Driving License Blues


Five years ago I was issued the first Indonesian driving license and it gave me great freedom of movement. I was no longer dependent on the driver or the whims of my husband. However the annual renewal process has always been a pain. The licensing office is at Daan Mogot in West Jakarta and takes 40 minutes on a good day. Agents rush to your help and charge you Rp 150,000/- or more to complete the process.

The renewal of my driving license had been 2 months overdue and I had recently learnt that one of our expat friends had managed it on his own. Taking heart, I decided to do the same. After all I too had been a resident of this lovely country for over a decade and speak the language well. Saturday seemed to be the perfect day with my husband to look after the kids and their homework. Setoff as soon as the driver reported for work at 8.00 am.

Alighted from the car at the main entrance to the building and walked in to get my hand stamped (this is so popular here in Jakarta). The reception area featured a large information center which was unmanned and the entire process for new licenses and renewal was mapped on the wall as a flowchart.

I carefully scanned the flowchart for the process of renewal for SIM Asing and first paid the bank fees of Rp 52,500/- at the bank counter and proceeded for the medical. Stood in a long queue to register for the medical and submitted a photocopy of my KIMS and original SIM with Rp 5000/- fee to receive a form. Moved enmasse to the examination room where two men presumably doctors in white coats sat chatting and a long line in front of the eye-test chart. The eye chart was controlled by a technician who called each applicant and had them read out randomly from the display and signed on the form. This process was very efficient and took all of 10 minutes from queuing up to receiving the signed form at being summoned.

On receipt of the eye test form filled it and submitted to receive the SIM application form. Proceed to the next Hall to the information counter manned by helpful young policeman. Had clean forgotten to carry my pen and so borrowed a pen from the young policeman who helped me fill the form and stapled all the documents together.

These were then submitted at the SIM Asing counter with my original KIMS and photocopy of passport to receive a number attached to the KIMS for photograph and fingerprinting. The number with KIMS was then submitted to one of the counters 23- 25. Then waited to be called inside the room. After a 15 minute wait was summoned inside to further wait for another 15 minutes to get my photograph taken with a camera connected to the computer, scan my signature and thumb imprint on another scanner. Then was asked to wait at counter 31 to receive my SIM.

A canteen has been setup next to waiting room in front of counter 30 – 32 and serves cold drinks and refreshments. A welcome change to the heat and boredom of waiting. A huge crowd of people waiting to collect their SIM was present in front of the counters and a disembodied voice from the loud speakers urged them again and again to take seats in the designated waiting area. This was the longest wait of all and took all of 2 hours before my name was called and could collected the SIM card.

The process is certainly straight forward and smooth and does not require assistance from agents or touts and takes the same amount of time.

Update 2005


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