How Expats Can Get a Driver’s License (SIM) in Indonesia



Foreigners holding a KITAS or a KITAP visas are allowed to obtain an Indonesian driver’s license or SIM (Surat Izin Mengemudi) anywhere in the country. Tourists, Visit visa holders and Business visa holders can be issued a SIM valid for 1 or 3 months anywhere where the Direktorat Lantas is equipped with correct software (in Bali, Jogjakarta, Jakarta, Manado, Makassar, etc).

The general requirements for obtaining a SIM require that the applicant should be over 17 years old and pass a practical driving and theory test. The process is relatively simple and efficient and can be completed personally. It is recommended to take a day off so you can complete the process in a day.

The best time to apply for a driver’s license is as early in the morning as possible, Monday to Thursday. You may go on Friday, but before noon, as the staff take a longer lunch break to go to Friday prayer at the mosque. The offices are also usually busier at the beginning of the month compared to the middle or end.

License classes

  • SIM A – for private 4-wheeled passenger or cargo vehicle, with weight allowed not exceeding 3,500 kg.
  • SIM B1 – for private passenger or cargo vehicle, with weight allowed exceeding 3,500kg
  • SIM B2 – for cargo vehicle, semi trailers and other large rigs, over 1,000kg
  • SIM C – for two-wheeled motor vehicles (motorcycles), which are designed for a speed of over 40km
  • SIM D – special vehicle for disabled person

Foreigners are issued driver’s licenses valid for one year from the date of issuance. Foreigners are only permitted to obtain SIM A or SIM C. Diplomats and KITAP holders can get a 5-year drivers license.

Before going to the traffic police department for SIM application, here are a few things you will need to bring:

  • Original passport
  • Photocopies of the identity, entry stamp, and valid visa pages in your passport
  • Original valid KITAS (Temporary Stay Permit) or KITAP, if applicable
  • Photocopy of your KITAS
  • Original and copy of KTP-OA (Kartu Tanda Penduduk-Orang Asing) or SKTT (Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal), if applicable. You will need a photocopy of Surat Tanda Melapor (STM) if you don’t have KTP-OA. STM is a letter issued by the Indonesian police and contains a proof that a foreigner has been registered with them.
  • Photocopy of your current driver’s license from your home country, if applicable
  • Surat Keterangan Dokter (doctor’s note of good health). If you don’t have this, it can be issued by the police for an extra fee (Rp 25,000).

You may also be asked for:

  • Sponsor letter from your company/sponsor (with stamp/materai)
  • Copy of your Blue Book/POA
  • Copy of your Surat Tanda Melapor (STM)—A police certificate which indicates where a foreigner, whether resident or tourist, is residing and for how long. This means that the foreigner’s shelter (hotel/wife/friend) must report the foreigner’s residence within 24 hours of arrival.
  • Copy of Surat Keterangan Lapor Diri (SKLD)—this note is only applicable for KITAS or KITAP visa holders. It is a report to the police of your arrival and must be made within 30 days of arrival.
  • Copy of your Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal (SKTT)—this is a certificate of your place of residence and it must be obtained from Kantor Kelurahan (Sub-district Office) in your area. This certificate is needed when applying for the SKLD.
  • A personal letter stating your height, weight, body details, mother’s and father’s names.

Obtaining a Driving license in Jakarta for foreigners

Here are the steps for obtaining a SIM in Jakarta:

