Convert your driving license to Sri Lanka license

Here’s how to convert your foreign driving license Sri Lanka driving license.

Before you proceed it is best to inquire with your embassy office in Colombo about translating your driving license into English if it is in another language.

Have the letter done one day in advance so that you can start your day at the Department of Motor Traffic early. This important as they only issue limited number of tokens daily. Ask your car, taxi or tuktuk driver to take you to the DMT office in Werahera (Way-ra-hay-ra). It is about 30 minutes drive out of Colombo (with heavy traffic).

Checklist of things you will need

  1. The embassy letter (if necessary)
  2. Photocopy of the data page and visa endorsement page of your passport.
  3. Photocopy of both sides of your driving license
  4. SL Rs. 10,000 (Rs. 1700 for card fee, Rs. 8,300 for conversion)
  5. SL Rs. 500 if you want the Same Day service
  6. SR Rs. 500 to get medical certificate done by a doctor
  7. Download and print a copy of this Medical Certificate of Fitness form
  8. A pen
  9. Your passport
  10. Driving license

Arriving at Werahera

Unauthorised vehicles are not allowed inside the DMT compound so you will have to get off at the main entrance. This is the best place to start anyway because you can get your medical done from one of the clinics around here.

Getting the medical certificate done

  1. As you face the entrace to DMT from Horana Road to your right will be photocopy kiosk. Get your passport and license copies done here if you already have not done so.
  2. Further to the right of this copy kiosk is a narrow lane going in. As you walk in there is a doctor’s clinic. Go in and ask for medical certification.
  3. Hand over the Medical Certificate of fitness form and passport.
  4. A nurse will prick your finger to get a blood drop to determine your blood type.
  5. She will also test your eyesight.

Starting the process

  1. With the medical certificate done you can now proceed into the main entrance of DMT. The actual license office, as you can see from the above map, is a bit of a walk in.
  2. As you enter the license office to your left will be a guarded door and a little further down will be a large counter.
  3. Walk up to the counter and speak in clear English that you “want to convert a foreign license” and produce your license and passport to show.
  4. They will give you the Request for Foreign License Conversion (RFLC) form. (Click the link to see a sample form.)
  5. Ask them to kindly also give you a Same Day token number. Smile and give thanks.
  6. They may mention that you will have to visit counter number 1 inside.
  7. Fill the RFLC form before you proceed any further.
  8. With the token number in hand proceed to the guarded entrance. (Beyond this point only the applicant is allowed to enter. If you brought friends they will need to wait out.)
  9. Show the man your token and mention clearly that you are a foreigner (won’t be necessary if you are not South Asian).

The first step

  1. Locate counter number 1. This will be clearly marked and located to your right as you enter the guarded area.
  2. Queue up to this counter with all the documents; the token, copies of passport and license, medical certificate, Request for Foreign License Conversion form and the embassy letter.
  3. The DMT officer inside will check and verify your documents.
  4. She / he will then sign the RFLC and ask you to proceed to the Staff officer’s room to get him to sign the approval.
  5. The Staff officer’s room will be guarded and you may have to queue up.
  6. Once inside handover the RFLC to the officer.
  7. Once the Staff officer has signed the RFLC proceed back to counter number 1.
  8. Here she / he may ask either ask you to go to any other counter between 2 and 11 OR she / he will proceed with the following:
    1. scan your thumb-prints
    2. get your signature digitized
    3. take your photo
  9. After this she will produce a printout of the Application for Conversion of Foreign Driving License (ACFDL) form with your photo and relevant details already filled in.

At this point you will need to fill out some of the details on the ACFDL. Namely:

  • The name to be printed on the card
  • Your address in Sri Lanka (under Additional Personal Details section).
  • Phone number
  • On the back of the ACFDL you will need to fill in the Visa details from your passport
  • On the back of the ACFDL you will need to sign and date the form.
  • Then proceed to any of the counters from 15 to 25

The second step

  1. Proceed to any counter from 15 to 25.
  2. The DMT officer there will scan all your documents.
  3. He / She will enter some details.
  4. You will then be asked to proceed to make the payment.
  5. Payment counters start from 31 and go to 35.
  6. Queue up at any of these counters.
  7. Once payment is made the officer there will issue a Receipt for Payment document.
  8. She will also inform you that you can collect your brand new license after 3pm the same day.

Some helpful tips

  • The Receipt of Payment document is the only piece of paper that will be required when you come to collect the license.
  • Also, your license maybe issued any time between 3pm and 4:30pm. The sooner you make the payment (as in Second step point 7 above), the sooner you will receive the card.
  • There is no point in inquiring at the counter as to the whereabouts of your license. Wait for your name to be called out.
  • The DMT issues only 200 tokens per day. So arrive early.

Follow above steps and by the end of the day you will have your spanking brand new Sri Lanka Driving License smart card. Hurrah!

The best part is that the license is valid for 8 years. (This may differ from application to application though).

For some reason with this license I am authorized to drive these freaky things!

