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Old 17th July 2018, 16:00   #46
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Default Re: Interesting Driving Test Experiences

I was very eager to get a driving license and there were reasons for it. My driving was limited to open grounds where there were no people. My dad used to threaten me of filing a police complaint himself if he found me driving the car or riding the two wheeler in his absence. I learnt driving and used to get a ride or two from my friends who had motorcycles and cars at their disposal. So the day I turned 18, I went to a driving school (apparently, getting a license was easier through this route, just in the physical hassle perspective). The very next day, I bunked college and appeared for the written test. I got full marks for that and got my learner's license. Exactly on the 31st day of receiving my, I went to the RTO along with the driving school. The inspector was sitting in the Driving school's car and there was a designated path with speed breakers, left turns, right tuns, reversing and U turns. As soon as I got into the driver's seat, the RTO greeted me with a smile and asked where I studied and told me to drive the path. I fastened the seatbelt and adjusted the mirrors to my position. Looking at this, I was given approval for 4 wheeler license. I didn't have to drive. I am still not sure if it was a privilege of going through the driving school or if the inspector was impressed by the seat belt fastening and adjusting the mirrors. That said, I had lunch at a nearby canteen, waited till the evening and got hands on my license. My dad had come to the RTO office to pick me up and I drove the car back home from there. That was when I felt all right legally to drive and no one can restrict me to drive on public roads. The most memorable day of my life!
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Old 19th July 2018, 13:40   #47
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Kerala, India (2002)

As a car nut, at a very young age itself, I knew how to drive a car. Theoretically yes. Had never driven it practically, but every time i went out for a drive with my dad, I would ask my dad each and everything about how to drive a car. He would very patiently explain the driving principles and how to modulate the Accelerator and Clutch and the Brake. Us living in UAE that time and him being a law abiding model citizen (ex-navy), I was never given a chance to drive. And then I came back to India for my higher studies.

SO eventually, I turned 18 and joined my driving school.

Typical of the Kerala driving schools at that time, we had one of those jeeps, which had the idle set to high and would not stall, and all you had to do was use your big toe for acceleration. The instructor even advised me to drive without my shoes for that same reason. Had a lot of fun driving that piece of garbage for 15 odd days. The last 3 days, he took me to the test grounds and there was an old M80 which was to be used for practicing the 8. I was used to riding my uncle's Kinetic Honda on the back lanes of our house, and that also went off uneventfully.

The day of the test: I went to the driving school and was taken to the testing ground with the other students. Since the past 2 days, it had been raining cats and dogs (welcome Kerala monsoons) and the test ground was more like mud slush. Got in the car, did the perfect H (atleast I like to think it was perfect). Got directed to the Bike testing section and boy, it was bad. The whole section around the poles set for the 8 looked like a sliding section. The tyres on the M80 were bald and I had this impending feeling of doom. I stood there and watched determined people slide in the manoeuvre and fall off the moped. I stepped up and on the second part of the 8, ended up putting my leg on the ground. Disqualified.

So I got my LMV licence and later had to pass the bike test which I did after a couple of months when I knew the weather would be better and the ground would be dry.

Dubai, UAE (2012)

Having moved to Dubai, I went about applying for my licence and that is when I heard horror stories about people not getting their licences even after 10 tries. I personally know a guy who has been giving his test for the past 7 years and still has not got his licence. Horrors.

Well, lets see how this goes then. Got all the needed documents from my office and applied in the driving school. They asked me if I wanted to apply for a manual licence or an automatic, and I requested manual. When I got back to work , all the colleagues were now berating me that I had selected manual and that automatic was much easier to get. Who drives a manual vehicle here anywas, was their argument.

I had to attend one classroom session for the road rules and then do the online theory test which I aced. Now on to attending the practical classes. Since I had an Indian LMV for more than 10 years now, I only needed 8 hours of practical classes. For the last class, as the instructor was unable to make it for our regular timing, he asked if we could reschedule our classes to the evening. I agreed to it. No sweat.

