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PSV licence a requirement for Grab and other e-hailing drivers starting from January, says transport minister

Grab and other e-hailing drivers will be required to register for Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence similar to taxi drivers starting January next year, according to Transport Minister, Anthony Loke Siew Fook. He said these drivers would be given a period until July 12, 2019, to obtain their PSV licences.

A PSV licence is a type of vocational driving licence that allows the holder to drive any type of commercial vehicle used for paying passengers such as Taxis and Busses. In Malaysia, a PSV license costs RM115/year. It is not clear as to whether this cost will be borne by the driver or the company that offers the e-hailing service.

In addition, drivers will have to attend a special 6-hour course at designated driving institutions prior to obtaining the PSV license. The special course is an additional RM200.

“E-hailing regulations have been gazetted. Registration of drivers will held from January to July 2019.

“After July 12 2019, we will start enforcing the new regulations as all e-hailing drivers must have PSV registration and licence, insurance and vehicles which are more than three years old will be required to undergo inspection,” he told reporters at the Parliament building, yesterday.

The comment came after a meeting between the minister and Big Blue Taxi Facilities Sdn Bhd adviser, Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail at Parliament Building to discuss the issue.

Shamsubahrin was reported to have said the company’s taxi drivers would not be holding a protest against the ministry until January 1, 2019, after Loke gave his assurance that all e-hailing drivers would not be exempted from PSV licence like taxi drivers starting next year.

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Meanwhile, Loke advised e-hailing drivers not to wait to the last minute to register for their PSV licence.

He also said currently, e-hailing operator registration for companies that would like to offer e-hailing services is still going on and have been since July when the ministry introduced a news set of guidelines for e-hailing services.

The minister is confident more companies will move to the e-hailing service as the market is much wider.

“It is open to any company. We do not want only one company to monopolise e-hailing service.

“If there are more players in the market, so it would give rise healthy competition and benefit consumers,” he said.

In July, the ministry of transport had announced a number of new rules regulating e-hailing services like Grab including drivers requiring PSV licences and annual vehicle inspection at Puskpakom. Drivers would also have to pass criminal background and medical checks.

Also, cars that are used for e-hailing will need to have a minimum three-star ASEAN NCAP rating (most local cars are four stars and above), and cars over three years old must be inspected at Puspakom for a RM55 fee.

“E-hailing services will be regulated by the government beginning July 12 through the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Act 2017 and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (Amendment) Act 2017. With this, e-hailing companies must register themselves with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and will be required to pay a fee,” Loke told the press in July.

On a related matter, in February last year, the MACC had urged JPJ to review the procedure in which a driver can obtain a PSV licence. This is to avoid a repeat of fraud involving the falsifying of fitness certificates for drivers renewing such licences.