Monday, August 04, 2008

If You Happen to Let Your Driving License Expire....

If you happen to let your driving license expire, well.... you are in good company. I say that, of course, assuming that you think me good company. A safe enough assumption, I hope, since you are here visiting at my place.

So. I've been living in Singapore for 15 years, and have had a driving license all that time. I was lucky enough to relocate to Singapore back in the old days, when all you had to do was pay for a license in order to convert yours from your own country. Nowadays, foreigners have to take the highway code test, and I have heard it can be tricky. (Though I know that many people have no real trouble with it, as long as they read up in advance.)

The bad news for foreigners doesn't end there. If you aren't a PR, you have to renew your license every 5 years (it's lifetime for citizens, and PRs too, I think.) That'll only cost you $50 for the 5 years (the same price as the lifetime license for locals!). The trick, though, is that the Singapore Traffic Police Force has stopped sending notices out when the time comes to renew the license. I wasn't aware of this change. And my license actually expired in June.

I managed today to make the trip to Ubi to get the matter taken care of. The staff there is very polite and helpful, and there was no problem with my having missed the expiry date. Apparently there is a fairly long grace period (I heard it might be up to 3 years, but I wouldn't want to test that limit!) Today, my license was renewed, no questions asked. It's just a matter of waiting in a bit of a queue and filling up some paper work.

And, of course... paying a fee.



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