I have been driving since 2004. I was about 14 years old when my dad started teaching me how to drive the car. The decision came after my dad had to drive 1000km+ to the other country all by himself over the long drive to Sabah, Malaysia from Tutong, Brunei Darussalam. That tiring one week journey, plus the fact that being the father of three daughters, he probably wanted us to be independent unlike most girls from our country, Pakistan, who have to depend on their fathers or brothers to take them places. I think it was the best decision my dad ever made! =)
Was being 14 too young? Oh, don’t worry. I never drove alone. Driving on the road was only and always under supervision. Without my dad’s supervision we could only drive(read ride) one thing — the bicycle!
After coming to Pakistan in 2005, I wondered why my dad never bothered to get his driving license here. We were law abiding citizens (except the fact he taught us to drive quite early 😉 ) and the thought bothered me, until I felt that apparently, getting a driving license was like waiting for a free hot meal at a charity in a very long queue on a freezing winter day. Sounds quite uncomfortable, doesn’t it? That’s the reason why I hesitated getting my license too when I became 18.
Finally, God took mercy on us and the City Traffic Police Lahore did wonders and came up with a new Driving license issuing plan – something that no longer takes so much time. The process has been simplified A LOT now.
Okay, let’s keep thing short, even if they are not already, haha, and let’s see how to actually get the Driving License.
Getting The Learner’s License/ Permit
There are different kinds of licenses that are offered by the City Traffic Police Lahore. This post is exclusively about your normal Permanent Driving License. To find information regarding the different licenses and their requirements, visit the CTPL page here: http://ctplahore.gop.pk/licencingunit.aspx
and click on ‘Licensing Categories’.
The Driving License Forms are actually for when you go for your driving test. These forms are also available online on the CTPL website.
I did not ask them, but perhaps if you put these forms in a file, you don’t have to buy the paper file they give you? You can ask – since I didn’t.
Permanent Driving License
There are basically two processes you have to go through in order to get your Driving License in Lahore:
1 – Get a Learner’s Permit (aka Learner’s License), and
2 – Get the Driving License.
GETTING YOUR LEARNER’S PERMIT
- Go to the CTPL early, by 8AM, if possible.
- Buy an Rs60 ticket from a post office or the Ticket office at the Licensing Centre.
- Get in line and wait for your turn. (Ladies first ruled applied to me here)
- Have your NIC ready(original and a photocopy) for Data Entry.
- Move to next seat/ cabin and they’ll take your picture
- Learner’s Permit ready.
I went to Arfa to get the Learner’s Permit. I got into the line outside. Actually, there wasn’t one. Everyone was huddling around like goons. An overweight, big-bellied Traffic Police Officer saw me, and said ,”Ladies First” and made me go inside while the many gentlemen waited outside in the end-of-April morning heat. Oh and once they’re done with Data Entry an picture taking — they will print out your permit and they will brutally RIP the printout ='( give you one half and keep the other for themselves. Then somewhere in the whole process you’re also supposed to get a file that cost something between Rs70-90 (to be honest, I don’t remember exactly – it might range something between Rs.20-90)
Before you leave, ask them for the Traffic Rules booklet/pamphlet. The oral part of the test only comes from there. In case you don’t get one, like I didn’t (because they did not have any at that time), I’ve posted snapshots here below to help you out for the second part: The DRIVING TEST DAY.
You now have a Learner’s License!
Note: The burst of feelings when I got my Learner’s Permit is unimaginable! As someone who had been driving illegally for about 10 years, I felt Proud to finally drive around legally — Peaceful!
You can attempt the Driving test after at least 6 weeks after you get your Learner’s Permit. The Learner’s Permit is Valid for 6 months only. If the Learner’s Permit expires, you have to apply for it again – go through the first process all over again.
Quoted from CTPL requirements:
“REQUIRED DOCUMENTS FOR PERMANENT LICENSE.
- Application Form (A) within File Cover
- Original Learner Permit of at least 6 weeks.
- Medical Certificate
- 3 Passport size fresh Photo Graphs(Attested)
- An Attested Copy of N.I.C.
- Paste a Ticket of Mentioned Fee on License Document.”
Things to do at home before the day you go for the driving test:
Fill the forms available in the file. Get the medical signed by a doc.
Get 2 NICs and 3 passport photos attested. They only took 2 of mine though.
GETTING YOUR DRIVING LICENSE
- On the day you go to get the Driving Test, bring the documents mentioned above: the attested docs, Original Learners Permit and the filled file.
- Buy the tickets that are supposed to be pasted on the forms. (Rs900 tickets for Motor Car license or Rs950 for both Motor Car + Bike license)
- Go inside the building. In the first room you’re supposed to go to, you will use purple ink to sign your attendance with a thumb imprint and get your turn number.
- At first, oral test will be taken, asking you about the least common signs you’ve ever seen on the road. They will sign whether you passed or failed in the file.
- After that you’ll get to take the driving test by going outside. Again, Pass or Fail, will be signed.
- Pay Rs50 for the TCS to have your Driving License delivered at your doorstep. You have to write your address on the envelope yourself, so bring a pen.
- Then you have to go submit the whole stuff, file and all.
MY EXPERIENCE and NOTES
- I got my learners at Arfa Software Technology Park on a Saturday but took my Driving test at Thokar Niaz Baig on a Friday.
- Buy tickets in advance, if possible. When we went to take the Driving Test, the ticket guy came late. For without the tickets, there will be no Driving Test. In fact we were about to go back being told the ticket guy wasn’t going to come when his replacement came and the kind guard at the Gate told us to go give the test since the tickets are available now.
- I got my Medical signed although one Police Officer I met at Jinnah Hospital said you would only need your Medical Form if you’re above 50 years of age.
- I went on Friday, a women-only day apparently, but there were guys too. Lucky for them – the test was lenient. Just a single U-turn, hardly 10 meters.
- If you want to quickly go and get the work done, Thokar Niaz Baig is the best option. If you have the tickets and go there by 9am, you can easily get free by 10am!
- With such a purpose-built Driving Test rea, I really wish they took the whole driving test not just the U-turn. How could I show off my 10 year experience in a single U-turn where the steering wheel slipped while turning because it was too sweaty? ='( That is SO awfully UNFAIR! No wonder 80% women don’t know how to drive — how many of you know you have to ALWAYS GIVE WAY to the traffic coming from the right?
- I received my Driving License on Tuesday, 4 days after the Driving Test. That being so fast made me like the government an inch =)
Food for thought:
How many of you know how and when to perform a CPR? Leave the prejudice or the ironical joke of how the CPR is performed for all but dramatic reasons, and let’s give some serious answers, shall we?