LTA declines to renew ex-convict’s vocational driving license, leaving him without the means to earn a livelihood


Land Transport Authority (LTA) has reportedly declined to renew the vocational driver’s license of an ex-offender, leaving him without the means to earn an adequate livelihood.

The ex-offender, a 46-year-old single father called Michael, was released from prison a few months ago after being jailed for 6 months for a white-collar crime. He told activist Gilbert Goh of that he took to driving Grab vehicles and was drawing a good income until LTA did not renew his vocational license allegedly due to his jail sentence.

Goh wrote in an article today that Michael’s “only means of earning a proper income was dashed with that second sentencing by LTA even though he has served his jail term.”

Known for championing causes related to the unemployed and underemployed in Singapore, Goh visited Michael in his sparse apartment to lend a listening ear after the ex-offender reached out to the activist. Revealing that his savings have dipped to a dangerously low level, Michael confided in Goh:

“The yellow ribbon project seems like a joke now. I have served my time and now I am given a second sentencing when LTA didn’t renew my driving license.”

In his article, Goh stressed that re-employment is crucial to keep ex-offender from committing crimes again. He added that statistics show that only a marginal percentage of employers employ ex-offenders:

“Many people have returned to crime when they couldn’t find any suitable job and there is the solace that at least once they are back in prison they have proper food and shelter but that is not what we want for rehabilitation. Without a proper job, many offenders recommit and those who have families find it difficult to face their wife and kids if they continue to laze around at home long after release.
“A 2005 survey by the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises found that while 34 per cent of companies were willing to hire former convicts, only 4 per cent actually did. Many could only manage with very manual work such as moving home, cleaning or drivers.”

Michael is presently struggling to manage bills for basic necessities like water and electricity. Before leaving his apartment, Goh gave Michael a small donation for him to pay his power bill. Goh concluded:

“He has committed a crime, paid for it in prison but let us not re-sentence him again after his release…that will be a severe debilitating blow to all ex-offenders.”

Read the full article here.


  1. Exactly the same. The top say they don’t want to have a blame or point finger culture…. Yet anything wrong, is the bottom that get the kick and nvr the top fault!!!

  2. I have no issue if LTA decides not to issue ex-cons a vocational driving license – that’s their prerogative. But to issue and then rescind is just plain cruel. You either give or don’t. Don’t give then take back. It’s like giving false hope, which can be very devastating for a guy who’s already down-and-out.

  3. Unless the govt themselves change their mindset.. if not.. dun encourage the private sector to hire ex-convicts n give them a 2nd chance.. it is not the public that punishes them for life.. it is the system itself

  4. (Zaidy) I think something missing in this report…..

    Do you guys know that if you work fulltime as taxi/grab/uber driver , u are consider as Self Employ….And do you that it mandatory to self top up ur CPF?

    If you did not, then no renewal for your vocational Licence

    • just for info he was just out of jail even to declare income tax or top up medisave need to 1 yr. you can do it two ways pay medisave or every mth put money like cpf that it. and there still ppl don’t declare income still have driving license. I don’t think this the reason.

    • Travis Tiong…we are talking abt Vocational license for goodness sick… if you own medisave u have to pay lum sump/ no instalment before they let u renew…..go ask ard those who kena before

  5. Sentence to jail for white collar crime. What does it has to do with driving? Why can’t renew license? Demerit points? Booked for drunk and dangerous driving? Didn’t pay booking fines? Or just because he don’t drive a sports car like those rich men who went crashing around?

  6. Yellow ribbion only for the minister lah….they cn do alot of mistake bt after tat pardon due to the yellow ribbon project….tat is y they cn still be in the post…dont believe me u check kbw pocket he hv alot of them in it….

  7. LTA already mentioned in the news. those serious or dangerous offender such as drug trafficking and rapist will not be able to drive grab/uber. theres alot of missing info here. theres many jobs available. not just one job in sg. chances is there but this one just want to complaint

  8. We do not know why LTA is not renewing the licence. They should if there are no ethical or performance issue. Give people a second chance. But having said that, the non mainstream media and activist are laying Tacitus Trap for the government to step into. Let me repeat for the PAP: You better be transparent and provide information timely, or those that want you to fail will cause you to fall into the Trap. If the security agencies that are reading this comment doesn’t know what Tacitus Trap is, please google …. And if you fall, no matter how much good things the PAP does, it will be discoloured by the few bad things. These are caused by incompetent civil servants or scholars, and it created opportunities for websites like this and silly activists like those on the mrt train to magnify your weakness and deficiencies.

  9. I don’t see anything to link with driving licence. Firstly driving licence need to be learned and tested pass than get licence what that got to do with his crime?? He has paid with jail time and now working as a driver for a living and LTA cut his form of income so you force ppl to go back to crime again?
    Secondly I know there are former jail ppl who still have driving licence and are now doing delivery job or driving grab why he cannot. Can LTA alighten the Singaporean why it cannot be renew? why there difference set of law or LTA you are the law maker ??

  10. He committed a White Collar Crime. He did not assault or hurt anyone physically and is therefore not a danger to the public. He has paid his due and should be allowed back as a free man to continue his life from where he left off before going to Prison. That is what the Yellow Ribbon is all about. To help people like him integrate back into Society. LTA must give him back his license so that he can work independently to support himself. The only means he knows of supporting himself is to be a Grab Driver. Why is LTA depriving him of this right.? Give him back his license, I say.

  11. U can forget about your driving license. That’s how life is in SG. Dont believe me when I say that the Govt is only giving lips service with regards Yellow Ribbon project? Try applying for even a low level job in any of the Govt or Statutory board. U will definitely get rejected. That’s life. Nobody says that life is fair. If you had committed an unforgivable crime, God will also punish you during your final judgement.

  12. I heard ex-prisoner cannot drive taxi but can drive Uber n Grab. If LTA don’t allow to renew his license that mean he must have commit serious offence under driving related. Usually is ban from driving for 1-3 year’s depends on how serious? If drink n drive, hit n run is quite serious or fighting case with passengers also serious.

  13. Seriously not all repent. I have come across some who still turn back to crime again. One even a bankrupt can be a LEGAL MANAGER (not suppose to be an executive) and went to Changi Resort out to further resort to cheating again. I believe there is a probation period after you paid for it at Changi Resort

  14. The gov support the yellow ribbon project using lip service only! They encouraged pet companies to employ ex con but when apply for gov statutory job will be rejected straight away! All these cock n bull stories about supporting the yellow ribbon project!

  15. OMG than what’s Yellow Ribbon for when they r not given 2nd chance They need it for survival !! why deprive them to earn a decent living!! LTA Pls help them.

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