Guide to Singapore’s Off-Peak Car Scheme
Singapore’s Off-Peak Car Scheme, also known as OPC, was introduced by the government as a way to curb the number of vehicles out on the road during peak traffic hours. This is all in attempt to reduce gridlock and control traffic in a more manageable way. Newly registered cars, as well as cars registered under the old scheme, must be aware of the certain times they are allowed to drive within the restrictions of their OPC.
While not all cars have to be registered with an OPC, there is a huge rebate incentive to do so. Plus, removing an OPC from a vehicle may cost more money than is worth it for most average Singaporeans. The guide below will explain in detail how an OPC works, what restrictions there are, and what kind of licenses are given under an OPC.
OPC Scheme Overview
Historically, there have been two different types of off-peak car schemes offered to Singaporeans. But as of 2010, the older of the two schemes cannot be actively registered or converted. While both schemes will be discussed in this guide, a greater focus will be given on the revised OPC scheme, which is relevant after January 2010.
The old OPC scheme counts for any cars registered before January 25, 2010, and will remain under the rules and regulations of the old OPC scheme. The revised OPC scheme is for cars registered after January 25, 2010, and will allow Singaporeans to have unrestricted use of their vehicles on Saturdays as well as on the holidays of the Lunar New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, and Christmas. The discount tax has also been lowered with the revised scheme.
The old OPC scheme had a set of restricted hours that was more constricting than the hours of the revised scheme. A rundown of the restricted hours is listed below:
Old OPC Scheme:
- Weekdays from 7:00am to 7:00pm are allowed
- Saturdays except public holidays from 7:00am to 3:00pm are allowed
- No restriction on Sundays or public holidays
Revised OPC Scheme:
- Weekdays from 7:00am to 7:00m are allowed
- No restriction on Saturdays or holiday eves
- No restriction on Sundays or public holidays
Getting an e-Day License
There is a way for Singaporeans to be able to drive their OPC cars during restricted or off-hours. This requires the individual to get an e-Day license, which will allow the registered vehicle owner to drive outside of restricted hours.
There are a few processes that one must go through in order to obtain an e-Day license. First, the individual needs their OPC registration number. They must also have their ID number available as well.
e-Day licenses are available through a variety of individual merchants that grant service based on their own terms and services. For example, AXS Payment and Singapore Post are two merchants that will sell e-Day licenses for individual vehicle owners to purchase. Owners can buy an e-Day license up to two weeks before their planned driving date, or within 1 full day of driving after hours.
Undated licenses are also available. However, a usage date must be specified in order for the license to be valid.
Is it Bad to Drive an OPC Vehicle After Restricted Hours without an e-Day License?
You could be fined $5000 for driving outside of restricted hours without an e-Day license. If the same offense happens twice, another fine of $10,000 will be placed. Usage of the OPC vehicle can be declared online within 3 to 5 days that the vehicle was used, and a small Notice of Traffic Offense will be given for $30. It is clear to see how this would be a great alternative to risk driving without reporting it and incurring such huge fines.
Converting to the Revised OPC Scheme
It is possible to convert a normal car or an old OPC car to the revised OPC scheme. It is also possible to convert a revised OPC car to a normal car scheme. The first step is to go to the LTA services website and search for the proper conversion fees and taxes. You should expect to have to pay a fee for converting your car from one scheme to the other.
Next, you need to submit your application to the LTA. There is a specific form you can fill out which allows you to complete the process. Along with the proper forms, you will also need:
- The original periodic inspection certificate of the vehicle
- The original road tax disc that goes along with the vehicle
- The original identification documents of the vehicle’s registered owner
- The original identification documents of an authorized representative (if the vehicle owner is somehow not present)
- The original certificate for car insurance, which also covers the specified road tax
After you submit all of your forms, you should be expected to pay a tax. If you are converting a normal car to a revised OPC scheme, you will pay $100 plus a 12-month road tax for OPC scheme upkeep. If you are converting an old OPC to the new OPC, you will also pay $100 and the road tax under the revised OPC scheme.
How to Register an OPC Scheme Car
There are specific license plates and seals which must be placed on the vehicle which is part of the revised OPC scheme. License plates are always red, with white lettering on top. They must also be completely welded and sealed to the car. Any workshop is certified to weld it, but the sealing of plates must be done by an authorized professional.
If a license plate needs to be removed for repair, or if the license number is changing, the individual car owner must get the approval of the LTA first. There is an Application to Break and Reseal Vehicle Number Plate form that must be filled out and then submitted.
Other factors like the lifespan of the vehicle and the condition of the vehicle will be considered when any kind of a request is made to the LTA. It is expected that all OPC scheme vehicles are kept in good condition throughout their ownership.