Thursday, March 10, 2016

Getting a Chilean Driver's License Part 2

He got it!
But it wasn't easy. They call it tramites (trah- me tays) here but I call it traum-ee-tays. These are the procedures usually associated with bureaucracy. The inefficiencies of government and its policies are often tiresome and lengthy but we played the game and followed the rules and were rewarded.

So here is how it went.

Day 1
Jim showed up at 9 AM on Tuesday morning. He waited just a few minutes and then got online for the computerized test in english. You have 45 minutes to complete 35 questions and you can only get 3 wrong. Jim got 4.  Don't ask how it happened. The english test was written by a non-native speaker and was a little awkward in spots, those double negatives were confusing, some questions were just stupid and he overthought them, whatever.... Come back tomorrow at 9 AM.

Day 2

Jim showed up at 9 AM to get behind 20 other people. He waited an hour just to get on the computer. He checked his answers carefully, made a few changes, and he passed with only 2 wrong. OK

Step 2 get in line behind 20 other people to see the eye doctor. Waiting and waiting. Phone goes dead. Waiting and watching mind numbing Chilean TV. Finally gets in - look through here and tell me what you see. BTW, Jim is pretty blind in one eye. Actually it is so bad his eye doctor didn't even give him corrective lenses. But he managed to pass even though a lot of the pictures were very fuzzy.

Step 3 On to the games for reaction times and coordination. The first one is a game where you tap the moving ball with a stick. Jim was a little too violent with this game and the lady told him "tranquilo!" I think he was a bit stressed out by this time. Then on to the coordination test. These tests are hard to describe and we got no pictures since Jim's iphone was dead.
He passed it all about 1 PM and they told him to come back at 3 for the driving test. So we went out for lunch and a few beers while waiting, (just kidding) Though I think he really needed one at that point.

Step 4 We show up at the parking lot for the driving test 30 minutes late because Jim didn't understand the directions. Good grief! Where's that beer? Well, fortunately, the other 20 people were in line in front of us so the instructor didn't notice he was late.  Jim walks over to the instructor between tests. The instructor asks Jim if that is his car? Yes. And you have a license from the US? Yes. I have had one for 30+ years. Ok. No problem. Let me see your RUT card and you can pick up your license tomorrow. Come at 9 AM for the photo. Yes!!

Day 3

Jim showed up at 9 AM for some paperwork and picture and then was back at 3 PM for his new license. It feels good to be legal!

And 30 days before March 8, 2022  Jim has to go in to renew his license with the vision and reaction tests. And you thought the US bureaucracy was inefficient!


  1. May congratulations on getting your Chilean Driver's License! I am very happy for you. I will take driving test soon as learning manual and automatic driving from one of reputed Port Macquarie Driving School. After completing my training, will take the test.

  2. It is a breeze, but plan on the possibility of taking the test twice since we have found some friends who it took 4 times to pass. Learn the test not the driving and you will be fine. Study only the CORRECT answers to the questions and you will have gamed the system. The test is about the test not about driving!