How to Apply International Driving License in Malaysia

In our previous travels, we self-drive in Iceland, Hokkaido, Italy, and USA.

Self-driving while traveling in certain places is highly recommended. It is more convenient to get around, especially in places that lack public transport.

To apply for the International Driving Permit (IDP), you will need to prepare:

  1. Valid driving license with more than 1-year validity.
  2. Photocopy of the driving license (Both sides).
  3. Original and photocopy of Identity Card (Both sides).
  4. 1 passport-size photograph.
  5. Complete Form JPJ L1 (Obtain & fill at JPJ office)
  6. Payment of RM150 per year.

Visit the nearest JPJ Office or the Malaysia Automobile Association (MAA) office (RM30 extra) to apply. You will receive the international driving permit immediately.

Do I need an International Driving License to drive overseas?

In some countries (eg 10 ASEAN Countries), you can rent and drive with our Malaysia driving license however you will need to find out the details.

We strongly recommend applying for an international driving license. In case of an accident, the last thing you want to be told is that you are driving illegally or you are unable to claim insurance due to lack of an international driving license.

Most of us neither read the insurance clause nor the rental clause or when the main language is not in English. You would not want to be caught in such a situation as damages can be as high as a brand-new car.

What to take note of when renting cars overseas?

Buy car rental insurance and understand what it covers and how much you are liable in the event of an accident. It is recommended to buy car rental insurance that waives all charges.

Some rental companies will charge extra if the driver is below a certain age usually 25/30 years old and below.

Unlike in Malaysia, please take note of the speed limit. First class countries are very strict in terms of speeding and the fine for speeding can be expensive. Crossing even 1 kmph will land you a fine. Lastly, please do not offer a bribe unless you want to land in jail.

About Tommy Ooi 509 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.


  1. There is a clause in the JPJ website stating this …. “You need to surrender your domestic license to JPJ as you are not allowed to hold 2 types of licenses at a time. If you no longer require the IDP, you may be go to the JPJ offices to get back your domestic license”.

    Is this true?

  2. hi there can i apply for this at UTC or do i have to go directly to JPJ? also how long was the process for you?

    thanks in advance

    • Hi Corny, may we know whats the difference? In the end we received the International Driving Permit which is the official document. Although for easier reference we use the term driving license

  3. Hi Tommy, I will be travelling to Japan from 10-20/3/2019. If my driving license is expiring on 22/11/2019 but the international driving permit need to have more than 1 year validity. Can I proceed to apply the IDP?

  4. my license is DA. can I still apply for IDP? i dont know where I read it but only D license (manual and auto) can apply. i dont know if that is correct or not because i dont remember where i read that. mine only can bring auto only.

  5. Hi Tommy,
    I’m holding a Malaysian driving license, and will be traveling to Korea.
    What is the most convenient way to convert to International Driving License?
    I’m a PR living in SG though, but I didnt drive here.

    thanks in advance!

  6. Hi Tommy,
    Do you know what will be the procedure if a person from China wants to apply international licence in order to be able to drive in Malaysia? Thanks in advance.

  7. Hi, I am currently studying in UK, how do I convert my license into international license? Is there any possible way I can do it via online?

  8. Hi Tommy,
    is the 1 grade driver license same with normal internation license? Cause I’m renting a van in juju and they required 1 grade driver license. Thank you.

  9. Hi, I am planning to go to JPJ to apply for the IDP but I am staying in Singapore now. Will i be able to get the IDP on the day of application or do I have to make another trip down to collect my IDP?

  10. Hi tommy, i am expat from India holding Indian license. i want to apply for IDP. presently i had scan copy of my driving license only. i forgot to bring my original. photocopy of my Indian license enough to apply or i need to show my original Indian license while applying at JPJ office?
    for Maximum how many years i can get the IDP?
    what is the total time required for this entire process to get IDP from the date of submitting application at JPJ?

  11. I am currently do not reside in Malaysia, if my parents have all the documents needed, can they apply the IDP on behalf of me?

  12. Hi Tommy Ooi,

    I ‘am a Nigerian with valid driving license. Distance has not let me renew my Nigerian driving license because I ‘ve been away since 2017. Can I apply for IDP with my expired local license? Please advice.

  13. Hi Tommy, I am currently living in Penang, Malaysia and when I went to the local JPJ to apply I was told that as of September of 2018 they no longer do this and I would have to go back to my home country to get one. Is this incorrect? (perhaps I explained myself wrongly or the person was misinformed). Let me know. thanks


  14. Hi Tommy,

    I want to apply int’l driver’s license here in Malaysia. My concern is I don’t have yet my plastic (laminated) DL from Philippines. I got only paper (same as receipt) but it is still valid expiry date 10 Nov. 2022.

    Please advise what to do.



  15. Just read on the JPJ website (FAQs) that you can not apply for a IDP with your regular domestic driving license (e.g. my UK license). You have to get an international permit issued in your own country (in my case at a UK post office), then the JPJ will issue a IDP based on that document.

    Was this the case for you?

  16. I get international driving license but not hire. Itake in my country. That one can use hire any without approval? Thank you please reply soon..

  17. hi tommy, i am an indian national on a mm2h visa, having a malaysian licence valide till aug 2020. can i apply for idp in jpj office , and will they proces idp on the same day.

  18. Hi Tommy, I’m currently based in Singapore. Can I go to any JPJ in Johor to apply IDP? If yes, usually how long does it take to get the IDP?

  19. Hi Tommy, do you know if we can apply IDP on behalf? and is there any specific requirment for the photo (size and background colour)? Thanks

  20. Hi Tommy, I am from Bangladesh and I have my valid driving license with me. I am a student and can I apply for International’s Driving License with it ?

  21. I’m a Malaysian studying in the UK. I’ve just got my UK driving license. I don’t have a Malaysian driving license. Can I drive in Malaysia using my UK driving license?

  22. Hi,Tommy,I’m Malaysian. We (my family) want to travel- Thailand,Myanmar,India by car.Is that necessary to apply international driving license for me and my wife as well. You advice pls.thanks

  23. Hello, I’m an Indian National who holds an indian drivers license. I live and work in Malaysia on a valid work permit. Can I apply for an IDP from Malaysia?

  24. Hi Tommy,im holding malaysia license and im going US, should i apply for IDP? and in US is left handed, need to do anything like take a theory etc before driving in US?

    • Hi Alice, you can rent with malaysia driving license but I do recommend to apply IDP just in case. No extra test needed you just need to accustomed with driving on Left handed

  25. Hey , i am french and only have my french car driving licence here in Malaysia ( since my international driving licence expired and can’t be renew as i don’t live in Fance anymore).

    Can i apply for IDP? do i have to surrender my french driving licence? thank you

  26. Hi Tommy, is the International Driving document from official? Can it be used in Malaysia? for a UK husband who holds long term visitor’s pass resides in Malaysia few years already. Need your advice. Thank you.

  27. Hi Tommy

    I m a Malaysian but I converted my license
    to Singapore license back to 2013.

    I used to apply IDP in Singapore
    But I can’t do it now because you must be a resident in Singapore to do so.
    I leaved Singapore and stay in Japan now.

    Can I apply IDP in Malaysia with Singapore license when I back to Malaysia?

    Thank you.

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