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007 RED

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About 007 RED

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  • Birthday January 1

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  1. Renewal of 5 year driving licence at DLT HQ (Bangkok) As promised in my earlier post (#33), I have describe below my experience yesterday (17/10/19) when renewing my 5 year driving car licence at the Department of Land Transport (DLT) HQ in Bangkok. As advised by the admin officer who I spoke to on my previous visit, I arrived early at DLT HQ (near Mo Chit BTS) at around 07:15am and made my way down the long drive to building number 4 (on the right) where the driving licence issues/renewals are done. The building also does certification for vehicle testing. FYI.... Car parking space is available but you will need to get there very early as they seem to fill up very quickly. As the main entrance door to number 4 building was open, I made my way through the entrance hall to the stairs on the left which lead up to the second floor where the registration counters are located. There are lifts available. On the stairway leading to the 2nd floor I found about 50 people (all Thais) already waiting for the doors to the registration counters to open. By the time the doors opened to the registration counters the queue was snaking back through the entrance hall on the 1st floor and outside the building. The advice which I was given to get there early was very valid. Shortly before 8:30am the doors to the registration counters were opened. The 4 counters were all manned, so it only took about 15 minutes before I was able to present my documents to admin officer. She looked quickly through my documents and then added a sheet (which is for the test results) to the front of the pile. She asked me to fill my full name and telephone number in at the top of the test result sheet and then gave me a queue number ticket. She directed me towards desks 18 or 19 located in the very large room on the right of the registration desk to have my documents validated. When I got to the designated desks there were no officers at them. There was already another foreigner sat in the waiting area if front of these two desks. At about 09.00am a member of staff arrived at desk #18 and shortly afterwards called the other foreigner forward. He was apparently missing a document and was sent with his passport down to the 1st floor where the photocopy facilities are located. He returned some five minutes later. While I was waiting to be called forward two other foreigners joined me in the waiting area. I was called to the desk at 09:20am. The officer asked for my documents, passport and original Thai driving licence. She carefully scrutinised all the documents and compared each with my passport. She then started to slowly (one finger) typing on her computer. Whilst she was typing one of the admin officers from the front registration desk came and interrupter her. With this officer was a foreigner clutching a yellow book and a pink card. From the conversation which ensued he was attempting to use these as proof of his address. The officer who was serving me advised the foreigner that they (DLT) don’t accept the yellow book or pink card as proof of address because the details on them is in Thai and the details on his original licence contained his passport number and name in English, so they can’t reconcile the two. The officer told him that he needed a either a letter from his Embassy or from Immigration confirming address. To say the least the foreigner was not a happy person and insisted that this yellow book and pink card were accepted as proof of his address by lots of other official bodies. At this point a supervisor appeared and took the man into a nearby office. The foreigner eventually reappeared muttering away to his-self and obviously not very pleased. This just confirmed what I had been told by the registration staff the week before when I made my enquiry as to what documents were required. The officer who was checking my documents eventually printed out a ‘registration sheet’ which she asked me to check and sign. This document contained the same information as would have been was contained on the original application forms which you used to have to complete e.g. full name, date of birth, age, passport number, visa type, address and telephone number. Having checked and signed the document the officer gave me back my documents and directed me to go up to the 3rd floor for the ‘physical’ testing. By the time I left the document checking desk it was 09:50am and by then there were six foreigners waiting to have their documents checked. At approximately 15/20 minutes per person, they were in for a long wait, unless the second checking desk was manned. On arriving at the ‘physical’ testing area on the 3rd floor, I was asked to take a seat and watch a video which shoeds the procedures for the four tests. The commentary is in Thai, but the video is easy to follow what you are expected to do at each test station. After watching the video several times (it’s on a loop play) I, together with about 15 other people (mix of Thais and foreigners) were ushered in line into the testing room at around 10:15am. The first test is the colour blindness test. You are confronted with a ‘normal’ looking traffic light about 5 meters in front of you. You must call out which colour is being illuminated. Sounds easy, red at the top, green at the bottom and yellow in the middle. If you think that what happens then you’re in for a surprise. The examiner can select any colour to be displayed in each of the three lights. So, it is important that you state what colour you see, and not the normal order your brain expects the lights to show. The examiner showed me six colours and then called me forward, marked and stamped my test result sheet and directed me to the next test station. The second test is the depth perception test. In this test you sit down on a stool (you can’t move it). In front of you on a white table with white background at the end and both sides. There are two small poles about 3 meters away and a 30cm apart. The pole on the right is fixed and the one on the left can be moved (forward/backwards) using