Writing this post as a follow up to my earlier post – RTO Learner’s License Test Experience.
One has to give the test for the Driving License between the period of 1 month – 6 months of receiving the Learner’s License.
I guess one can give this test any number of times but at a gap of 1 week between each failed attempt.
I went for the DL test sometime in March without much preparation. I had practiced driving my bike for the past month but I didn’t expect to pass in the 1st attempt for sure since I had read numerous stories about corruption at the RTO.
After filling in some documents & having your pic taken by a webcam @ the RTO office , I was told to give the test @ the driving track between 1pm – 3pm.
Apparently the RTO tests here in India haven’t been standardized. I think its due to the fact that not all RTO centers here have suitable driving tracks.
Depending on the location of your RTO, the test can be :
- Drive the bike on a road amongst the traffic along a certain route (circular/8 shaped etc).
- Drive the bike around a ground or/& perform a 8 shaped curve.
- Drive along the constructed track which will surely have a 8 shape in it somewhere.
Note : (2) & (3) have to be performed while giving proper hand/light signals & without placing your foot down !
I didn’t know what to expect since there were barely any pics of the driving track on the net. A google map ariel view gave me some idea about it.
As luck would have it, my RTO test turned out to be (3). Its actually a good test to determine your driving skills. But since I wasn’t confident of my skills, I was actually quite terrified of it.
Attempt 1 :
I think I was the first person to be called. The Inspector told me to go around the track once then go along the spiral road followed by the 8 & return – all while ensuring the foot isn’t placed on the ground even once.
I screwed up at the spiral road – placed a foot down to balance myself since my ‘1st gear’ jerky driving almost nicked the surrounding bricks. But I continued driving along the rest of the road & the 8 too. Surprisingly the ‘8’ didn’t trouble me a bit. So atleast I had something +ve to take from this !
I was told to take the test again after a week.
I didn’t though. I felt I needed more practice. So I tried tried driving a ‘8’ along empty routes on the 1st gear using a half clutch approach. (I did try 2nd gear too since its smoother but then you have to focus additionally on ensuring the engine doesn’t die down at your speed using the clutch).
Attempt 2 :
I gave the test some 2 months later. I practiced only a week …but avoided the test since the location was quite far & work kept me busy. I had to fill in the papers again (minus the pic clicking).
This time too I had little hopes. I was actually searching for an agent to bribe…since the other aspirants from driving schools had it very easy – they just had to go around the track once. But I wasn’t able to find a single agent….besides that it doesn’t help when you are the 1st person to be called for again…Just my luck :-|
The Inspector asked me for my papers. Being nervous, I didn’t realize I had the insurance papers beneath the seat & told her that I didn’t get it. Thankfully she told me get the papers IF I pass the test. I silently told myself – “Hehe so I won’t need the papers today” :P
So I began driving. For some reason I became very calm after starting the bike. Things fell into line & I was able to navigate through the whole track without any issues. But I still didn’t expect to be passed since I really believed in what my friend had told me – “No bribe -> failure”. I had read tales of how people were failed for trivial matters like using light signals instead of hand signals…of coming in casual shorts rather than formal attire (I was in jeans….so that should be ok :P).
Surprisingly the Inspector informed me I had passed !
My mind shouted out “Woohoo ! Party time !”. I grinned & thanked the Inspector & left to get the papers.
It took a month for the license to reach me. Ideally it takes 2 weeks but it was stuck @ some bureaucratic point between the department which prints the license & the dept which posts it.
Had to visit the RTO again to get that cleared. But no complaints …I can finally drive around without hiding from the cops :D
Conclusion : Its actually good to take the hard ‘non bribe’ route. Makes you feel like you deserve the license !