This post is also available in: Indonesia (Indonesian)
Learn the Process on How to Get Indonesia Driving License Conversion as a Foreigner
Any country in the world would want any road user driving on their roads to have their country’s driving license. If you’re a foreigner living in Indonesia, you would probably ask yourself whether you’d require an Indonesian driver’s license or not. If you want to answer this question, read on and learn about Indonesia driving license conversion.
If you’re only visiting, you can drive with an international driving permit alongside your driver’s license from your home country. Indonesia prohibits any foreigner from going on the roads with only your driver’s license. This is because they are not part of the 1949 Geneva Convention on road traffic. Driving in Indonesia may not have the same experience as in any part of the world. More often, you’ll encounter traffic snarl-ups, animals crossing the street, food carts, and numerous motorcycles.
We’ll discuss what to expect as a foreigner while looking for an Indonesia’s driver’s license and the rules and regulations of the road.
An Overview of Driving in Indonesia for Foreigners
If you’re a foreigner and love challenges, then driving in Indonesia should be exciting. You must be vigilant while driving so as not to find yourself flaunting the traffic violation to avoid exploitation for money. However, the fuel prices are reasonably low, varying from one region to another since the government subsidizes it.
Each country has its own rules and regulations that control how road users ply the roads. In certain cities, the traffic regulations are systematically digitized to enable efficiency. Whereas in the US, road users drive on the right-hand side of the road, Indonesia is on the left-hand side. Again, the standard international driving regulations also apply here. While on the streets, ensure that you have your international driver’s license, passport, vehicle registration papers, and insurance documents.
Subsequently, the speed limit is 50km/h in the cities and 100km/h on the motorway. Always wear safety belts, and in case you’re involved in an accident, call the police and wait for their arrival. It’s the prerogative of the driver to transport the injured person to the nearest hospital if there is no ambulance available at the site. Any incident of driving under the influence of alcohol attracts a hefty penalty by traffic laws, jail term or extradition.
If you’ve never driven in Indonesian traffic, it is advisable not to do so because the rules are different. While in Indonesia, you’ll notice that some of the streets are pretty narrow, making driving on these roads difficult. This happens if you’re used to driving on wider roads. If you plan to drive between cities, it’s advisable to pack some food and water to stay hydrated. This is because some of the roads cover longer distances. There have been records of accidents due to fatigue or drowsiness in certain parts of the cities.
Another option is renting a car and is cheap and will save your hustle of driving on Indonesian roads. In some parts of the county, the conditions of the roads are poor, especially during the rainy season. Hiring a driver who understands the road’s conditions would be appropriate.
The Common Type of Driver’s License in Indonesia
As a foreigner planning to drive on the roads in Indonesia, you must understand the different types of licenses. In this case, we have Type A, and Type C. Type A license is for private cars (weight not exceeding 3,500 kg) and for Type C license for motorcycles. The duration of the driving license period is only one calendar year from the date of issuance.
Indonesia has segmented the licenses from class A, B1, B2, C and D. Each of the classes have the type of vehicle or automobile and the weight they carry.
How to Convert a Non-Indonesian Driving License
Before we talk about converting a non-Indonesian driving license, we can speak of acquiring a driving license for a foreigner. Here’s the thing, for a foreigner to be eligible to apply for a driver’s license, they must be a holder of KITAS or a KITAP visa.
The process begins by visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles responsible for issuing driver’s licenses within your nearest town. As part of the procedure, you’ll be required to provide the following:
- Original passport
- Original valid KITAS card
- International driver’s license or foreign driver’s license or valid Indonesian driver’s license
- Copies of your identity, entry stamp, and valid pages in your passport
- Copy of your KITAS card
- Copy of your present driver’s license
- A valid doctor’s note of good health
Here are other requirements you might need to procure to get an Indonesian driver’s license:
- A letter of sponsorship from your employer or company (genuine stamp)
- Copy of Blue Book
- Copy of certificate from the police indicating whether you’re a foreigner, resident, or tourist is residing in
- Indonesia and the duration. In other terms it is the STM (Surat Tanda Melapor)
- Copy of SKTT—it’s a certificate that indicates your place of residence obtained from the Sub-district Office within your area. When you’re applying for the SKLD, you’ll be required to have this certificate at the police department.