a handheld control box with forward/backwards buttons. You must move the left pole so that it aligns with the fixed poles. After completing the test, the examiner took my test sheet, marked and stamped it and directed me to the next test station. The third test is the reaction test. You again sit on a fixed stool. On the floor in front of you there are two pedals representing the accelerator and brake. About three meters in front of you there is a box which has two lights on it. You place your right foot onto the accelerator pedal until the green light appears (which represents 40km/h), then when the red light appears you must apply the brake pedal as quickly as possible with your right foot. The examiner measures your reaction time. You will be instructed to repeat the test a second time. Again, the examiner took my result sheet, marked and stamped it, and pointed me towards the next test station. The fourth test is peripheral vision test. This test involves sitting on a fixed stool and placing your head on a special device. You are instructed to look straight ahead and then shown coloured discs (red/yellow/green) on either the left or right-hand sides of your eyes. You must identify the coloured disc correctly. This test is quite hard as the coloured discs are not well illuminated and they are right on the edge of your extreme peripheral vision. Warning - You must keep looking straight ahead throughout the test and if you move your eyes to the left or right (which is a normal reflex reaction) during this test the examiner will warn you and you will have to start the test again. Three restarts and you fail. As with the previous tests, the examiner marked and stamped my test sheet and directed me to the exit door. At the exit door of the test room an admin officer took my documents and checked my test sheet. He advised me that I had passed the tests and that I now need to go up to the fourth floor for the training video. I left the testing room at around 10:40am Doing the tests only takes a few minutes. The time is consumed by having to wait for the people in front of you to complete their test, and in some cases individuals had to repeat the test several times. I noticed that a few people from the group that I entered the test room with failed (failed on the colour blindness or peripheral vision tests). Sorry no photos allowed in the test room. On getting to the fourth floor you report to the training control office. The admin officer checks your test result sheet and then gives you a numbered card (receipt for your documents which they retain), you are then told to go to a numbered training room for your video training. The training room holds approximately 50 people (it’s air condition thankfully) and at shortly after 11:00am the officer started the video. The video is in four parts. Part one is intended as a shocker and shows about 20 red light jump accidents from CCTV cameras. Part two is a cartoon showing a yellow car in traffic and explaining how to be a ‘good boy’ and not upset others. Part three is a ‘fly on the wall video’ inside a car being driven by a female with a male passenger. It depicts the good, the bad and the ugly driving by other drivers. Part four is another shock video of a rescue crew attending an accident. All four parts of the video are in Thai, however, part three does have English subtitles at the bottom of the screen – which is not much good if your sitting towards the back of the room with lots of people’s heads/shoulders blocking your view of the bottom of the screen. Frankly, and in my opinion, the video is a total waste of time as it does very little to encourage driving safely on the roads, e.g. don’t cross solid lines in the centre of the road; don’t overtake on a bend; don’t use your mobile while driving; look in your mirrors before pulling out; drive at a speed according to conditions etc. etc. etc. The video finished at 12:00 noon and we were handed back our documents and test results and advised to go back to the 2nd floor registration desk to get a queue number for issuing of our licence. The trouble being that it’s lunch hour from 12 until 1:00pm, so everything stops. Fortunately, outside the building there are several small shops/stalls where you can get a snack and a drink. Shortly before 1:00pm I returned to the 2nd floor registration area and already there were a lot of people waiting to get a queue number for licence to be issued or register for initial document checking etc. At the registration desk you show the admin officer your documents/test result sheet and they issue you with a queue ticket. You are direct you into the large room to the right of the registration desks. This is the same room that I originally had my documents checked at desk #18 in the morning. This time you may be called to any desk (actually a small booth) from #8 to #17. There is a big seating area in which to wait for your number to be called. The queue and desk numbers are called out in Thai and displayed on screens around the room. When you get to the appointed desk the officer takes your documents and checks the test your result sheet. If everything is satisfactory the officer takes your photo and requests payment for my new 5 year car licence (505 THB in my case). You’re given a receipt and a few minutes later the officer hands you your new licence and asks you to check that the details are correct. I left the building at just gone 2:00pm. It was a long day and I’m glad that I don’t have to go through that again for another five years. Although I have a reasonable grasp of the Thai language, I tended to use English during my conversation with the DLT staff, mainly to gauge their reactions. I found all the staff whom I encountered had limited spoken English ability, but it was more than enough to be understood. They were all polite, helpful and professional. Maybe it helps if you dress respectfully, relax, smile and give a polite (not OTT) wai when appropriate. Hope this helps if your intending to go to the DLT HQ to do your licence renewal. I’m happy to answer any question, but please bear with me if I don’t respond immediately as I’m not transfixed to TVF 24/7 like some members. Life’s too short to waste on social media. Regards 007 RED
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