The next day, I got tested by the internal testing inspector of the driving school who declared me fit for the actual test. Went for the test, got right in the driver's seat, I wanted to be the first to give the test. Waited for the Inpector (was a captain, in full uniform - no less) to sit in the passenger seat, wished him, put on my seat belt, adjusted my mirrors and asked him to tell me when to start. I had been told all about the tricks they may use to see how you react in a situation. Ask you to go over the speed limits, ask you to change lanes at inappropriate time, tell you to take turn at the last minute when you are in another lane, etc. DON'T fall for it. Politely tell them of the danger.

After driving for a couple of kilometers, with all sorts of plot twists, trying his tricks, he asked me to park on the side of the road, and asked drivers to switch. I did the stupidest mistake there, when moving out, I put the car in neutral and left without engaging the hand-brake, As i opened the driver door to get out, I could see the captain pulling the hand brake and I thought I was a goner. After all this hard work. We come back to the school after cycling through the drivers. I didnt feel they were bad, but I was the only guy to pass that day. As I thanked the captain, he only said one thing; "remember the hand brake".

I thanked my god and went to the counter with the passing stamp on my paper, the guy at the counter asked me if I had done my night classes, I innocently said yes, remembering the once class I had taken in the evening. He did seem a little surprised, but low-and-behold; 20 minutes later, I had my UAE Drivers Licence.

It was only later that I knew that once you pass the practical test, you have to take 4 night driving classes before you had your licence issued to you. Definitely was lucky or the guy at the counter was new, I saved some time and money there.

Doha, Qatar (2017)

Earlier you could just convert any GCC licence within each country, unfortunately, in 2016 Qatar changed its rule demanding that everyone with a GCC licence, except GCC nationals, will have to go through the driving test to be issued with a licence. You did not have to take any classes, just the test. If you flunked the practical test you would have to go though the complete classes and then the test again.

I got the required documents from my office and submitted it to a driving school, was given a book to study and a date for my theory test. I swaggered in for my theory test and confidently answered all the questions, around 20 or so. The moment you complete the test, you will get a pass or fail with a percentage. I failed pitifully.

I got a date for a retest, which was a month later, went home and prepared for the theory test like I have never studied before. The date for the next test comes, this time, more humbly I go to the centre and pass the test. I got assigned a date for the practical which was thankfully just after around 2 weeks. Went for it, followed my principle of jumping in the car and giving the test first, similar tricks of sort were employed by the inspector, managed to evade them all. Switched drivers, got back to the driving school and PASSED.

Waited for 30 minutes at the centre, and got my licence.

So 3 countries, 3 driving licences. PHEW!!
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Old 19th July 2018, 13:51   #48
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USA, 2007: Applied for learner's immediately after getting my SSN, and after passing the online test in the DMV on my first attempt, received the learner's license. Got enrolled into a driving school and took classes for 5 hours, plus 1 hour practice - then the trainer declared me ready to take the road test.
In NJ, road tests are really tests in a closed course, so there's no chance of having any traffic. Flip side is, if you get a single thing wrong, you fail. Also, road tests are to be taken in a dual control car, so you have to hire the car from the driving school itself.
It was pouring heavily on the day I took the test (the car was a Honda Civic), and my legs were shaking like crazy. Inspite of that, I cleared the test (the regular thing - stop sign, K turn, U turn, perpendicular parking , parallel parking) and got my license on that very day itself. NJ gives you a probationary license for the first year (lesser points allowed before your license is suspended), and after an year I got it upgraded to a regular license. Held licenses from North Carolina & Wisconsin (no tests) after that when I hopped around working for different customers.

