Officially Licensed II

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Converting my US license got dragged out for (a painful) 6 months. You can read some of my posts about it: Aug 16, Aug 24, Sep 5, Oct 6, Oct 8, Dec 12, Jan 18. Monday I got an email offering to buy me a beer. What is the connection between these events? Read on…

A school owner in Hisai was looking to get his drivers license converted. I gave him a little counseling before his first trip, and before his second trip (for the written test), and finally on Friday night (to prep him for the practical driving test). Pondering my trials I was able to refine the essence of passing.

All manner of unfair evaluations will be made during the test to knock the tested down: failure to signal, insufficient head checks, too far from center line, too far from edge of road, too slow on main road, … the list goes on. However, it became clear that one could receive all manner of demerits from these and still acquire the 70 percent required to pass. The key is to focus on the automatic failure points, like failure to stop at white lines, pulling out when an approaching vehicle is too close, hitting a curb, etc.

Clearly, transgression on an automatic failure point will result in automatic failure. My advice was to avoid these by:

  • Counting out three or four seconds at the stop lines before proceeding. Methodical head checks during the wait are important. If you stop at a line for 1 second, they might claim you didn’t stop; however, they can’t take off any points for waiting too long.
  • Do not pull out from a stop if ANY vehicle is approaching, regardless of distance. The course is not so big and I almost got dinged for pulling out when a truck was at the very end of the road and behind a construction obstacle. Again, they can’t take off points for being overly cautious.
  • In the narrow zig zag and S-curves go slowly make the turns. If you drift away from the curb, you get hit for a few points, but if you clip the curb you are finished. (I thought this rule was a little unfair, but there are a lot of real life situations on narrow roads, where you would be striking a house instead.)

My colleague sent the beer offer because he passed his first attempt at the practical test and is licensed to drive. I’m glad my pain translated to joy for someone else.

I will probably make a “page” with this advice and some other bureaucratic preparedness (and trickery) to shorten the process down to about two months. (Sorry, without some illegal influence I think that’s the fastest it can be.)

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One Response to “Officially Licensed II”

  1. fightingwindmills Says:

    I failed my first road test but passed my second one. My mistake was to go too far into the intersection during a right turn.

    These tips would have been very helpful. Thank you for writing them out so clearly. I will buy you a virtual beer. 😆 Cheers.

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