7 February 2017
Private-hire car drivers operating for ride-sharing service operators such as Uber and Grab are now required to obtain a vocational licence under amendments passed to the Road Traffic Act in Parliament on February 7 2017.
The measures were first announced last April by Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng. Ng Chee Meng revealed in April 2016 that all private-hire car drivers will be required by law to obtain a Private Hire Car Vocational Licence (PDVL), which requires at least two years of driving experience. The new PDVL will be developed and announced by 2017.
Who can be a Private Hire Car Driver in Singapore
To be eligible for a PDVL, drivers who are Singapore citizens must be the registered owners of a chauffeured-services company. Applicants for PDVL could also be employed by a limousine company. They must possess a valid Class 3 or 3A (auto) driver’s licence for a minimum period of 2 years period prior to application. All applicants have to undergo a compulsory 10 hours training and pass the requisite test to qualify for a PDVL.
All chauffeur-driven private-hire cars must be affixed with tamper-evident decals issued by the LTA (Land Transport Authority) for identification purposes. The decal is made tamper-evident to prevent any private-car hire driver from transferring from an authorised to an unauthorised vehicle.
How will LTA govern the private car hire industry
Operators such as Uber and Grab could be fined up to $10,000 per offence. The Registrar of Vehicles can also issue a suspension on the operator. The suspension will bar all drivers from driving for an operator that has had 3 or more major offences committed by their pool of drivers within a rolling 12-month period.
Any driver who drive for the operator during the suspension period could be fined up to S$2,000, imprisoned up to 6 months or both, depending on the number of offences. Their PDVL Licence could also be suspended or revoked.
Private Hire Car Drivers will be appraised by the same demerit point system currently applied across all taxi drivers in Singapore. In addition, Private Hire Car Drivers must also abide to a similar code of conduct and standards relating to vehicle cleanliness, dressing during the course of work and more to be announced.
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