India, 2009: I had a valid USA license, but still had to go through the regular LL -> DL route. Paid a tout 1500, but still had to queue for an entire day only to sign my name in a register ! Again went back the next morning to appear in front of the RTO and uttered my name & address to get the LL. After a month, the tout took my LL & applied for DL, and brought me the road test slip. Road test this time was in a field with hundreds of people waiting, but the RTO declared one's who have brought their own cars shall get first shot. Started, took a U turn, and stopped where I started. That was the road test and the RTO took my LL. After a few days, the tout called me and handed my the DL.
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Old 19th July 2018, 14:51   #49
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Default Re: Interesting Driving Test Experiences

Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Long long long back, one of my relatives asked for advice from his student about a good driving school, so that he can learn driving. The student came to his home within a week and handed over his driving license, profusely apologizing for the delay. But my relative hasn't touched a steering wheel ever (passed away recently at the age of 85). He was a college principal then, and his student was the District RTO that time

Oh my goodness do we need to do this? I would fail for sure if I go for the License Test now
I would have failed as well I suppose as I would brake and then switched to neutral with clutch depressed
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Old 20th July 2018, 18:40   #50
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My driving test day was quite eventful. I took my friend's car for the driving test which was a first gen swift. Personally I though I was quite adept at driving and going through the H's 8's and reverses in the RTO test track was a breeze.

However once I came out of the track, I realized that I had forgotten to wear the seat-belt. The RTO folks reviewing the vehicles may not have paid attention to that at least for my case. They would usually check all of that before a car enters the track.

There was a lady who went in with a Maruti 800 (probably from the Driving School she had enrolled) right after me. She got stuck in the H and created a mini jam at the test track. The RTO officials were shouting "Madam aaj hoga kya aap ka "

Once my 4 wheeler test was over, I was told to get a bike to give the 2 wheeler driving test. As i had come to the RTO in my friend's swift there was no way I could have got a 2 wheeler as well. So I tried to ask someone to part with their 2 wheeler for a few minutes. I must have asked around 20 folks to no avail.

Finally a lady decided to give me her Activa for the test. She just asked if I really knew how to ride. I said yes, completed the 8 and safely returned the vehicle. And my day was done.

This was at the Kondapur RTO, Hyderabad.
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Old 20th July 2018, 19:36   #51
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This was in 2005. I was studying in IISc-Bangalore when I applied for my 2-wheeler LL in Yesvantpur RTO. Passed written test (twice) in flying colours and both times could not appear for DL test within 6 months of obtaining LL.

Now in 2010, with my wife at her maike and expecting our first child, I applied again for 2-wheeler LL at Indira Nagar RTO. Idea was to get DL as well as purchase a 2-wheeler by the time wifey returned with the little one to Bangalore. What transpired? Oh, the ignominy of flunking LL test (twice, again!) on consecutive Saturdays. Since I approached RTO directly and not through touts or Driving schools, the RTO examiner did not even bother to look at my answer sheet. He just randomly scribbled a number below 10 (out of maximum of 15) told me to appear again.

Each time my wife called soon after the LL exam she'd be like: "Arey! sharam nahi aathi? You call yourself a PhD degree holder from reputed institute like IISc? But you can't even pass a simple LL exam which high school pass guys clear!"
Embarrassed to the core, and with Mahmud-of-Ghazni as my inspiration I again went to RTO on the 3rd consecutive Saturday for the test. The examiner just couldn't fail me this time (he probably knew that no matter how many times he failed me, I ain't gonna bribe him or take recourse through a tout). This time he passed me, again without looking at the answer sheet. I stomped out of the RTO with my chest swollen in pride. First thing I did, Call up wifey to boast .
(Whats worse, wifey had both 2 and 4 wheeler license at that point in time even though she neither wrote LL exam nor drove 2/4 wheeler to get DL)

Even today, wifey uses this against me during our friendly verbal jousts whenever I remind her about my educational pedigree.
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Old 21st July 2018, 12:30   #52
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I was in college when I took driving lessons in a town in Kerala. The instructor was a friendly guy who would narrate his tryst with the many dangers on roads - 'laaarreee' (lorries), 'transport bus' (KSRTC Super Fast), 'vekkilumaaru' (Motor Vehicle Inspectors), animals and people, during our lessons through the winding roads. It was an old Ambassador and had its quirks, so I got some practical lessons on vehicle repair too.

