Thursday, April 18, 2013

Unforgettable experience on getting my driving license in Australia..

I have passed the road knowledge test in August 2012 and I have been longing to get the driving test done. After some push from my wife on getting it scheduled and some determination, today the driving test has come (at Hornsby).

With my wife driving (I'm using her car for the driving test), I got to the center half hour earlier than my booking time and started my exam around 11am. With butterfly in stomach and some diligent, the examiner passed my result. (The secret? Read "The Guide to Driving Test" online pdf book and take 2 hours lesson from an instructor.)

The unforgettable part is not the exam road course but rather getting my license printed process. The visa stated the name in my passport does not reflect firstname and surname (Well, that's how Malaysia passport looks like with only one field for the name). The receptionist said that her supervisor unable to ID me according the name stated in my Australia visa (which I was told later that Aus Immi just copy whatever info in my passport exactly) and she can not issue my driving license. No matter how I and my wife try to reason with her, the receptionist still won't budge.

My wife got her driving license without this issue, plus her Malaysian friend who has just got his license back in December 2012 also does not have this issue. I suddenly couldn't accept the fact that I was so close getting my license and my wife was not happy about it. The receptionist told us to go to Aus Immi to get the visa name fixed or go to "Dead, Marriage and Birth department" for a cert with name that has firstname and surname (a.k.a name change). And I think, "Seriously?"

We went straight home empty handed but not defeated. Calls are made and internet search has been done to find out what we can done to get the situation fix. Name change is not a valid solution because it requires me to stay in Australia for at least 3 years before I'm eligible. Therefore, this lead me the only option is to go for Aus Immi to have my visa name fix.

Fast forward in what happens at Aus immi center. After around 30 minutes of 20km driving to Parramatta, we got there took our waiting number, talk to the staff, show to the staff that we have check VEVO (Aus online Immi Visa info and status check) and the name does not have a firstname, staff heard our story and said the road department is stupid (I agreed), we want the visa sticker replaced, staff said require AUD 70, we agreed and paid and finally, we got out from the Immi building with a fresh new Visa sticker in my passport (around 3.20pm).

Guess what? We still have time to go back to Road Department center (will close at 5pm) and so we did. We got there around 4pm and re-submit everything. My account were block by the earlier receptionist (That Bitch!), who was not there at that moment, and the on duty receptionist was willing to fax all our document back to the HQ and telephone to get my account unblock, get the documents stamp, signed, get my photo taken, laminate my license and finally handed it to me. 

The whole story took almost 6 hours of my life just to get the driving license done.

In summary, if you're going for a driving test, try to avoid the Hornsby branch and go to the other branch instead. It might saves you a lot of time, trouble and money.

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