  1. You can now pre-register your Indonedian driver’s license application online at
  2. If you don’t want to register online, you can go directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses for residents of Jakarta, Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi:
    Satuan Penerbitan Administrasi SIM (SAT)-PAS Polda Metro Jaya, Jalan Daan Mogot KM 11, West Jakarta
    Opening hours: 8 am to 4 pm (Monday – Friday), and 8 am to 12 pm on Saturdays.
    It is recommended to submit your application before 12 pm, because it will be processed and completed on the same day. If you submit the application between 12 pm to 1 pm, your application will be processed on the same day but you may probably need to collect your SIM on the following day. The office stops accepting new applications after 1 pm, but continues to process applications submitted earlier that day until 4 pm.
  3. Go to the front of the building and purchase a ‘Tanda Pembayaran Permohonan Pembuatan Surat Izin Mengemudi’ slip from one of two banks on the premises, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) or Bank International Indonesia (BII). This slip represents the payment of the official fee.
    As per the new Peraturan Pemerintah RI nomor 50 tahun 2010, the police will be authorized to charge the following fees for the issuance of an Indonesian Driver’s license:
    SIM A: new issuance Rp 120,000; renewal Rp 80,000
    SIM C: new issuance Rp 100,000; renewal Rp 75,000
    SIM Internasional: new issuance Rp 250,000; renewal Rp 225,000
    These are the legal fees that are valid all over Indonesia.
    Expedited services—including photographs taken, could be up to Rp 850,000 for same day issuance of A and C SIMs. The officials may try to get more money out of you, but these are the legal prices.
    Additional fees can include a Rp 50,000 fee if a license is a new issuance and the driving pupil has used the help of a simulator.
  4. Present the ‘bank slip’ at the adjoining booth and you will receive a copy of the application form (Surat Permohonan SIM)
  5. This form is only available in Bahasa Indonesia and you need to complete this form before proceeding to the foreigner’s window (No 17, Loket Orang Asing). You will be required to give:
    – Photocopies of your passport
    – Photocopy of your KITAS card
    – Photocopy of your valid driver’s license
    – Bank slip
    – Completed application form
  6. You also may be required to take two tests: written test and practical driving tests. We will explain the tests in the next paragraph.
  7. After taking the tests, proceed to windows 23-26, where your picture will be taken with a digital camera, your fingerprints will be taken with a digital scanner and you will be asked to sign a slip of paper, from which your signature is then scanned. There is a cardboard ‘donation’ box near the camera where you will be expected to donate approximately Rp 5,000-Rp 10,000. The attendant may say to you, ‘Donations go there’.
  8. You will then be asked to wait in the waiting area. The length of the wait depends on the number of people ahead of you, but is usually around 30-45 minutes. When your name is called, you can pick up your license from window 26 or 28, depending on the category license you are obtaining. Again, you will be expected to give a ‘donation’ of roughly Rp 3,000.

Written and Practical Driving Test

Some expats experienced this step while applying SIM in Indonesia. First you will take a written test, and then continue with practical test. The written test is usually about traffic signs and basic traffic rules applicable in Indonesia. It’s not too difficult, and you also aren’t expected to answer all of the questions correctly. The test is in Bahasa Indonesia, however you may bring a translator if you want. You only need to concentrate and choose the most logical answer (the questions are in multiple choices). If you don’t pass the written test, you have a chance to retake the test within 7, 14, or 30 days.

You can learn more about the questions on the written test here.

If you pass the theory test and already hold a valid foreign driver’s license then you are done. Your brand new SIM can usually be issued to you the same day. However, if you do not already have a valid foreign driver’s license, then you will proceed to take the practical test.

The practical driving test normally consists of:

  • Driving for 2 minutes around the test course to warm up and for the official to observe your driving habits.
  • Driving in a zig-zag form (weaving in and out) around 10 pylons for total distance around 30 meters. This must be done driving through 10 pylons, then driving in reverse through the 10 pylons.
  • Parallel parking into a parking space formed by a set of those pylons.
  • Backing into a parking space formed by a set of those pylons.
  • Driving half way up a slope/incline, stopping sedan, setting emergency brake, releasing emergency brake, and continuing to the bottom.
  • In Jakarta, only motorcycles and ordinary cars (SIM group A) can conduct practice tests. Test takers are welcome to drive their own vehicles for the test.
  • As for other advice from the forum WNA in Indonesia, they feel worried about this practice test and advise to take the driving course and so that it can simultaneously get the SIM. Then it will be necessary to make a photo to the Polres, scan the fingerprint, signature, and pay the fee.

SIM Renewal

Extending/renewing your driver’s license is a fast and easy process at the Department of Motor Vehicles on Jalan Daan Mogot, West Jakarta.

  1. You must take a very brief eye test in the building on the edge of the parking lot,
  2. then you go to the main building with your expired driver’s license and other ID (best to bring your passport or KITAS and a photocopy of both).
  3. The total cost for renewal is Rp 20,000.

You need to take note that if you haven’t renewed or extended your SIM before the expiry date, you will need to apply for a new SIM and repeat the process from the very beginning.

So, it is better to renew your SIM at least two weeks before the expiry date.

*Updated on June 2020