Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ticket to Ride

Last week we decided to get Indian driving licences. Rather than take the rigourous driving test we qualified by dint of having UK licences. We paid for the services of an agent to ease the form filling. This turned out to be well worth the money as there was plenty to fill in, and the forms weren't in English. There were also lots of people to see to get the requisite stamps, so the agent's knowledge of the office's geography was invaluable. After the agent filled in the forms we first had to satisfy the head man that we met the requirements. After a few long looks at our UK licences and accompanying documents he signed the form. On his desk was a voluminous tome entitled Driving Laws of Maharashtra. So there are driving laws, who knew? After that it was off to another desk, we just sat and waited as the agent handled it. Next up was the brave new world of biometrics. A webcam mugshot, thumbprint scan, signature on a graphics tablet, further form stamping and we were done. All that was left was for the forms to be taken for a final round of stamping and the agent said that he would courier the licences in a few days time.

As you can see a few days have passed. As you can see it is a smart card with photo id and a spot for your signature - or thumbprint if you're illiterate. The interesting bit is the vehicle category: LMV is a light motor vehicle otherwise known as a car. MCWG is a motorcycle with gears. Can I drive one? No comment other than that I am properly licensed. Anyway, I've had a look on the internet and know what all the levers and pedals do: what more do I need to know?


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