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The Driving License

November 16th, 2008

Driver's LicenceI originally applied for my full Brasilian driving licence in September 2004. The officials told me I would have to wait till May 2005. Fine, but in the meantime I was to get all the forms and photos together which of course, I dutifully did.

In June of 2005 the big day had arrived and off I went to the Police station and was told I could apply but (surprise, surprise) the form had changed so I would have to go back to the stationary office for a new type form. I had it filled in and went back to the police station. “Oh” said he ominously, it was the right form but the fee had changed, so I had to get another form and type the correct fee in.

Off I went in pursuit of the form and when all was done I went back to the police station. “It’s all correct” was the good news but ” but what” says I, slightly aghast “but you don’t pay here, you pay at the bank” “ho ho ho” we all chuckled as I mentally throttled said chuckling clerk.

Off I went to the bank where I spent what seemed like an eternity waiting in the queue. When it seemed like the very life was draining out of me, I reached the desk. “You can pay the fee here but”,”but what” says I, slightly exasperated “but you must pay the old fee on the old form and the difference on the new form” I couldn’t believe it. By now I had become great friends with the stationary shop owner as one becomes in Brasil when frequenting an establishment so, well, frequently. He told me to take a handful of each form and bring back what I didn’t use. That bond of trust and understanding made all the shilly shallying about bearable.

Both forms typed, I made it to the bank on time, paid the fees and took the stamped forms back to the Police station. I just didn’t think it possible that they would need anything else. “Where’s your proof of address?” said the clerk purposely going through my now thickening file a dozen times. I went back home for a bank statement, gave it to the clerk and waited for exactly one month, after which my licence was waiting for me.

It’s valid till 2009. What will I have to do then to get it renewed?


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