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Expat Exchange - How to Get a Driver's License in Indonesia
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How to Get a Driver's License in Indonesia

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: Here's a primer on how to get your driver's license in Indonesia.

Sometimes when you're new to a country a task like getting your driver's license can make you feel like you're 16 years old again trying to pass your driver's test. Here's an overview of the process of getting your driver's license in Indonesia.

Foreigners who wish to drive in Indonesia must meet certain requirements. Firstly, they must be at least 17 years old, the legal driving age in Indonesia. They must also possess a valid international driving permit (IDP) along with their valid foreign driver's license. The IDP must be issued by a country that is a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. If the foreign driver's license is not in English, it must be accompanied by an official English translation.

Foreigners who are staying in Indonesia for more than six months are required to obtain an Indonesian driver's license, known as SIM (Surat Izin Mengemudi). To get a SIM, they must provide a copy of their passport, valid KITAS (temporary stay permit card), and a health certificate stating they are fit to drive. They must also pass a written test on Indonesian traffic rules and regulations, which is usually in Bahasa Indonesia, and a practical driving test.

As for regional differences, the requirements for obtaining a SIM are generally the same throughout Indonesia. However, the process and experience can vary depending on the local police department that handles the application. Some areas might have more stringent testing procedures or require additional documents. Therefore, it is advisable for foreigners to check with the local authorities or seek advice from those who have gone through the process in the same area.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

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SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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