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Short and sweet: Does driving and/or renting a car in Malaysia require an International Drivers Permit (IDP)? (Assuming you don't have a Malaysian driver's license, that is.)

Information on the Internets is conflicting and there was apparently some kind of law/policy change in 2018, so an accepted answer will need a reference to an official source on this.

  • The demands from rental companies can of course exceed what the local authorities actually require from a driver (which may add to the confusion) – HBruijn Oct 2 at 13:52
  • The policy change you refer to might be this one but that seems more about expats actually living in Malaysia, not tourists – HBruijn Oct 2 at 14:08
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A first-hand experience from a colleague of mine who recently spent a month in Malaysia on the road, he told me that all he needed was his home country's license, according to him as long as it has the information in English then it's fine.

He used the same license to rent the car as well. Just in case, his license was a Saudi Arabian license (it has both Arabic and English).

To back that up, a lot of the car rental website's state the same, check these: 1, 2, 3.

As for the official resource, from the Official Ministry of Transport website:

  1. Sesuatu lesen memandu yang dikeluarkan di bawah peruntukan yang bersamaan dengan mana-mana undang-undang yang berkuat kuasa di mana-mana negara yang menjadi pihak dalam sesuatu triti yang mana Malaysia juga menjadi pihak dan berupa sebagai mengiktiraf lesen-lesen memandu domestik yang dikeluarkan oleh negara pejanji hendaklah, selagi lesen tersebut masih berkuat kuasa di negara itu, disifatkan sebagai lesen memandu yang diberikan di bawah Bahagian ini.

Which basically means:

a driving license issued under the corresponding provisions of any law in force in any State which is a party to a treaty to which Malaysia is also a party and purporting to recognize domestic driving licenses issued by the contracting countries shall, so long as the license remains in force in that State, be deemed to be a driving license granted under this Part.

Couldn't find the English version in the official website, so I pulled it from a Quora answer.

  • One infers from this answer that a Saudi Arabian driver's license is in English (presumably in addition to Arabic). Is that correct? – phoog Oct 2 at 16:56
  • @phoog yes it is in both English and Arabic. – Nean Der Thal Oct 2 at 16:58

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