Today, July 12, is the deadline for e-hailing drivers to obtain the mandatory Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license to continue to ply the roads, but they have received a reprieve. The cabinet has decided that enforcement of the new rule will be done via a “soft landing” approach, as announced by transport minister Anthony Loke this afternoon.

What this means is that e-hailing drivers that are yet to fulfil the requirements and obtain the PSV license, are now allowed to continue to operate for three months starting today. The transport ministry and JPJ will in this period take an educational approach to enforcement, in stages. E-hailing drivers caught without a PSV license will be advised to comply with the regulations and given a final warning.

According to Loke, as of July 11, 17,596 e-hailing vehicle permits (EVP) have been issued, of which 13,380 are for private vehicles and 4,216 for taxis. This number is dynamic and will continue to rise as more drivers get their PSV licenses.

As many as 31,731 candidates have registered for PSV tests at 226 driving institutes across the country. Of this, 25,248 have completed the course and 19,891 have passed the test. In addition, 16,528 candidates have gone for courses set up by the e-hailing operators themselves, and of this total, 3,090 have passed. All in, 22,981 drivers have passed the PSV test. Loke insisted that ample time was given for drivers to fulfil requirements, and chided them for leaving things to the last minute.

On another note, Loke declared that e-hailing operators cannot charge more than 20% commission for fares, including commission in other names such as fees. This 20% cap is for private drivers; it’s 10% max for taxi drivers operating on the app platforms. Action will be taken by the ministry should the operators not comply, he said.

With this last minute reprieve, the much-feared driver shortage crisis would be averted, and drivers will have three more months, which is ample time, to get certified.