Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 10Oct - Drivers License in Australia

One of the things that I never got to do when I first moved to Australia in hmm...2005 was to obtain an Australian drivers license. I had never thought of the necessary for it since Australia public transportation was reliable (compared to Malaysia). It was never quite a necessity to even catch a cab. And our Malaysian drivers license is also valid in Australia. However, the matter of carrying your photo ID (aka passport) is somehow a safety issue as well. Usually, we would only need to carry our IC. Anyway in Australia, their IC is the drivers license or Proof of Age card.
For South Australians, surfing the website provides the most information.
Since I already have a full drivers license from Malaysia, I wasn't quite sure how to proceed. You don't expect me to learn from the very start eg. Ls etc.
LIke usual, we would need to learn our theory first. Was recommended to surf the RAA website for some basic information on driving and test. 
Trying out their Learner's test before heading to Service SA for the theory test is a wise choice.
In Australia, the GIVE WAY questions are very important. If you fail any of the 10 questions, you fail the whole thing. I was advise to try the test for nearly 50 times, and its a guarantee pass. 
This was my highest test score online. But don't go taking your theory test yet until your practical school ask you to. The test is only valid for 1month. Within that month, you'll need to take your practical driving test. *Phhsttt...I only had 1 wrong in the official theory test* =p
I was recommended by a friend to contact Tony, driving instructor. I had to go for about 6 practical classes @ $65 per hr. Not happy that I was charged extra from the cost I see in his website.
But then Tony is a typical Australian, nice patient man. I just needed to gain my confidence again on a foreign country road.
This sheet of carbon paper states how many points I had obtained & where I did wrong during my practical test. Full marks is 100 and passing mark is 90. I got long as I passed it

After 6 classes x $65 = $390. I was scheduled for my practical test. Another $65 x 2hrs = $130 (1st hr as a refresher and 2nd hr is rental of Tony's car) + $150 exam fees. On a Thurs morning, rush hour. WTF!! And guess wat? I F*cked up. Who the heck would not panic & nervous when you have like hundreds of cars trying to pass you, plus the examiner practically rushing me. A typical a**hole. Guess where he's originally from? Not gonna say it here *grrrr*
Rescheduled another test the following weekend, where the traffic would be better. Another $130 + 150 = $280 down the drain. Same examiner again but Tony had a chat with him. So crossing fingers on the better condition. The speed limit was a slight problem. 50kmph at housing areas & 60kmph on the main roads. I felt like I was crawling.

Thankfully once that was over, I was provided the a Certificate of Competency.
This is the shorter way to obtain a Drivers License called the VOTR - Vehicle On Road Test rather than taking the L, Provision Stage 1 then 2 and finally to Full license.
With the certificate, I went to Service SA office to register for my license.
Oh, another thing about driving examiners. There are such thing as EXTERNAL examiners.
They don't work for the Government, but are registered examiners.
Anyway, 10days later, my license came in the mail. Damn!! I had a hair makeover after the picture was took. I needed my license before my MurrayMan race and the makeover was only after the race.

And that was my ordeal on obtaining an Australian driver's license.
KS had to get me anti-stress tablets to calm my nerves down during that period.

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