Get your driver's licence
Getting your driver’s license is a stepping stone to gaining independence. Buying your licence --- not so much. As tempting as it may be – it is illegal and a criminal offence. It’s best to get your licence the right way.
Why do you need a driver’s licence?
A driver’s licence is an official document that gives you permission to legally drive on the road. It means that you are capable to handle a motor vehicle. Even if you don’t own a car, in order to drive you still need a driver’s licence. Besides, having a driver’s licence puts you in a better position of getting a job, especially if it is a job that needs you to travel around. And when you need to get to somewhere, you don’t need to rely on others to transport you. You can do it yourself.
The first steps to getting a driver’s licence
You cannot apply for a driver’s licence without a learner’s licence. This is a permit that allows you to drive if supervised by a licenced driver and means that you have the basic knowledge of the rules of the road as well as operating a car. You need to take a theory test covering the rules of the road and the operation of the car to get your learner’s licence.
Requirements for a learner’s licence:
- Apply at your nearest Driving Licencing Testing Centre
- Be 17 years or older by the date of the test to apply for a learner’s licence
- A valid ID document
- Pass an eye exam before you sit for the learner’s test
- Two recent passport or ID size photos in black and white or colour
- Complete a Learner’s Licence form (LL1)
- You will need to pay a booking fee which will depend on the province you live in. If you pass you will need to pay a learner’s licence issuing fee. Contact your licensing department before hand to find out the costs. It will be valid for at 24 months, in which time you must apply for a driver’s licence.
Finding a driving instructor
It’s best to go to a good driving school to learn how to drive. While your mom and dad may drive, they might not know the K53 style of driving that you will be tested on. As a learner driver, you need a licenced driver in the passenger seat next to you at all times. If you using dad’s car, remember to stick on the “L” sign (indicating that you are learner driver to other drivers on the road) in the bottom left corner of the rear window of the car.
Find an instructor who is reputable. Ask around for recommendations. Make sure the driving school is legit and the instructor has the necessary qualifications. You should choose an instructor you feel comfortable with.
Don’t forget on passing your driver’s test you will need to pay an issuing fee. You will be given a temporary licence and will be asked to pick up your official licence 4 to 6 weeks later. You can only pick up your licence from the licencing department where you applied for it.
Tips on passing
Whether it’s your learner’s or driver’s licence, just remember practice makes perfect. You’ll need to put in an effort to study the rules of the road. Get your chomas to test you on what you know. There are also resources like www.getyourlearners.co.za or www.k53-test.co.za where you can take mock tests online. Be prepared to spare a few extra hours to get your parallel parking right or even made fun of driving slowly around the block just so you can get used to driving.
Keeping calm before your big driver’s test is easier said than done. To calm your nerves, try:
- Taking calming herbal remedies
- Breathing in and out
- Eat a banana before your test. It helps the body create serotonin also known as the “happy hormone”
- Think positive
- Pretend you are on your usual driving lesson.
Good luck and drive safely.
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