How to Apply for a Visitor’s Driving License in Samoa
For driving a car, van, scooter or any type of motor vehicle in Samoa, your overseas driving license is not enough. To legally drive on the roads in Samoa, you need a driving license issued in Samoa. Luckily, there’s the inexpensive Temporary Driver’s License (TDL) that’s valid for either one or two months and is easy enough to obtain to get you on the road (legally) in no time. Check out how to get the Samoa Temporary Driver’s License in this guide.
Do You Need a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License?
Anyone with a valid driving license from overseas who wishes to drive in Samoa must obtain a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License in order to legally drive on Samoa’s roads, with one exception:
Holders of a valid International Driver’s License, such as the International Driver’s Permit (IDP) regulated by the United Nations, may drive in Samoa for a period not exceeding 90 days in a total of any one year. Note, however, that you still need to take your IDP to the Samoa Land Transport Authority (LTA) for an endorsement to exempt you from having to obtain a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License. Details on the location of the LTA are listed below.
What You Need for the Samoa Temporary Driver’s License
In order to obtain a Temporary Driver’s License in Samoa, you need the following:
- A full valid driving license; not with restricted, learner, probation, provision or court conditions
- ST$21 to pay for a 1-month license,
- or ST$42 to pay for a 2-month license.
Note that the minimum driving age in Samoa is 17 years old. However, many car rental companies in Samoa will only hire vehicles to drivers aged 21+ or 25+.
Where to Get Your Samoa Temporary Driver’s License
Temporary Driver’s Licenses for driving in Samoa can be obtained from a few different sources. The most reliable is at one of the Land Transport Authority offices, as not all car rental companies and the Samoa Tourism offices always have licenses available.
Samoa Land Transport Authority
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm.
Office in Apia, Upolu
Vaitele, turn south off Vaitele Street next to Vailima/Samoa Breweries. The LTA office is located at the end of the road.
Office in Salelologa, Savai’i
Take the turn-off opposite Jet Over Hotel. The LTA office is approximately 250 m (273 yards) down this road.
Samoa Tourism Authority Information Centre
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday 8 am to 12 pm.
Office in Apia, Upolu
Beach Road, opposite the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Although there are Samoa Post offices in several villages throughout Samoa, your best option for picking up a TDL is the office in Apia.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm.
Office in Apia, Upolu
Between Togafu’afu’a Road and Beach Road.
Car Rental Companies
Some car rental companies with a fleet of more than 10 vehicles can provide you with a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License. Some also provide transport to the nearest licensing authority so you can complete the application.
Rental companies providing temporary driver’s licenses upon rental pick-up include (but are not limited to):
- Samoana Rentals
- South Pac Rentals
- Blue Pacific Car Hire
- USO Rentals
- Island Rento (provide assistance)
- Reef Rentals
- My Rental
- Moana Rentals
- Funway Rentals (provide assistance)
- Jetz Rentz
- Cruising Savai’i Rentals.
Learn more about some of these companies in the 10 Best Car Rentals in Samoa: The Top Samoa Car Rental Companies.
The Samoa Temporary Driver’s License Process
If you have your overseas license and funds to pay the license fee, as well as have showed up to a licensing authority (and they have some TDLs available), then getting your Samoa Temporary Driver’s License is easy.
How to Get the Samoa Temporary Driver’s License
At one of the licensing authorities stated above, you simply need to ask for a Temporary Driver’s License and hand over your overseas license to the attendant.
The attendant will record your details onto a paper form (which will also be your license) and onto a carbon copy. The details recorded will be those on your overseas license, including your full name, date of birth, license classes, conditions (if any), issue date, expiry date and license number. You will then be asked for your signature.
A box will be ticked stating the option chosen for the duration period of the license; one or two months. The issue date (the date you are picking up the license) will also be recorded.
You will then pay ST$21 for one month or ST$42 for two months. You can pay in cash or most merchants will have card machines available to pay with Visa or MasterCard (see What is the Best Way to Pay in Samoa?).
The licensing authority will sign and date the form at the bottom. Your overseas license will be returned along with your new TDL and you’re good to go! And yes, your Samoa Temporary Driver’s License is just a piece of paper.
The Conditions of a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License
The Temporary Driver’s License has a few conditions to it, which are as follows:
- It allows you to drive in Samoa from the date issued on the license until 1 or 2 months later depending on the option chosen
- The TDL must be carried at all times when driving on the roads subject to license classes and conditions endorsed
- The TDL is not valid unless signed
- The licensing authority cannot charge more than the stipulated amount noted on the TDL form.
More on the Samoa Driver’s License for Tourists
That’s it for our guide to the Samoa Temporary Driver’s License. For more on licenses and driving, take a look at the following guides:
- Can You Drive in Samoa With an Overseas License?
- How to Drive in Samoa + 10 Road Rules You Need to Know
- Samoa Travel Times & Distances: How Long Does it Take to Travel Around Samoa?
Finally, if there’s anything else you need to know about driving in Samoa, you’re likely to find it in What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa.