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Old 19th May 2023, 12:08   #1
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Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

Warning: Long read

Like all teenage boys, who are just out of school, I was very excited to obtain my driver's license. I had planned to get my license as soon as I turned 18, but the world had other plans for me!

A day after my 18th birthday, I searched about the process of getting a driver's license in Tamil Nadu and I got to know that I must first obtain an LLR(Learner's License Registration) and practice riding a two-wheeler and a car for at least one month before I could go for the driving test. I tried to obtain an LLR independently but could not figure out how to use the Tamil Nadu RTO website.

So, I went down to the local driving school and enquired about the process of obtaining a license. They quoted Rs.6000 for teaching me how to drive a car and getting both, my LLR and my driver's license from the RTO. Dad wanted me to go ahead with them, as he thought that it would be better to learn from a professional.

I had to complete 15 classes of 5km each before I could go for my driving test. In the initial days, I would go to a class every single day, but I would not learn much about driving at all! Why?

1. The distance was far too short for me to take in the suggestions given by the instructor and implement them

2. The route was mostly repetitive every single day. It would consist of driving through a straight road (A state highway) for 5km. Hence, I learned almost nothing about controlling the steering and adapting to different road conditions.

Exams at the college began and hence, I had to skip classes for a few days. Right after the exam, I got a ligament injury in my ankle, which prevented me from driving for a month. After that, I pestered Dad to let me drive on some local trips and here, I learned much more, because:

1. Dad gave me a lot of tips about:
=> Braking distances
=> Proper lane behaviour
=> Clutch control
=> Maintaining a safe distance behind other vehicles
and so much more.

2. The routes that I drove through were much more varied, including a whole lot of broken roads (requiring a lot of clutch modulation), highways, and city roads.

Meanwhile, I also learned to ride two-wheelers with the Activa at home. After all this, I went to the driving school to schedule the driving test for me. At this point, they tell me that there are two categories of licenses. One for geared two-wheelers, and another for the non-geared counterparts.

Now I wanted to obtain the geared one because I might get a bike in the future. This caused me to go back to square one. I had to:

1. Obtain a bike to learn with
2. Find a person to teach me to ride a bike (nobody in my immediate family uses bikes).

When I enquired at local two-wheeler service centers, I was shocked to know that they demand Rs.500 per day for renting a bike! This was too costly for me and with no other option in my city, my plans were stalled. A neighbor of mine taught me how to ride his Apache RTR 160 and I thought that I knew how to ride a bike.

I scheduled my driving test and a day before, I practiced riding in the 8-shaped course on an empty road. I spent the evening watching videos on how to pass the driving test!

On the test day, I was taken to the RTO by my driving school. I was able to complete the practice runs for the car test with no issues at all, but then came the practice session for the bike! I rented a kick-start Splendor from an agent at the RTO, and it was in horrible shape. It would stall without reason at random times and it increased my anxiety. Although I completed the course during my practice runs, I touched the curb during the actual two-wheeler test. The RTO told me to leave and apply for a re-test.

I was very angry when I returned home, and I thought about not getting a license at all. And then, all of a sudden, one of my mom's friends told me that he'd lend me his bike on the weekends for me to learn.

I was so happy now! The bike was a Passion Pro, and it would only run when the choke was engaged. This time, I re-learned to ride on my own. I practiced the 8 hundreds of times, and out of that, I learned so much more about controlling a bike.

I learned how to:
1. Maintain balance when turning at low speeds
2. Modulating the clutch and brake to control the bike at a very low speed
3. Approach a corner and use any apt turning radius

I also learned how to perfectly complete the 8. I had to:
1. Put the bike in 2nd gear to get more control (1st gear was too torquey).
2. Modulate the rear brake and clutch to maintain the required speed.
3. Take a wide turning radius at each curve
4. Lean opposite to the turn to maintain balance

Armed with all the knowledge that I learned on my own, I went back to the RTO with the Passion Pro. There, I met some people from my college who were like me during my first attempt. They did not have bikes and they knew little about riding them. As I had a lot of time there before the test, I taught them what I had learned. They quickly learned everything that I taught, and it was time for my re-test.

This time, I made sure that I was not anxious for my test. I took a deep breath when the RTO told me to complete the 8 and I aced it! The cherry on the cake was that all the people that I taught also passed the test with ease!
The car test was completed without any trouble.

Thus concluded my long journey of obtaining the driver's license which taught me many things, such as:

1. You learn much more on your own, more than the average teacher can teach you.

2. You are able to achieve much more when you actually think about the mistakes that you make in the process and make an effort to correct them.

3. Taking time to collect yourself before starting something gives you a much higher chance of succeeding at the task.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 20th May 2023, 09:43   #2
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th May 2023, 13:57   #3
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

Congratulations upon getting your driver's license.

