What is DIPS?
The Road Traffic Driver Improvement Points System (DIPS) was introduced in March 1983.
This system was designed to identify high-risk motorists or habitual offenders and to stop them from driving for a specified period of time. The system also requires recalcitrant offenders to re-sit and pass a driving test before they are allowed to drive again.
How does DIPS operate?
DIPS allows a driver to accumulate less than 24 demerit points within 24 months before he becomes liable for suspension. If a driver has been suspended before, he will only be allowed to accumulate less than 12 demerit points within 12 months.
A first time suspension will last three months. Subsequent suspensions may be up to three years.
Where the suspension period lasts a year or longer, the motorist will have his licence revoked and will have to re-sit and pass all the tests in order to be allowed to drive again.
A new driver's licence will be revoked if he accumulates 13 or more demerit points within a period of 12 months from the date his licence is obtained.
A person shall not be allowed to take a test of competence to drive any class of vehicle
(a) during the period of suspension of a licence, whether for the same or for a different class of licence held by him;
(b) during the period for which he has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence, whether for the same or for a different class of licence; or
(c) within the period of one year from the date of the revocation of a licence, whether for the same or for a different class of licence held by him.
A motorist who maintains a 12-month free of offences with demerit points from the date of his last offence, will have all his previous points cancelled from his record. Those who maintain a 24-month period free of offences with demerit points from the date of expiry of the last suspension, will also have all previous suspensions cancelled from their records.
Does DIPS extend to foreign licence holders driving in Singapore?
Yes. From 1 Nov 99, the Traffic Police has extended the DIPS to include foreign driving licence holders. The DIPS was previously applicable to only Singapore driving licence holders. With the extension, all drivers will be given demerit points when they commit certain traffic offences.
The objective of extending DIPS to all users of Singapore roads whether they are Singapore licence holders or foreign licence holders is to create a safer riding and driving environment for all.
A foreign driver who accumulates 24 demerit points or more within a period of 24 months will be served a Prohibition Order, which will disallow him to drive in Singapore. The duration for a first-time prohibition is 3 months, and subsequent prohibitions can be up to 3 years.