Skip to Content

5 Easy Steps to Getting an Indonesia Driving License (SIM C) for $14: Cheap, easy, and no agent necessary

Driving in Indonesia is an adventure in its own right, without a doubt. Of the 55+ countries I’ve visited, the roads on Bali, and Indonesia in general, are absolutely some of the craziest, wildest and untamed – with some of the best destinations and experiences along the way, making riding a motorbike on the roads of Indonesia a very worthwhile experience.

There is enough risk in driving the roads of Indonesia without doing anything illegal – so, do yourself a favor and ensure to get an **International Driving Permit** before visiting Bali or one of the 18,110 other islands, which will allow you to drive legally in Indonesia for 6 months.

However, if you plan to stay in Indonesia longer than 6 months (the average validity period of an international driving permit) or plan to make Bali home, getting an Indonesian driving license is essential.

The Indonesian driving license, referred to in Indonesia as a “SIM” (Surat Ijin Mengemudi in Indonesian, which directly translates to “Letter of Permission to Drive”), is cheap enough (~200k Indonesian Rupiah, roughly ~$15 USD), and easy enough to attain that it worth the couple hour investment of time and experience to get.

You do not need an agent to get an Indonesian driving license. If you pay an agent expect to pay 2 million to 3 million rupiah (~$200) for what you could do yourself in 2 hours.

With the help of Google translate, and the notes I’m sharing below, I was able to get car and motorbike licenses for only 400k (~$28) and within 2 hours of showing up.

In my first two years in Indonesia, my international driving permit expired and on handful of occasions I was stopped by police for a traffic stop check and fined 300,000 IDR (~$22) each time – which means each traffic stop cost me 3x the price of getting the drivers license.

If you plan to be in Bali, or Indonesia, longer than a few months get your driver’s license, to make problems with police, insurance, and bike rental less likely.

Quick Information upfront about getting a “SIM A” or “SIM C” (Indonesian driving license)

  • Price for an Indonesian driving license: 200k IDR (~$15) per license (car and motorbike)
  • Time required: 2 to 3 hours in a single visit, you receive the license the same day
  • Where does the licensing take place: Local police station Denpasar (Polresta Denpesar
  • Do you need a KITAS or KITAP: To the best of my information – no, this was not checked during my visit. I have read reports of holders of B211 visas (Social Visas, Business Visas) receiving their Indonesian driving license
  • Where do you get the Indonesian driving license: Polresta Denpasar (Google Maps Link) – Jl. Gunung Sanghyang No.110, Padangsambian, Kec. Denpasar Bar., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80117
  • Issuing Authority: Polres (Local Police) – for this article we will be going to Polresta (Local Police Station) Denpasar
  • How long is the Indonesian Driver’s License Valid: 10 years
  • What are the types of licenses: SIM A (passenger cars), and SIM C (motorcycles)

Quick Steps to getting an Indonesian Driving License

  1. Get one copy of your passport and one copy of your visa before you start the process to give to Polres for the license application
  2. Psychology screening (taken outside of the police station at a private “psikologi office”) – 20 questions, ~100k IDR per license
  3. Health screening (taken outside of the police station) – blood pressure and vision check – 25k IDR
  4. Arrive at Polres SIM processing station before 12:00 (the earlier, the better, starting at 8:00 AM)
  5. Apply for Indonesian driving license at “Kantor Pelayanan SIM” behind PolResta Denpasar. 100k IDR per motorbike license (SIM C) and a separate 120k IDR for a car license (SIM A)
    1. Check-in outside to receive a queue based on your need (new SIM, renewal, replacement), and have your documents checked
    2. Enter the main building for processing when called
    3. Wait to be called then confirm your personal information, address, and visa information
    4. Wait to have your picture taken for license and digital fingerprint scans
    5. Take the computer administered driving test (assessing good driving behavior vs. bad)
    6. Note: practical driving test is not occurring
    7. Visit the checkout standout and pay fees for your selected license(s)
    8. Wait to while your license is printed at the last counter and receive your Indonesian driving license
    9. Leave with your Indonesian driving license

Read on for descriptions of each step (to calm your worries and convince you an agent isn’t necessary)

In depth Steps  and instructions for to getting an Indonesian Driving License (with locations and pictures)

The process of getting a SIM (Indonesian driving license) is fairly quick, easy, and straight forward (compared to most things in Bali)

Part of the process – gathering documents, psychology screening, health screening – will take place at private offices outside of the police station.

