Rules for driving/riding in Indonesia & Bali
Updated March 2017
Driving a vehicle in Indonesia in the populated centres is difficult as congestion is common place and road rules can be confusing.
If you are intent on driving or hiring a moped or motorbike, there are some rules you should be aware of.
Laws for Driving Riding in Indonesia
- Driving in Indonesia is on the left
- Drink driving / riding is illegal (there is nil tolerance and heavy fines or imprisonment can be applied)
- Drivers Licence – a driver or rider must carry a SIM (Surat Ijen Mengemudi) Licence or for foreign travellers you must obtain an International drivers licence before you go and carry with you the drivers licence from your own home country as well
- If you are applying for an International licence to ride a bike, you should have a bike licence in your own country. (Or your travel insurance will generally not cover you to ride a moped or bike overseas).
- You can apply for a SIM licence for 1 year if you are 17 years old, have the correct visa (not for 30 day tourist visa’s) and complete the theory and practical test
- For 30 day tourist visa holders visiting Bali you can obtain an international licence from the Police Station: – Foreign office applicant at Jalan Gunung Sanghyang No.110 (Kerobokan) Denpasar, Bali 80225. Open Mon – Thu 8 am – 2 pm Fri 8 am – 12 pm Price IDR 300.000 (approx). You must have your passport and a copy of passport, and your home country drivers licence.
- You must be 23 years old to hire a car with at least 1 years driving experience
- Foreigners should always carry their passports with them when driving/riding
- The vehicle should have current registration papers, sticker, rental papers (if applicable), emergency/warning road triangle, fluorescent safety jacket, first aid kit, spare tyre, jack and tyre iron.
- Vehicles must have front seat belts and be worn by the front seat passengers (if others are fitted it is recommended all occupants wear seat belts)
- Third party or basic liability insurance is required for all vehicles
- Helmets must be worn and are required for all riders and passengers (only 2 people permitted on the bike at any one time)
- Accidents are common and drivers involved in personal injury accidents must wait for the police.
- In the event of an emergency, contact the Police Tel: 110, or for medical emergencies Tel: 118/119.
Driver rules – for Driving and Riding in Indonesia
- Speed limits 50 km/h in towns, 80 km/h open roads, 100 km/h on highways
- Drivers must signal before turning left
- Drivers must not drive while using a mobile phone unless the vehicle is fitted with a hands free kit
- Drivers/Riders should always yield (move out of the way) of trucks and buses
- Driver may use the road shoulders as extra lanes for passing
- Drivers/Riders may use the horn as a safety measure (to warn other drivers to move or ask them to not get to close)
Driving Tips – for Driving and Riding in Indonesia
- Beware of obstacles on roads (dumped soil, dogs, chickens, cows, fruit, vegetables and broken down vehicles)
- What is in front of you is what you need to keep an eye on and accommodate if they slow down, move left or right
- Toot your horn to warn a driver/rider that you are passing
- If you have the correct bike licence to ride a motorbike or moped, make sure you wear a helmet and appropriate footwear
- If you are stopped by the police, stay calm and show your documentation (you should have your international drivers licence and your drivers licence from your own country). If there is mention that you will be fined, (if you have not followed the rules or they are saying you have done something wrong), apologise, state that you only have 10 – 30USD pay the fine and move on. It is not worth the hassle of being arrested
- If you are involved in an accident (unless you are badly injured and need to go to hospital) wait for the police and take photos for the insurance company
- I have broken down – Saya telah dirobohkan
- Where is the police station? – Dimanakah kantor polisi?
- I have a flat tyre – Saya memiliki ban kempes
- I have been in an accident – Saya telah dalam kecelakaan
- Where is? – Dimana?
- Where can I buy petrol? – Dimana saya bisa membeli bensin?
Hire a driver and car, they know the way, you can maximise your time sightseeing rather than trying to negotiate traffic and they can be helpful as a guide, you will also learn a little local knowledge.
If you really want to hire a bike!
Mopeds and Motorbikes are great fun and offer the opportunity of freedom, but they are also dangerous and many people have been badly injured because they were inexperienced. These same people also found that when it came to travel insurance covering them, if they did not have the right licence they ended up paying the costs. Make sure you have the correct licence (a motorbike licence in your home country) and know how to ride a bike and wear the appropriate safety gear (good shoes, long pants, helmets). If you follow the rules, hopefully you won’t be injured, out of pocket and will really enjoy the experience and have a safe trip.