Should be simple right? Now I know DMV’s worldwide are not known for their efficiency, so let’s build in some cushion time for extra long waits and so on. We are also in a country where any paperwork takes time, so we will add in a cushion for that. Well over six months later we finally walk out with our licenses.
Our adventure began with paperwork, proof of health and our address and so on, each needing to be gotten from a different location. We got an agent to help us as we knew that it was better to have someone advocating your case. The first step was the written exam. There is no manual here to read and remember it is all in French, so we do what research we can online and then go in to see what we can do. We arrived that day dressed our best as we knew that was important. What we weren’t prepared for was an incomplete file, as some of our papers “weren’t stapled correctly”. We waited all morning for the right person to show up who could magically find our missing documents. We were the very last ones to take out test. While researching online we didn’t pay attention to the sections on snow, bike lanes, and so on which we have yet to see here. Our mistake! So we both fail miserably, but now knew what we needed to study. We had wait one month before trying again.
One month later we both retake the written test and this time pass. Now we wait one more month for the driving test. Joel and I were trying for different licenses. For my test I had to do a 3 point turn with out hitting the curb and Joel had to parallel park a truck. We both successfully complete the test the first time, but both fail. Why did we fail? Reasons are not needed here and the judges often aren’t even watching. Most is based off of how many times you have tried and who is advocating your case. “No sweat” we are told, “most people take the test 5 or 6 times before they pass.” Such encouraging words to hear. The next month rolls around and Joel was the only one free on the test day. He “fails” again. We talked a lot with our agent about being a better advocate and prepare for our third round of testing. We go this time and complete the tasks again and this time we were given the green light for the pass. Or really I was given the pass mark there and then our agent said that all he had to say was “you can’t let the wife pass and not the husband” and that was enough to get Joel a passing mark as well.
Then it is a wait of 45 days for our licenses to come out. While going through this process I was reminded of a story that one of our missionaries told us as he was waiting and frustrated about paperwork he needed for their land. His host had told him “it is good that you are waiting as there is honor in that” He went on to explain that if it was easy or quick there would be no honor in the task. Where as when you have to wait and work for it there is great honor in it. So I guess we are walking away not only with our licenses, but also with great honor.