I have a Belgian driver’s license ever since I was 19, but I pretty much stopped driving since I moved to Australia. People drive on the left here, whereas I’m used to driving on the right, which seriously, still messes me up at times. I figured it’s safer for me to stick to public transport and walking, or the occassional bike ride. So that’s why I have been procastinating the idea of getting an Australian license.
And the main reason for me wanting to get one now is, in Australia a driver’s license is not just a license, it can also serve as your ID, and I must say bringing my passport everywhere I go, is not something I liked doing. So last week Wednesday was finally D-day, where I showed up at the DOT (Department of Transport) thinking I could easily apply for the license, bringing my passport, bankcard and Belgian license. But, oh boy, was I wrong.
After waiting in line for 15 minutes they gave me an application form and a paper that pretty much said: ‘You need to bring ALL these documents before applying, otherwise don’t waste our time.’ No, I’m just kidding about that last part. The gentlemen at the front desk was actually quite helpful, but yikes all these documents, really??
Now, with my Belgian license I am entitled to apply for an Australian license without having to take any tests – THANK GOODNESS! At least some good news. But I still need to get it translated by an approved translator, which means more money and time, gone. I guess it’s a good thing that they’re being so thorough with the paperwork, but man what a hassle.
Finally, I managed to get all the papers and ok I admit, once that part was done, the actual process was quite fast. After they’ve verified all your documents and decided you’re not a fraud, they will take your picture – so don’t bring your own, it’s not allowed – just make sure you come looking gorgeous, or else…
I paid 130 something AUD for 1 year, but if you wanted a 5 year one, it was about $280 I believe. I received my license 5 business days later, so it’s actually not all that bad.
And THANK GOD I look OK on the photo! (Because they don’t show you the photo, surprise!)