SINGAPORE - About 5,000 drivers have applied for a new vocational licence, which will soon become a requirement for them to operate for ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA), which started receiving applications two days ago (March 13), revealed this number on Wednesday.
Drivers have to submit applications for the Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence (PDVL) by June 30, after which they will be given up to a year to complete and pass the 10-hour PDVL course.
Those who miss the deadline will have to stop driving private-hire cars until they obtain the PDVL.
The new regulations were announced by the LTA last Thursday (March 9).
Uber and Grab said last week that they would fully absorb the cost of obtaining the PDVL, which includes application fees, course and test fees, and a medication examination. This comes up to an estimated $250 per driver.
They have also set up websites to help their drivers process the applications, which they will help submit to the LTA.
Both ride-hailing companies declined to reveal the numbers of drivers who have applied through their websites.
Mr Andrew Chan, head of GrabCar Singapore, only said that the response has been "overwhelming".
Uber Singapore's general manager Warren Tseng said that in the three days following the LTA's announcement, about half of its drivers have registered with the firm, to get assistance in obtaining the licence.
"We have witnessed tremendous interest," he added.