaysian driving license and is essential for driving legally in most foreign countries.

Where can I apply for an IDP in Malaysia?

You can apply for an IDP at any Road Transport Department (JPJ) office in Malaysia.

How long is the validity of an IDP?

The IDP is typically valid for one year from the date of issue. However, it’s essential to check the validity requirements of the specific country you plan to visit.

Can I apply for an IDP online?

As of now, the application for an IDP must be done in person at the JPJ office.

Can I drive in any country with an IDP?

The IDP is recognized in most foreign countries, but it’s crucial to verify its acceptance in the specific country you intend to visit.

Can I apply for an IDP if my Malaysian driving license is about to expire?

No, you must have a valid Malaysian driving license to be eligible for an IDP.


If you’re a Malaysian planning to drive overseas, acquiring an International Driving Permit (IDP) is a must. The IDP serves as a vital document, ensuring you can confidently and legally explore foreign roads. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, and remember to familiarize yourself with the driving laws of the destination country. With your IDP in hand, you’re ready for a fantastic driving adventure abroad. Safe travels!

Andy Thong
Andy Thong

Andy Thong is a certified Club Med Specialist and Contiki ambassador. He is a content creator and loves travel. His goal is to inspire you to fill your travel with culture, color, and creativity with spotlights on traditions, craft, cuisines, and festivals around the world.

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