We investigated the process and cost of getting a driver’s license. We’re estimating close to 500 euros before all is said and done, so Todd is going to get his and I’ll hold off – at least for now.
First step: 4 passport photos – easy, and done!
Second step: medical certification. We went to one of the medical offices near the traffic office. The sign on the door said the cost was 25 euros – more about that in a moment.
The exam consisted of a series of questions: Do you smoke? Do you drink? All of his answers were taken at face value.
Then the visual/reflex exam. Two red rectangles, moving independently on the screen, and you had to keep the dot between them. Todd passed, but barely. Apparently, he needs to spend more time video gaming!
We went to pay for the exam. 40 euros, cash only. We had 35 between us. So off we went to the closest bank to do a withdrawal, then back to the clinic to pick up the certificate.
We then went to an auto escuela that was close to our apartment. No English spoken there, but a woman waiting in the lobby translated for us, and the woman working directed us to a school where they do lessons in English. According to the translator, the person to talk to was the cousin of the woman we were speaking to. “Ah, su prima!” BIG smile from both women. It’s amazing the random vocabulary I do manage to remember.
Next morning, Todd was at the auto escuela when it opened at 9:00. Shock: it didn’t open until 10:00, and the clerk didn’t arrive until about 10:15. Welcome to Spanish time!
Reuben will conduct the driving instruction in English, but they are still looking for someone to do the theory instruction in English. In the meantime, we’ve only paid a deposit of 100 euros on the 300-euro fee, and Todd has an English instruction book and online access to a theory test bank.
One of the more odd questions: a motorcycle rider in front of you has his right turn signal on, but his left hand out. Which signal do you pay attention to? I’m thinking: neither, and give him plenty of room because he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. OR: it really doesn’t matter, because he’ll be going through a roundabout no matter what. The real answer: the hand signal supersedes the mechanical signal. Okay, I get it: it’s a theory test.
Speaking of motorcycles, you have to have a car license for 3 years before you can test for a motorcycle license. So much for taking care of that at the same time!