Let me take the contents of this post to the next level.
In the last two years of my life, couple of good things that I can count is getting a car license and getting a car. Now one more thing to add to the list.
The good thing about the car license was that I could convert it into IDL (International Driving License) by just going to that office, and showing my UAE license and paying the required fee. I knew the importance of IDL on my visit to Thailand. You don’t get an insurance without an IDL. You do get a car/motorcycle but void insurance which is risky. Now that the car license was dealt with, I wanted to go for the motorcycle license. I always wanted to do a US/Europe country trip on a motorcycle and hence getting a IDL from here would prove really helpful.
I have driven commuter motorcycles till quarter liter in India and my experience with motorcycles is around 14 years give or take. Believe it or not it took me 9 god damn months to get a motorcycle license. I was away for a month and a half, but still. I had hardly driven a car in India, and irony is I got that in 3 months. Expenses I will mention below.
So here is why ….
First of all when you go in, to open a file for driving license you need to pay around ~Inr 25,200 ( 1 USD ~ 61 Inr). You get your eyes checked, you get a riders manual, you get the dates for classes… classes to make you aware on the rules and regulations to be followed while driving. After you attend the theory class, you go for a theory test. The theory test has 2 sections, having 17 and 18 questions respectively. You need to get 13 in each of them right, else you fail. You have to take the test again. I got this 1st time with just two answers wrong.
I had an Indian license which is more than 7 years old, so I am supposed to take only 15 classes instead of 30, before I attend my 1st round of final test, which is taken in a small ground specially designed for this test and yes it is tarmac. Each class costs you 1.1 K INR. After the 14th class, I am supposed to attend an assessment test, which will decide whether I need to take extra classes or I am fit to go for the first round of final tests. I have to pay 1700 INR for the assessment test and after the test, the instructor suggests me 4 extra classes. I pay for those, and then get a date for my first round of final test for which again I pay around 5-6k.
The first round of final test, as mentioned is in a designated area. The instructor checks how good I can ride slow, fast, how well I can emergency brake, how well I can respond to quick instructions given by him and while doing all this do I use all my warning signals. Even if I managed to not perform well in any one of these, they fail you. Without a mercy. I failed twice before I got through this and I must admit it was my mistake. Once you fail, you should take mandatory 6 classes and pay the fees for the classes and test again. All of it around 10k + Inr. I did that thrice and third time I passed.
Once that was dealt with, the second round of final test is on the road. I again had to pay for 6 road classes and take classes before I could get a final test date. I completed the road classes, did my first final test and the inspector failed me. He said I was not confident, rather he was not confident enough to pass me. So I had to go through all this again, fees for 6 classes and final test. The second time I was bit more confident and I managed to crack the final test.
So you guys want to have a look at the paper works I went through for getting this license??
Not done yet. I had to pay another 5k for getting the license card printed in my name. Then and then they went ahead and printed that I am permitted to drive a motorcycle, along with my LMV.
So on the whole I ended up spending something north of 100,000 Inr for my car license and something north of 100,000 Inr for motorcycle license, which makes it a grand total of 200,000 Inr + for both of these.
I am not trying to shed my tears here, which you must have understood by now 😛 But I did shed a lot of tears in the process.
I am just pointing out how nice it would have been to have some of these rules in India. Not all, but some… so that people have a clue of what they are doing on the roads.
Teary Good night! 😥 😥
PS : I haven’t mentioned about the politics that goes on in the driving school. Luckily I happened to do both my test in the worst of the driving schools in UAE, which is better by far than Indian RTO’s. Anyone who is in UAE and wants the name of the driving school which I went to, please do not hesitate to drop a mail. Let me be the Bible for anyone who wants to save their souls 🙂