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Originally planned for end-2009, then pushed to May 2012, then end-2012, then April 2014, the implementation of the auto-only driving licence is now likely to happen this June, JPJ deputy director-general Datuk Yusoff Ayob has told The Star.

“We wanted to start in April but due to some procedural issues in printing, we had no choice but to push it to a later date,” he told the daily, adding that books and materials necessary for the licence are expected to be distributed to all driving schools in May.

This new type of licence would only permit the bearer to drive cars with automatic gearboxes. A new licence category would be established under Class D (Motor Car, unladen weight not exceeding 3,500 kg) for this purpose.

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The new hard-card driving licences already include a Class DA, defined as “Motor Car Without Clutch Pedal, unladen weight not exceeding 3,500 kg,” in the list of licence categories. So Class DA licence bearers would be permitted to drive a Toyota MR-S with an SMT gearbox, presumably – never mind the fact that it’s got no automatic mode.

The new category is to be launched together with a new driving school curriculum. This new curriculum will have a focus on producing courteous and disciplined drivers, rather than the current curriculum’s said dexterity and traffic rule comprehension, The Star reports.

“Right now, JPJ officers are undergoing training so that they can efficiently monitor the automatic vehicle driving test according to the new syllabus,” Yusoff said, adding that all procedures in amending relevant rules and regulations to implement the new licence have been completed.