- Copy of SKLD—it’s applicable if you’re a holder of KITAS or KITAP visas. One must provide this report to the police 30days after arrival.
- A personal letter is showing your physical details (height, weight, body details) and the names of your parents or guardian. (No stamp required).
A foreigner planning for Indonesian driving license conversion can apply for the driving license online. If you don’t want to apply online, you can go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and start the process. The process will require you to pay the official fee to the banks, where you shall receive a bank slip. An additional fee for the issuance of the license is charged depending on whether you’re renewing or getting a new one. Once you’re done with payment at the bank, you’ll present the bank slip at the next booth within the department. This is where you’ll then receive a copy of the application form.
The application form issued is often in Bahasa Indonesia. Therefore, as a non-Indonesian, you must ensure you have the necessary documents at the foreigner booth. Again, the process requires you to take tests where the officials shall take a photo of you, fingerprints before signing a slip of paper, and scanning of signature. A smaller donation shall follow up after this before going to the waiting area.
You’ll have to wholly re-registered with the office in charge when it comes to driving license renewal. Then you’ll undertake medical and eye examinations. You’ll also undergo a re-testing for both practical and theory as part of the procedure.
The international driver’s licenses can go for one, five, or ten years. It will require you to have a valid national license as proof of the international license. A holder of a KITAP visa can easily apply for an international driver’s license from Indonesia.
The Introduction of the Electronic Driver’s License in Indonesia
The advent of digital technology has dramatically impacted the different sectors of the economy across the world. As part of embracing technology, the Indonesian police department has introduced a new generation of electronic driver’s licenses. This new generation driving license functions as a digital payment card and can record any traffic violation offences. This new idea has come to the aid of the traffic police in that they can identify the traffic offenders and learn about their driving history. In return, the police can quickly assess traffic management and develop better policies to enhance road safety. The smart SIM currently operates with the provincial capitals in Indonesia and will eventually roll out the other towns.
A fascinating thing about the new transition is that whether you’re looking for Indonesia driving license conversion as a foreigner or resident, the official costs to acquire the license remain the same.
Tourist Driving License in Indonesia
Bali is a town that attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. In Bali, the rule of the game while driving is staying on high alert at all times. This is because of a number of factors, including the following:
- When you see a horn sign, please don’t mean aggression, but you should notice the person.
- Several roads are narrow with no signs, and so you should always do yourself a favour and bring along your phone for map service.
- In this region, the road does not belong to you as any other person can come from the opposite direction without warning.
- You can expect to make space in any direction of the road.
- Roads can be closed off to usher in processions.
- You might share the roads with animals, falling coconuts, or find parked vehicles by the roadside.
- Huge traffic snarl-ups and the speed limit might be between 30-40km/h
To drive in Bali as a tourist, you’ll require having an international driving license. You can secure a temporary Bali driving license if you’re a holder of a KITAS visa. If you plan to rent a car, you must ensure that the driver is in Bali. The next time you’re in Bali, ensure you do your research about the places you want to visit so that you can have an easy time. Remember that even if you’re an experienced driver, sometimes things might be different in certain countries.
Any non-residence planning to visit Indonesia and adventure must ensure that you research Indonesia driving license conversation and have all the necessary identification documents. You have the option of using your international driving license to ply the roads in Indonesia. It will require you to be vigilant as a new road user to avoid getting unwarranted penalties from flaunting traffic rules and regulations.
The process of applying for a driving license is straightforward, and you can either apply online or directly at the department of police. If you’re in Indonesia for adventure, you can opt for a tourist driving license. You can always seek agents who can help you through the process if you find the process tedious. With the introduction of the digital electronic driving license, the police department will forever have an easy time managing traffic offenders in the busy traffic roads of Indonesia.