1. Get your study guide, the "Guía Actualizada del Conductor", preferably at Walgreens. (There's one about every half a mile here.)
2. Look up forms online. Read requirements. Dig up all your forms of identification possible and find an old electric bill with your name and address on it. Fill out forms.
3. Study for exam. Make sure you know what the fine is for regateo (street racing), badly parking a "public service vehicle", and making unnecessary noises. Wonder if these have ever been enforced.
4. Go to your closest DTOP (Departamento de transportación y obras publicas, aka, Puerto Rico's DMV). There just so happens to be a conveniently located "Express" location within walking distance from your house. Outside the building, dodge people yelling, "sellos, abogado, fotos, médico" (Stamps, lawyer, photos, doctor).
5. Wait in line. With any luck, it's your turn in a half hour.
6. Explain what you need to do (exchange license from the States for Puerto Rico license, and take written exam). Be told you can't take the written exam there, but you can go to the DTOP in Bayamón or Carolina, M-F, 7:30-4. Ask if you need an appointment to take the exam there. Be told no, just go whenever.
7. Get your stamps, photos, and medical forms filled out in a one stop shop by the closest person that accosts you as you leave the DTOP. Think to yourself, "Are you even a real doctor?"
8. Wait for someone to give you a ride to the DTOP in Carolina. Wake up at 6:30 am. Navigate to "The old 'Baxter Building' on highway 848". (Yes, this is the actual physical address given by the DTOP online)
9. Avoid people selling you more "sellos, abogado, fotos, médico". Wait in line at least an hour.
10. Get to counter. Be told you need copies of all these documents. No, you cannot use the copy machine behind the lady at the counter, and, no, it does not say anywhere you need copies.
11. Go directly to kiosks outside building selling "sellos, abogado, fotos, médico". In the first two places you go, machine will be broken. Third time's a charm. Make copies and wait another hour in line. Now you have everything you need:
12. Arrive at counter. Be told you actually need an appointment to take the written exam, despite what they told you in other location. Get in another line to make an appointment. Wait. The next appointment isn't for a week. Roll your eyes, leave, and get some empanadillas at the kioskos selling "sellos, abogado, fotos, médico".
13. Study some more, because by this point you've forgotten how much the fine is for having tinted windows on your car.
14. Find another ride. Return to DTOP in Carolina. Wait in line for about an hour. Hand over binder of documents and copies, and your license from the States. Wait in another line to get your picture taken again.
15. Go to exam room. Wait some more. Take exam (finally!).
16. Hopefully all that time between when you got your study guide and when you actually took your exam paid off, and with any luck, you remembered that the fine for fixing a license plate on an unauthorized vehicle is $500 and you passed.
17. Wait another hour for them to print your driver's license. Hope you don't have to return for a long time!
|Analysis of a Puerto Rican driver's license. No offense intended!|