If you’re looking to drive your first car here in Malaysia, you would of course need to have a driving licence. How do you go about getting that coveted card?
It’s illegal to drive without a licence – that’s pretty common knowledge. The punishment for driving without a valid licence can go up to MYR 1000 in fines, and/or three months' imprisonment. You can still buy a car, of course, but it’ll have to sit tight in your garage or parking lot, which is pretty sad unless it’s an iconic classic made for admiring than actual driving.
For most of us folks here, however, a car’s purpose is to serve the original need it was designed for— transport and mobility. So how do you get that ‘D’ licence? Today, we’ll take you through the steps to get your driving licence here in Malaysia!
Step 1: Register at a Driving School
(Photo Credit: Metro Driving Academy)
With more than a hundred driving schools around the country, you won’t be hard-pressed to find an establishment to start your driving journey. There are many factors that come into play when you select which driving school to enrol in. These include proximity, cost, and quality of instructors.
Some people would even go so far as to compare the traffic situations where the driving instructors bring you for on-the-road training. The theory behind this is because heavier traffic may also mean that lessons become a tougher and more stressful affair to get through.
You can also factor in examiner strictness via word-of-mouth or scouring through online forums for advice. In our opinion, however, smooth seas don’t make good sailors, so trying to get the best and easiest road conditions or the most lenient examiners does have its drawbacks.
Step 2: Ace your Highway Code Exam
(Photo Credit: Metro Driving Academy)
Next up, you will have to sit through a six-hour module called the Kurikulum Pendidikan Memandu (KPP). The module is conducted in Malay, and it covers a range of topics such as the driving code of conduct and traffic signs. If you are a non-Malay speaker, your driving school may allow you to skip this module, and you can study for the theory test using other sources such as the ‘KPP Test Malaysia' app on Google Play. Fret not, as the actual theory test will be in both English and Malay.
The actual test is computerised and consists of 50 multiple choice questions, with a passing mark set at 42 questions. The initial 10 questions will be to determine whether you're colour blind. Failing these preliminary questions will lead to disqualification, and you'll be barred from taking the exam.
Step 3: Lesson Time!
(Photo Credit: Bernama)
Congratulations on scoring 100% on your Highway Code Exam! Now's time to apply for your Learner’s Driving Licence. Just prepare two passport photos (with a white background) and make your application at your driving school. Ta-da! You are now an L-plate driver.
Without a doubt, it might be embarrassing at times to have that L-plate on display. And when you drive out of the circuit, other road users might treat you pretty badly. There’s a running joke amongst motorists that the L stands for “lembu” or cow because of how slow L-plate drivers are, but that’s pretty understandable considering you’re just starting to learn how to drive.
But be patient with yourself and focus on your learning. Getting horned as an L-plate is a rite of passage that almost everyone goes through!
Basic Car Part Knowledge and Conducting Safety Checks
(Photo Credit: Reinhard B)
One of the first things you will learn in your driving lessons will be about understanding the various parts of your vehicle. You will also learn how to conduct safety checks before and after driving, of which you'll be tested on in your driving test, so be attentive!
5 Basic Driving Skills
(Photo Credit: Rakanehsan)
Next, you'll be spending some time in the circuit navigating through five components that test different driving proficiencies.
Slope - You will be tasked to stop on an incline before proceeding, all without stalling or rolling back. This is where many learners, especially manual transmission learners, will struggle as moving off on a slope without rolling back takes a bit of finesse. Do make sure to master your biting point!
Crank Course or ‘Z’ Course - After the slope, you will then navigate through a series of 90-degree bends in the shape of the letter ‘Z’. This is to test your awareness of your vehicle’s turning point, and how well you handle yourself when making sharp turns.
‘S’ Course - You will then proceed to navigate a series of bends that aren’t as sharp as the ‘Z’ Course. They will require you to constantly turn the car's wheels, unlike the prior.
Side/Parallel Parking - After navigating through the bends, you will then learn how to side or parallel park a car. This is a vital skill because side parking is extremely common in Malaysia.
Three Point Turn - The last driving skill you will learn will be how to make a three-point turn, useful for situations like encountering dead-end roads. This will test your spatial awareness when moving forward and back. You'll need to be quick on the wheel and your three-point turns may end up being four, five or even six-point turns. Don’t worry about this, as you’ll get better with practice!
Final Step: Pass your Driving Test
(Photo Credit: R.AGE)
The only thing that’s left to do is to pass your driving test and finally get your driving licence! It’s that simple. Take the test, pass the test, and ta-da, new driver on the road!
Just kidding. The driving test is of course the most gut-wrenching part of the whole process. Some advice we have for you is to not be overzealous or fancy behind the wheel; just do things by the book. Be polite to your examiners and be confident in yourself. Always remember that failing the test doesn’t mean you will never be able to drive. There will always be another opportunity, so take a deep breath and do your best.
We hope to see you on the roads soon,so go get your licence today. And as always, be safe, fellow Motorists!
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