Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Lady Luck of License

There are things in life which you think are a piece of cake (pieces of cake to be grammatically precise) but eventually they turn out to be what I call still in the butter-flour-batter stage! There is a long way to go that  is hidden from your pathetic mortal eyes!

In Singapore if you have an Indian Licence you can get it converted to a Singaporean one, once you clear the basic theory test.

Piece of Cake isn't it? With that thought, I set off on my mission to obtain a driver's license here. Little did I know that Lady Luck of License had me on her 'Ah-Ah-Aaan-NOT-SO-FAST' list!

Well, I did clear the Basic Theory Test at my first attempt (despite the pass percentage being quite high!Phew!)

I had obtained my Indian license when I was in college way back in 2000. The dude who took the photograph then at the RTO office or rather the equipment he possessed had given me a kind of "posthumous" effect in that. Not to mention the "posthumous effect caused by Hepatitis A" effect. I have no idea why I looked that yellow in that. Of course I did look like Frankenstein's niece.

That was not a problem anyways. The template of the license was though. The person at the counter said that I need to convert it into the latest card format

When we got back to Chennai for vacation, we contacted the local RTO for the license format conversion.It so happened that I had gotten my license at Erode, a town around 9 hours drive away from Chennai. Now, no part of my family stays there and my own home and home-in-law is at Chennai .

When I approached the RTO in Chennai, they requested for a a No-Objection letter from their counterparts in Erode.

My father in law sweetly agreed to travel to Erode solely for this purpose. After an overnight journey, he arrived at the entrance of the Erode RTO to find all doors locked tight and secure. It was a public holiday there for some local festival. My LLL (Lady Luck...) now was happily smirking away to glory! Somehow, my father in law caught hold of some person there who like a guardian angel said that he would take care and send the No Objection letter by post.

That man kept his word and it did arrive. Then was the procedure of going to the local Chennai RTO to get the conversion done and do I have to elaborate how the system there works? Luckily it did not take more than a couple of days and finally I had the license in the new format.

Back in Singapore I approached them for a license conversion again. (The best thing is the Basic Theory Test result is valid for life :) ). Thats when I realized that my new license was a later format but not the latest one. So they requested me to approach the Indian High Commission at Singapore to obtain a letter certifying the validity of my license.

Basically the High Commission takes my application and then contacts the Chennai RTO to verify my license details and once it receives a response, would give me a letter holding the Indian emblem.(Oh yeah it costs some money).

After a couple of months I finally got that letter.

Yesterday I went again with absolutely no confidence about succeeding though I had all documents. Yeah, my darling Lady Luck... had succeeded in thrashing down my morale and hope.

But I guess she was asleep yesterday. All documents were fine and I succeeded finally in my attempt.

No wait, I am yet to receive the license. It would come to me in a month by post. Keeping fingers crossed there. You never know! LLL can devise methods we can never imagine!