Yes indeed, as you drive and as the years go by you learn more and more with your own ingenuity and your own perception. Something normal or strange ahead while driving on the road can be observed and maneuvering to wriggle out of the situation at every given point of time will be lessons.

Even the driving schools lessons are important, but their roles in making someone a good driver is limited. It's like our schools and colleges where we with so many others are taught lessons, based on the syllabus. There are much more important lessons beyond the syllabus that we need to learn on our own. Many of us learn these constantly, while pursuing our respective professions. The learning process never ends. In a lighter vein, remember Prince Philip who in 2019 at age 97 was driving a Range Rover that hit a Nissan car. He learnt his driving lesson at age 97, only to give up driving totally, thereafter.

Since you will start driving on your own, it's good to be safe on the roads always, as at your age one is normally tempted to speed up. The best driving lessons are taught at low to moderate speeds, not at high speeds.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 20th May 2023 at 14:02.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 18:56   #4
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravindb_0711 View Post
first obtain an LLR(Learner's License Registration) and practice riding a two-wheeler and a car for at least one month before I could go for the driving test
Thank you for helping me get nostalgic, @aravindb_0711. I remember how my brother and I went about getting our two wheeler driving licenses all by ourselves. This was in the late 80s, and licenses would be issued for five years. We went to the local treasury, paid five bucks, got a challan and then applied for the LLR on a form. It wasn't complicated at all - go meet the ARTO, get his sign on the form, deposit it at the counter and the form would come home.

After a month, fill up the DL application, attach a couple of passport size photos, the LLR, a treasury receipt of 25 bucks, stand in a queue for licenses, and if one was within the first 15 of the day, one's application would be taken. Next five applications would be taken but the applicants would be asked to come the next day. So it was five of earlier day plus 15 of current day.

The test would be an 8 pattern on any bike (those days there was no with/ without gear differentiation), plus one would be expected to know rules 81 to 85 of the Motor Vehicle Rules. Answer the question by the MV inspector on any of these rules, successfully execute the 8 and the license would come home by post in less than ten days. No "hidden" charges, no incidental charges, nothing. All it would cost was 5+25 bucks.

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd May 2023 at 18:57.
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Old 23rd May 2023, 09:34   #5
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

I vividly remember the driving test I took for a four wheeler license in 2003. In those days, it was the norm to engage an agent for getting a license. I applied without engaging services of one and after clearing the theory test was called for actual driving test. In those days, there were no test tracks and the inspectors would take the applicant on the road and then test his/her skills. My inspector was a tall burly fellow who barely fit in my zen and as soon as he asked me to start driving, I asked him to buckle up. He smiled but said it is ok.

I was quite amused. The inspector himself was not willing to wear the seat belt whereas he expects everyone else to do so. Anyway, it was futile to argue with him. I continued with my test. When everything was going fine, he did not seem happy for obvious reasons. Then at an intersection, he asked me to reverse on an incline. That too I did quite easily. He had no choice but to clear me in the test. When I told my office mates that I got the license without an agent, they were quite surprised.
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Old 23rd May 2023, 13:10   #6
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

Congratulations on getting your driving licence!
As someone who got their DL in April, this is very relatable. I applied for my learner's permit the very next day after my 18th birthday , but then life caught up with me and due to model exams and eventually boards, I couldn't practice driving much, but even then, I stuck an "L" on my mom's car and took it out with her a handful of times. Which in retrospect helped a lot.

Then eventually in the end of March once I was done with boards, I went for driving classes for 5 days, just to get an idea of how the actual test would go, because believe it or not, the driving test is quite different from actual driving

I managed to pass the test in the first try, which wouldn't have been possible without the 5 classes I had at the driving school, but driving confidently on the roads now wouldn't have been possible without the lessons I got from my mom.

So my advice to anyone who's going to get a licence soon is:
Definitely go to a driving school as it will help you pass the test with flying colours, but do take out your own car/bike in the presence of a family member so that you can be confident in traffic and gain some real world experience of driving.
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Old 23rd May 2023, 17:47   #7
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

I was regular rider with CD100, but my bike was out of mumbai at the time of test, so my uncle arranged another bike. It was a RX100! imagine riding one that too at the time of RTO test. I was the only one on RX and others were on Kinetic honda.

I passed the test, was lucky since bike stalled behind a truck and i recovered quickly.

These days in pune you dont need skills to pass RTO test, you just need extra cash. So really commendable of Vellore RTO
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Old 23rd May 2023, 18:01   #8
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Re: Turned 18 | My experience of getting a Driving Licence (Motorcycles)

Congratulations on getting your DL. Your post reminds me of the time I stalled an ambassador on an incline 10 times and, when I failed the test the 1st time by hitting the last pole of the 3 point turn due to over confidence 😅.

I think the biggest learnings from out of the driving school are when to downshift and understanding the edges of your car.
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