LTA implements vocational license framework for private hire car drivers

LTA warns that these unregistered vehicles may not have secured proper insurance for carrying fare-paying passengers.

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New cars are shown for sale at a Chevrolet dealership in National City, California. Reuters

All chauffeured private hire cars in Singapore will now be required to display a pair of serialised tamper evident decals on the front and back windscreens of their vehicles as the Land Transport Authority enforces the Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence (PDVL) framework.

According to the transport authority, the decals will allow commuters to identify registered chauffeured private hire cars and facilitate ground enforcement against errant drivers, such as those who provide services using unregistered vehicles.

LTA warns that these unregistered vehicles may not have secured proper insurance for carrying fare-paying passengers.

Private hire car owners will be able to get their decals affixed at three locations including VICOM/JIC inspection centres, STA inspection centres, and in Uber and Grab affixing centres.

Drivers who will be providing chauffeured services without having their vehicles affixed with decals will be subject to a violation of the Road Traffic Act.

LTA noted that any tampering, including defacement, altering, covering or obscuring of the decals is also an offence under the law. First-time offenders could be fined by up to $1,000 or be required to fulfil a jail term not exceeding three months. Repeat offenders, on the other hand, may face a fine not exceeding $2,000 or a jail term not exceeding 6 months, or both.

"Private hire car drivers must obtain and hold a valid PDVL before they can provide chauffeured services. However, during this transition period, private hire car drivers who have applied for the PDVL by Friday, 30 June 2017, will have up to 30 Jun 2018 to attend the PDVL course and obtain the PDVL. Those who apply on or after Saturday, 1 July 2017 will not be able to provide chauffeured services until they have obtained the PDVL," LTA said in a statement.

RHB analyst Shekhar Jaiswal said in a report that the implementation of the framework could lead to a drop in driver supply for private hire cars.

"Only 27,000 private hire cars or around 63% of the total population, had decals affixed. We have long stated that the implementation of the PDVL would limit the private hire car driver supply, especially due to its course requirements, employment terms related to the nationality of the driver, and private hire cars being registered and identified with a tamper-proof decal." Jaiswal said, citing a media report.