Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sometimes you gotta love your country!

Kerri here! Today I had the amazing pleasure of getting my driver's license renewed. Fortunately my license expired while I happened to be here in the States, so I was able to take care of it on time! We all sort-of dread going to the DMV because you never know what kind of wait you might find and how long it might take. This time I was in and out in 20 minutes! 20 minutes! Let me tell you, after having the experience of getting a driver's license in Zambia, I will never, ever complain about the DMV here! Some of our AZ teammates, Kelly and Tricia Huckaby, documented the process not long ago and I thought it was so funny I'd let you read it too! (Check out the Huckablog for regular, hilarious - and often poignant - episodes of daily living in Zambia)

How To Get a Zambian Driver's License in 50 Easy Steps

  1. Go to Road Transit Safety Authority (RTSA) on Lumumba.
  2. Go to the "Information" desk.
  3. Ask for a medical examination form.
  4. Go to Makeni clinic.
  5. Overpay an unscrupulous doctor.
  6. Go to RTSA on Lumumba and be told that they no longer except exams from Makeni andthat you have overpaid.
  7. Go back 3 steps.
  8. Or skip numbers (4-7) and go to one of the following approved government clinics:
    1. Kamwala
    2. Chilenge
    3. Kalingalinga
    4. Chawama
    5. Kanyama
    6. George
    7. Mtendere
    8. Chipata
  1. Make sure this list is current!!
  2. Pay k50,000 if you have an ARC.
  3. Pay k1000,000 if you do not have an ARC.
  4. Make sure you are meeting with one of the doctors who is "qualified" to administer the exam.
  5. Take your date stamped medical form and receipt of payment to RTSA on Lumumba.
  6. Be sure to bring at least two copies of your: ARC, passport, work permit, and US drivers license.
  7. Get in line for Room 1.
  8. Be sure to ask around and make sure you are in the right line and that the people who appear to be standing in that line are actually in line.
  9. Plan on being here for anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours.
  10. When you reach Room 1, show them your documents and explain that you are seeking aconversion license.
  11. You will receive a form for a provisional license.
  12. Fill this out.
  13. Take this to Data Capturing.
  14. Then go to Rooms 2 or 3 for photographing.
  15. Try to smile, you're almost halfway there.
  16. Go to cashier (room 15 or 26)
  17. Pay k63,000
  18. Exit RTSA and purchase a King Pie from the cart.
  19. Eat pie.
  20. Return to the same window after 24 hours to set an appointment with RTSA Ridgeway branch for a competency/conversion test.
  21. Pay k47,000 booking fee.
  22. On the day of your booking go to RTSA on Lumumba go early!
  23. Go to Room 7.
  24. Be told to go see Mr. Mwamba across the street.
  25. Drive into the black gates where everyone is lined up in their vehicles.
  26. Skip the line.
  27. Park.
  28. Go see Mr. Mwamba in the booth.
  29. Arrange for a drive test.
  30. Even if RTSA on Lumumba "booked" your test for a certain time, this means nothing, plan on waiting at least a few hours.
  31. Pay someone k15,000 to outfit your vehicle with "L" plates for your drive (this may be optional)
  32. Pray
  33. Do your drive test.
  34. If you passed, go back to Mr. Mwamba and give him your paperwork for stamping.
  35. Take this paperwork to RTSA on Lumumba after 24 hours.
  36. Go to Room 25 and give them your forms.
  37. Go to Room 26 and pay k79,000.
  38. Exit RTSA
  39. Buy a King Pie (Ham and Cheese is nice)
  40. Eat pie.
  41. In four weeks you can pick your card up at RTSA on Dedan Kimathi Rd.
  42. Celebrate.

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