I listened to Eraserhead's Overdrive song all morning to celebrate my passing the P plate driving test (well, apart from celebrating with pizza overload from La Porchetta last night). Yes, finally, I nailed the exam. It was not the best drive I've had as I was still frantically nervous. But, I did not have a major boo boo. After failed exams, it was a relief - one goal out of the very long list. In fact, I can smell freedom.
My journey to getting the licence was no big joke. There was no easy route or shortcut I could have done. I have no relatives to teach me and driving lessons with an instructor was very costly. Fast-tracking my learning was a juggle of budget and time. Thus, if you are intending to migrate and have no driving experience, it might be worthwhile to learn to drive prior to coming over as knowing the basics will save you time and money.
Getting your driving licence
Each state has different processes, policies and parameters in implementing traffic management and issuing licences and registrations. In the state of Victoria, Vicroads is the authorised institution for these.. I listed below the steps from being a learner to getting Probationary driver’s licence based on my experience and circumstances:
- Book the exam for learner’s permit with Vicroads. You may book online, by phone or by visiting their nearest branch. The fees payable may be found here.
- Read the “Road to Solo Driving” handbook.
- Do the Practice Learner Permit test. The more practice tests you do the better.
- Take the Learner Permit Test and make sure you have the identity documents required as discussed in Vicroads website.
- Start learning to drive with full licence drivers (relatives or friends), with a driving instructor, or a combination of both. Note that recorded driving experience of at least 120 hours is required in the log book if the learner is under 21 years old.
- Book and take the Hazard Perception Test when you have completed the 120 hours of driving if you are under 21 years old or when you are confident enough to drive if you are over 21 years old.
- Book and take the actual driving test for your P plate. The Probationary licence is to be held for 3 years before a full licence can be issued. If you are under 21, a red P plate or P1 licence is issued to you to be held for 1 year before you graduate to the green P plate or the P2 licence to be held for 2 years. If you are over 21, you will be issued a green P plate or P2 licence to be held for 3 years. If you are a holder of an overseas licence for at least 3 years, you may be issued a full licence. It is best to ask Vicroads about this.
- Drive safely.
Since I failed the driving exam a few times, I repeated step 7 a few times too. It was frustrating and heart-breaking. It felt like our life was put on hold. But, it did not stop me from attempting again. Eventually, persistence paid off.
Lesson: Never quit especially if you can see a hint of success.