You will then take the results and receipts to the SIM service office of Polresta, where Indonesian police will confirm your identity and visa, enter your information into their systems, take your picture and fingerprints, take payment, and print your driver’s license for you

1. Get one copy of your passport and one copy of your visa before you start the process

The police will need a copy of your passport and visa to keep, so plan on bringing a copy to give them. If you forget to copy your visa, there are several copy shops along the road (just look for “photocopy”) and as a last resort, ask the Psikologi screening service staff to make a copy for you (that you’ll pay for).

Also, there is a photocopy center located directly across the main street from the main Polresta station

Don’t plan on getting copies in the Polresta SIM service center, as they’re all business, and you’ll get a clear “no,” chastising, and dirty looks.

2. Psychology screening at Kantor Pelayanan Psikologi (taken outside of the police station) – 20 questions, ~100k IDR per license

To take the psychology screening , visit the office with sign “Kantor Pelayanan Psikologi,”, located ~300 meters east (past the Polresta police station if you are coming from Canggu) (Cantor Psikologi link in Google Maps). There is no pin for Cantor Psikologi in Google Maps, but the office is located across the main street from Warung Babi Guling Bu Dipa.

Ask for the test for “SIM” (Surat Ijen Mengemudi). Class A is for cars and costs 100, Class C is for motorbikes and costs 90, to do both is 190

You’ll take a 20 question test that is more common sense than not, with three parts test 1) if you understand what safe driving is, 2) if you stay calm while driving

The 20 question written psychology screening is nothing to be worried about, as it only aims to screen whether you are prone to road rage, or whether you have the tendency to panic while on the road.

The test is administered in English, written, and in Bahasa Indonesia, by computer-based test.

At the end of your test, your results will be printed to put with your SIM application to give to the Indonesian police.

Next, walk across the street for a health screening…

3. Health screening (taken outside of the police station) – blood pressure and vision check – 25k IDR

Walk across the street from the Cantor Psikologi and you will find a health screening office labeled “Praktek Umum” (general practice) (Google Maps location here) tucked next to Warung Babi Guling Bu Dipa.

Here, the nurses will administer a blood test and quick test for color blindness.

After paying the 25k, follow the signs to proceed to the Polres driver’s license processing office – Kantor Pelayanan SIM – located behind the main Polres station, about a 5 minute walk away

5. Go to Polresta Kantor Pelayanan SIM to apply for Indonesian driving license behind PolResta Denpasar – ~100k IDR per license

Now that you have all of the appropriate documentation for the Indonesian Police, it’s time to get in the queue to have your license created.

In a way, this is the easiest part of the process, as it is a “hurry up and wait” situation, and the staff will tell you where to go next, instead of you having to figure it out on your own.

However, expect this part of the process to take 1 to 2 hours.

Simply follow step 1 (show up) and the staff will direct you to the next stage in the process respectively – the information below is simply offered FYI.

The steps you will follow at Polresta Kantor Pelayanan SIM are as follows:

  1. Check-in outside in the open air area to receive a queue based on your need (new SIM, renewal, replacement), and have your documents checked
  2. Enter the main building for processing when called
  3. Wait to be called then confirm your personal information, address, and visa information
  4. Wait to have your picture taken for license and digital fingerprint scans
  5. Take the computer administered driving test (assessing good driving behavior vs. bad)
  6. Note: practical driving test is not occurring
  7. Visit the checkout standout and pay fees for your selected license(s)
  8. Wait to while your license is printed at the last counter and receive your Indonesian driving license
  9. Leave with your Indonesian driving license

The Computer Administered Driving Test: In Indonesian, but very easy

The only actual test I was required to take when applying for a driver’s license was the Computer Administered Driving test.

This exam was simply a 30 question test in which I watched a video for each question, and then selected “correct” or “incorrect” to state whether the driving displayed was legal or illegal. Even if you don’t speak Indonesian, if you understand that you are only labeling good driving behavior or bad, driving behavior, you will be fine.

The Practical Test

In my experience getting my SIM, and the other reports I have researched, no foreigners to my knowledge have been required to take the practical driving test.