25 thoughts on “Convert your driving license to Sri Lanka license”

  1. To maul Sagan’s quote, if you wish to get a Sri Lankan licence from scratch, you must first invent the Universe.

    Lol. I don’t even know why I enjoyed reading this creepily detailed instruction manual.

    Was also sort of disappointed when at the end, I didn’t have a Sri Lankan licence in my hand.

  2. Heheh. Indeed, the whole experience can be quite disconcerting.

    I actually went through a whole lot more and wish I had this information when I went on the mission.

  3. I am a sri lankan national residing in Jaffna..
    i possed Sri lankan Passport, NIC & SriLankan Driving license.

    Shall i get international licence…. (because i got Uk student visa for my MBA study in UK…. )?
    if yes, let me know what is requirements to get international Driving License.
    please mail me the details directly to my E-mail….
    Your kind co-operation will be greatly appriciately..
    thanks in advance.
    – Vini.

  4. Hi Simon

    Thanks for the detailed information.
    You have done a great job to make easy for others to get the SL driving licence.

    Keep up your good work.

    Best regards
    Mrina.

  5. How long is this SL license valid? Might be cheaper to drive with International Driving Permit and the AAC endorsement.Thanks for the good info above!

  6. hi
    i curruntly reside in canada. i want to get a driving history record from sri lanka. so if you know how to get it from sri lanka . please advise me . i appriciate it very much. thanka you.

    lanka.

  7. Hi Simon,

    It’s so nice to hear you have made it very clear how to convert a overseis driving licence to Sri Lankan. People like you have made a big diffrence to other people life to make it easy. How ever Can you please be kind enough to sent the address how to go to the Werahara or contact details?

    With king regads/shanaz

  8. Hi,
    I am sri lankan natinality and currently live in Qatar.I am holding foreign (Qatar)Driving Licence for more than nine years.But still I donot have Sri Lankan Driving licence. As I stayed only short period in Sri Lanka(Vacation) I didnot get chance to apply for it.(As I know it is long procedure to take licence in SL)Is there any chance to get the Sri Lankan driving Licence with in short period.
    Thank You & best regards.
    T.H.Nishantha.

  9. man italy inne. mage licene 1 nati wela photo copy 1 k tiyanawa. man lankawe natuwa duplicate 1k ganda puluwanda???? reply me. thanx

  10. hi sir, im shafaz SRI LANKAN from dubai…. i would like know.. i have DUBAI DRIVING LICENCE. as a SRI LANKAN how can i Convert my Foreign Driving License (ACFDL) to SRI LANKA LICENCE…

    THANK YOU!!
    Shafaz

  11. Hi there,

    I am a Sri lankan living in New Zealand holding a NZ driving license currently how can a get a SL driving while I am in NZ.

    Please advise how I can do it is there any possibility??

    Kind Regards!

  12. Question – Can you keep your original country liscense active or you need to leave it at the DMT?
    (That’s waht they do between canada and USA so you never have license in the 2 countries)

  13. My countries embassy is in India. I don’t want to go there just to translate my driving license to English. Do you have any suggestion what I should do? I tried to take a new license from SL, but couldn’t because my residence visa only is for 6 months at the time. /Thanks Chris

  14. Dear Simon,
    I’ve just moved to Sri Lanka and found your post on converting a driving license to a Sri Lankan license extremely helpful. Thank you for providing such detailed information.
    I do have a question for you — is it possible for a foreigner, when converting his license, to get a license that is valid for B and B1 vehicle classes (in other words, cars and three-wheelers)? I have heard that one needs a special license to drive a three-wheeler and I have also heard that this is difficult to get if one is a foreigner.
    Any advice or further information will be greatly appreciated!

    Kind regards,
    Christina

  15. I got mine done today. It doesnt cost 10k anymore, well at least not for me and I got mine converted from New Zealand full to srilanka full for 6500 rupees for everything and got the license in ma hand by 12.30pm.

    Trick is to get hold of someone if you want to avoid delays. What I did was I followed the author’s directions and went to medical centre, and from there got hold of the nurse who has a contact inside Paid the nurse 6500 rupees. Went and met the person near Building H. He took me through the whole process helped me with all the paperwork and also jumped all the long queues. Got there on a Monday 9pm and got license by 12.30pm. Thats if you want to avoid long waiting times.

  16. Simon great work nice and well explained…just an update on this would be the fee for this is 2500 rupees for the same day service and you don’t really have to wait till 3 pm to collect your issued licence, you will receive your licence at the front office as your name would be called out and this might be approximately 2.5 hours since you made the payment fee. got mine done from uk to SL licence.

  17. Thanks Simon! FYI, if you’re too cheap for a 3W all the way out there, the 120 bus (Pettah-Piliyandala / Kesbewa / Horana) goes by the entry way.

  18. Hi there

    I wanna know that is it possible to change Qatari light vehicle license to sri lankan light vehicle license? Please assist…

    Thank you

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