It is legal for drivers to offer carpooling services in Singapore. However, whether you are intending to do so under a ride-sharing service, or you are making your own private arrangements with friends/colleagues, take note of the following requirements.
General Rule: Max 2 Carpool Trips a Day
Drivers can offer carpool services without obtaining any additional licences for up to 2 carpool trips a day. For example, your colleague can carpool in your car to and from work every day.
While providing such services however, you will have to make sure:
- You do not solicit for passengers on roads, carparks, bus terminals or taxi stands
- You are not driving your car with the main purpose of sending your passenger to his destination
- Before the start of the trip, you inform the passenger of your destination. You also agree with him on the pick-up date, drop-off point, and payment for your carpool service (whether in cash or in kind)
- The payment(s) collected does not exceed the cost and expenses incurred from driving the passenger(s)
- There is nothing in your car that displays or refers to the fares for hiring your car
What if You Want to Make More than 2 Carpool Trips a Day?
Apart from the above requirements, you will need to obtain a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) if you want to provide more than 2 carpool trips a day. This is regardless of whether you are offering private carpool arrangements, or carpool services through private-hire operators such as Grab or Uber.
Requirements for obtaining a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence
To apply for a PDVL, applicants must have a Class 3/3A driving licence which is valid for at least 2 years.
Applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination and background checks. They will also need to attend a 10-hour training course.
You can download the PDVL application form here.
Identification of private-hire car
From 1 July 2017, private-hire car drivers are required to display a tamper-evident private-hire decal on the front and back windscreens of their cars.
Apart from allowing passengers to identify private-hire cars, this decal will also facilitate enforcement of the laws in the Road Traffic Act (including those on carpooling).
Drivers who provide more than 2 carpool trips per day without a valid PDVL can be fined up to $3,000 and/or jailed for up to 6 months.
Drivers who do not properly display their private-hire decals on their cars can also be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. The penalties are doubled for repeat offenders. Errant drivers may also have their PDVLs revoked.
Blackout period for private-hire drivers
Take note that you will not be able to provide carpool services under a private-hire operator if 3 or more of the operator’s drivers have been convicted of offences while driving for that operator within 1 year.
This blackout period can last up to 1 month. If you continue to provide such carpool services while the blackout period is in force, you can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to 3 months. Your PDVL may also be suspended or revoked.
Repeat offenders can be punished with a fine up to $2,000 and/or up to 6 months’ jail.