Ok, this is a long story, it goes back about a year and a half, I actually thought I had blogged it but it seems like I didnt so here is a little back story…
A year and a bit ago, my drivers license expired. I went one sunny Friday morning to Marlboro licensing department to renew it. I got there early. They used to have a a photo booth that gave you black and white license photos. No more. The security guard told me to go to the security gate at the entrance and I could have them taken there. Turns out its not at the gate but a further half a km down the road. I walked. And walked. I paid R40 and had 4 photos taken. I walked back. I completed my form, walked up a set of stairs and did my eye test. I walked down the stairs and did thumb prints and photo sticking. I went to pay. They only accept cash. I didn’t have any!
At this point Im getting very very aggravated. The cashier says that there is an ATM on Marlboro Drive at the petrol station, since she has already processed the license I have to pay, so I should go draw money but I must be quick because the whole licensing department will be closing for a meeting. WTF!
I dash to my car, I scream down the road to the garage, there is no power. NO POWER! The ATM doesn’t work. I go back, almost in tears. I get there and all the gates are closed! The lovely cashier is waiting at the back gate, she calls me inside, I tell her I couldn’t draw money. The sweetheart cashier says, dont worry, she will pay for it but I must come back the next day to pay her back. I almost burst into tears at her kindness. I went back the next day with the money and a chocolate to say thanks you.
What I didn’t do was go back 6-8 weeks later to collect the damn license! I know, totally my fault, I was so freaking stupid after all I went through to apply for the damn thing!
Fast forward to today. I have been driving without a valid license for a long time. Yesterday I heard of so many arrests for so many different traffic violations I got a huge fright. This morning I went back to Marlboro Licensing department to apply for a new license.
I went and made sure I had photos. I get there early to avoid the queue, which was already 30/40 people deep. At 7:30am they split the queue into renewals/replacements and testing. Thank heavens, it cut my queue by half. As they let us in, half the people say they are just there to collect. Yay! Shorter queue. I take the green form from the security guard and he asks if I have a copy of my ID. No I do not. He send me to the main gate to have it copied (why the hell they cant copy it in the department is beyond me, oh no wait, money making racket). I walk to the main gate, guess where I actually have to go??? Thats right, a further half a km down the road.
I pay R5 for 1 measly photocopy. I walk back. I fill out my form and sit down to have my eyes tested. I do not have a deceleration stating that this is a replacement license. I get sent out to the front again. I get the deceleration and complete it. I go back in. The woman now at the front of the queue wants to kill me because I have now ‘jumped’ the queue when the eye test guy calls me ahead of her.
I do the eye test. He takes a digital photo of me, takes both thumb prints digitally and takes my signature digitally. I do not need to give him any physical photos!!
I go next door to pay. I ask for a temporary license as well. She charges me R250 for both and tells me to come back in 6-8 weeks with my temp license and my ID to collect. I ask her if I dont need a receipt or anything. She looks on the system and tells me actually she only needs to charge me R60 for the temp license and that I haven’t been charged for the actual license so all I need to do is come back with my ID and the temp…
I am really hoping after all this palava, they dont give me any shit when I go and collect without a receipt… *sigh*