The Practical Test

Though the practical test is listed as a requirement for getting the license, no one I have spoken with has reported this step being enforced. Note that if you are asked to take the practical exam for the driver’s license and fail, the police will simply ask you to come back the next day to retake the exam.

Just in case – these are the tasks that must be completed to pass the practical driving tests if you were to take them

Motorbike Practical test for an Indonesian Driving License (SIM C):

  • Swerve between cones in a line
  • Drive between two lines tracing a number 8 two times

Car Practical test for an Indonesian Driving License (SIM A):

  • Drive up hill, stop, and continue driving without rolling backwards
  • Drive downhill, stop, then drive in reverse back up the hill without rolling forward
  • Swerve between traffic cones
  • Drive in revers between the same traffic cones

Fees for the Entire Process of Getting an Indonesian Driving License

  • New car license: 120k IDR
  • New motorbike license: 100k IDR
  • Car license renewal: 80k IDR
  • Motorbike license renewal: 75k IDR
  • Psychology examination: Class A costs 100k IDR, Class C costs 90k IDR, Class A + C costs 190k IDR
  • Health Screening: 25k IDR
  • Babi Guling from the warung next door (as a snack): 20k IDR

Notes to be aware of

  • There has been mixed reporting about required visa status to be eligible for a SIM. Some individuals have reported knowledge that a KITAS is required to receive a SIM, while others have reported receiving a SIM on a Social Visa or Business Visa, and no one has reported being refused a SIM. However, I believe if you go apply for a SIM with a social or business visa, there will not be any issues. If you have any feedback, feel free to email me at [email protected]
  • I was never asked for my home country license, but it is listed as a requirement, along with a minimum age of 17.
  • You can complete the process with limited Indonesian, but note that the computer “driving theory test” will only be in Indonesian.
  • If you are worried about the process, and driving in Indonesian, you can get motorbike training in which the instructor will teach you to drive safely, and will vouch for you (officially) waiving some of the requirements in the process of getting a SIM

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting an Indonesian Driving License

  • Can a foreigner drive in Indonesia?
    • Yes, foreigners can drive in Indonesia as long as they have a valid home country driving license an International Driving Permit or an Indonesian Driving license (SIM C)
  • Can tourists drive in Bali?
    • Yes, tourists in Bali on a short stay can drive as long as they have a valid home country driving license an International Driving Permit.
  • Does Indonesia require an international driver’s license?
    • Yes, to drive legally, Indonesia requires either and International Driving Permit and home country driver’s license or an Indonesian Driving License
  • Do you need a KITAS to get a drivers license?
    • No, many people have reported receiving a driver’s license with B211 A and B visas.
  • Can you get an Indonesian Driving License with only a visa on arrival (VOA)?
    • No
  • How much does an Indonesian driving license cost?
    • ~250k IDR for a car or motorbike license (~$16) and 445k IDR (~$30) for both
  • How long does it take to get?
    • The process of getting an Indonesian Driving License takes 2 to 3 hours
  • Do you need an agent to get an Indonesian driving license?
    • No, you do not need an agent to get an Indonesian Driving License. I was able to do so myself and save, 2.5 million IDR (~$160)
  • Is it better to get an international diving permit?
    • Because an international driving permit is only valid for 6 months, and an Indonesian Driving License is valid for 5 years, if you are staying in Indonesia longer than 6 months, or plan to come back, getting an Indonesian Driving License is better. If, however, you are traveling to many other countries and only passing through, an International Driving Permit is better.
  • Will a foreign driver’s license work in Bali?
    • A foreign license alone will not work in Bali. You will need an international driving permit accompanying it
  • Do you need a current driver’s license to receive an Indonesian license?
    • Yes, you do need a current home country license to receive and Indonesian one.
  • Do you need to speak Bahasa Indonesia get your DL on your own, without an agent?
    • No, you do not need to know Bahasa Indonesia to get your Indonesian Driving License. Only one portion of the process (a computer-administered driving test) is only in Bahasa Indonesia and that test can be passed knowing only Enlgish.
  • Where do you complete the Indonesian Driving License application process?
  • What are all of the required documents for an Indonesian driving license?
    • A copy of your passport
    • A copy of your visa
    • Your address in Bali
    • Psychology Screening Results
    • Health Screening Results

73 Awesome Canggu Cafés: An Ultimate Guide to Bali's Coolest Café Scene
← Previous
No Weight Crossfit Workout of the Day
Next →