Road Transport Department (RTD) had been set up on 1937, under the Traffic Enactment 1937, British Army Law of Federated Malay States. By that time, the administration was known as Road Transport Board, performed its function to control and issue the license of good transportation vehicles manufacturing and public vehicles. Since the administration of Tanah Melayu on 1st April 1946, the authority of the board has been replaced by Register Office and Motorcar Inspection for the whole Tanah Melayu.
Before 1937, the controlling of motorcars was placed under 4 (four) Federated Malay States governed by Perak and Selangor District Police, Chief Inspector of Negeri Sembilan and six (6) District Officer in Pahang. The controlling was not enforced at Federated Malay States. Apart 4 (four) states mentioned above, there were 11 (eleven) separated administration was given the authority of motorized vehicles until Traffic Enactment 1037 was approved.
Due to launching of the department, a road law which was known as Road Traffic Ordinance 1958, was approved to replace Traffic Enactment 1937. Since the duty of enforcing the laws was very important especially for commercial vehicles, Enforcement Department had been set up to carry out the function of enforcement.
On 1st April 1946, Road Transport Department had been set up purposely to coordinate all aspects related to transportation of the nationwide. Accordingly to its existence, various acts related to the roads transportation have been regulated such as Road Traffic Ordinance 1958 and Road Transport Act 1987. The objectives is to standardize the nation transportation system increased rapidly in 1980. By each day, RTD getting loaded with its burden of responsibilities in improving its quality of service.
Therefore, restructuring has been done to improve the efficiency in order to suit the need and current interests. Since there is existence of the various functions in every department, the various innovations have been created to improve the quality of efficiency in the services. The era of 90's showed the rapid development because there was quite a high demand in the transportation system.
RTD is one of the organization under land department of Ministry of Transport. It is responsible to cater the counter services for vehicle and driving license and enforces Road Transport Act 1987 to ensure the quality of good driver and the road worthiness vehicle. RTD is also an organization that directly give its services to public and committed to provide high quality services, managing its income and enforce the transportation act transparently and effectively.