The road towards obtaining your driving license in Malaysia

“You use Google Translate.” The smile on the face of the friendly driving instructor couldn’t have been bigger. Google Translate?! My son and I stare blankly at the many forms he just handed us. They’re all in Bahasa Malaysia and contain the precise rules my 17-year-old must adhere to during his upcoming driving exam. Apparently.

When my son was about to turn 17 last year, all he wanted from his parents was driving lessons. The sheer thought of my firstborn driving on the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur filled me with horror. But trying to be understanding of his wants and needs and bearing a ‘let him go’ mantra in mind, we finally gave in. I would find him a driving school. Oh joy.

Which school?

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There are many schools in KL and finding the right one depends on a few factors. Next to checking if your school of choice has got textbooks in your preferred language (something we learnt the hard way), you may want to look for a school close to your home. You wouldn’t want to drive your child all over town for his or her lessons; there are schools that offer pick-ups from school or home.

And then…?

Go for registration at the office of your preferred driving school where you need to pay 50% of the total fee of RM2250. Please bring your child’s passport and cash in case they don’t accept cards. Upon registration, you also need to make a choice between instructions in manual or automatic (the latter is slightly more expensive) geared cars. Your child will be issued now with an L (learners) license.

Next up:

The first thing for your child is to sit down on a designated Saturday from 9am till 4pm to listen to instructions about theory rules on Malaysian roads. Although the books may be in Bahasa Malaysia, you can ask for the English language class, if you’d prefer that. Knowledge acquired in this class should be sufficient to get him or her through the theory test.

After attending the class, your child needs to wait for three days and after that you can apply to do the theory test for a small additional fee. Aspiring drivers are given 45 minutes to do the test and need to get minimal 42 questions of the total of 45 correct. The results of the theory test are given on the spot. Now your child will get an LDL license from the school.


Time to switch gears

So now the time is there to pay the balance and to get ready for the road lessons! At the time of writing, the waiting list at our school were between 3 – 5 months. However, if you have a compelling reason why your child can’t wait that long, the staff might be able to help you out. Remind your child to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road…

After 16 hours of lessons, a QTP test exam will be conducted where students have to show their ability to do a slope test, a 3-point turn, reverse parking, parallel parking, and driving on the open road. A few weeks later they can show up for the real test and after passing this, they should be ready for the road! Are you, dear parent…?

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Top tips

  • Check if driving schools offer pick up arrangements from home.
  • Find out if the school has got learning books in English for the theory test, if this is your preferred language.
  • Be mindful of an enormous backlog due to the lockdowns in 2021.
  • Download the KPP App, it is a great tool to practice for the theory test.
  • To find a few JPJ recommended driving schools in KL, have a look at their website here.

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