On the day of the test, I was expecting an AMVI or MVI in uniform, but a Bappi Lahiri like guy turned up in a WagonR - this was the AMVI. A chair and a desk were arranged in the shade of a banyan tree by the ground. I was able to clear my driving tests quickly (a pattern of 8 for the two-wheeler and H for the LMV, plus a short drive on the main road). But I had to wait till all the wards under my instructor were done. One guy caught my interest. He had come riding an RX100, wearing military style cargoes and a funky t-shirt. Obviously he stood out from the crowd for more than one reason. The AMVI called him, and asked him about the cargoes. Then, made him stand in attention, then stand-at-ease, again attention, salute, march, halt, stand-at-ease. Finally, asked him to take the test. His companion, a middle aged man in traditional attire was seen talking to the AMVI, for obvious reasons. I didn't wait to see what was exchanged, but my instructor said it's a "custom".

Another story, narrated by an uncle: his friend had gone to take the test at the RTO. He rode well on the test track and then was asked to proceed to the main road for a short ride. To everyone's surprise, he made a pattern of '8' on the main road, 4 times. The inspector wrote FAIL in big letters on his form and he had to take the test again.
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Old 1st August 2018, 20:10   #53
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Have an interesting story of Abu Dhabi, circa 2001. This was the horrendous era when it was said "it is easier to get a MBBS degree than to get a Driving Licence in Abu Dhabi". The neighboring emirate of Dubai was more structured and had progressed to a reasonably proper system.

Post documentation, medicals & the standard road signs, I got the date for the parallel parking, garage parking & hill test, after three months (good time, said most people relating stories of 6+ months wait). Failed the first test and re-test was once again after 3 months. Cleared through without any hitch and was assigned the road test date, once again after another 3 months.

Day of test, slip handed over, waiting in the crowded hall to recognise my name being pronounced in a completely different way, was a three hour concentration camp. A few compatriots who had handed over their slips had already gone through in the rounds called earlier. Nevertheless waited and was rewarded with my father's birth place, name, my surname and name called out in that sequence, all entirely garbled over the old microphone and thanked my lucky stars that they called out all those as I could recognize one or two as being related to me. Asked to board a 24 seater bus filled with a few locals, other arab countries, our not so friendly neighbours and seven compatriots.

Process involved bus moving behind the test car which had an inspector seated behind along with a sergeant who was carrying all the files. Right at the beginning, the inspector entered and said locals first, arab nationals next. So the convoy went on to many roads. One by one the bus started emptying at different stops. Walk to the car - greet - sit - say your name - file found - seatbelt - check mirrors - check gear, handbrake - ensure music in not turned on (they would fail if you did not notice) - check lights are not turned on - wait for permission - move the car - follow instructions of turns, roundabouts etc. - inspector saying "petrol", "petrol" to speed up as he wants to see control at higher speeds (within speed limits of course) and finally park in designated parking area on the road - step out of car - stand next to inspector window - rolled down just enough to pass slip.

If the slip contains a scribble on the plain back side, you have failed and the next date is mentioned (3 months again). If nothing is written on the back side, you have passed.

Compatriots sitting in the bus were trying to figure out who has passed and who haven't as once you have completed your test, one is not allowed to get back into the bus. Very difficult to make out, but I was guessing that a large majority failed.

Finally left in the bus was the not so friendly neighbors and compatriots. Sergeant walks in and says neighbors first. Same process for about 7 to 8 of them. Once done, the inspector walks in and says "Hindi? (Indian?). We nod and then in broken Hindi tells us that "drive well, I want to see control when you increase speed, ok?"

Similar process. By this time, we had been sweltering in the summer heat with the driver (not so friendly neighbor) deciding to switch off the air conditioning once his compatriots exited. Out of the 5 or 6 Indians, I was the second last.

Got into the car, he took a fancy to my surname - same as the winking girl's in the viral videos - All went well, other than for an incorrect gear change which was quickly corrected. Thought this is the end, will have to wait another three months. Test done, was waiting dejectedly outside his window for the slip, which was handed over. Lo & Behold! I Passed on my first attempt!

A colleague of mine (we started the documentation process together) took 17 attempts, a total of 5 years to get his driving licence.

Celebrations that night went way beyond the wee hours!

Last edited by pariwar : 1st August 2018 at 20:12. Reason: Blank lines before paragraphs deleted
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