So, you have your Learner’s License, did some driving lessons, read your Road Code and Mechanical Guide, and feel confident that you’re ready to ‘”take on di road”. What next? Well, now you prove to the powers that be that you won’t be a danger to yourself or to others on the road. You do this by successfully completing your Driving Test.
Step 1: Pay the Driver’s License Exam Fee at your nearest Tax Office. The current fee is $3,240.00 JMD.
Step 2: Schedule the test – this is done at the nearest examination depot. To schedule the test, you will need to present:
- Valid Learner’s License
- Two (2) Certified Passport Sized Photos
- Proof of Payment of Exam Fee (Receipt from Tax Office)
- Completed Driver’s License Application Form (Check out my article – Completing the Jamaican Driver’s License Application Form – to ensure you have no issues with this step)
Step 3: Show up on time, and on the correct date for your driving test.
The Driving Test itself has three (3) parts:
- Written Test (Road Code and Mechanical)
- Yard Test
- Road Test
For the written portion of the driving test, you are given thirty (30) minutes to answer approximately 40 – 50 multiple choice questions. About half of these questions will be based on the Jamaican Road Code, while the remainder will be Mechanical based.
You will be given two answer sheets and two question papers. One set will be for the Road Code Test while the other set will be for the Mechanical Test. The question papers will list the multiple choice questions, as well as possible answers from a to d, while the answer sheets will provide spaces for you to enter personal information such as name, date, address and signature. These sheets will also be used to tick, circle or shade the correct responses to the questions asked.
Do not mark on the question papers and do not rely on any markings you may see on these papers for answers. Mark on the answer sheets only and read all questions carefully.
Once you are finished, or the 30 minutes allotted for the test are up, you submit your papers to the invigilator. You will then be directed to sit and wait while your paper is marked. Once you receive a passing grade on both the Mechanical and Road Code Test, you will be allowed to complete the Yard Test.
If you fail any of these tests, you may still be permitted to complete the Yard Test, however, the failed test will have to be redone at the next available date before a license will be issued to you.
The Yard Test
Ok. So this is a fairly simple test, but round about this time, nerves start to kick in for many people. For the Yard Test, you are required to complete two (2) actions:
- Reverse through some obstacles (cones). Cones are typically placed in an “S” formation and you are expected to reverse without hitting any of the cones;
- Parallel park from the right and from the left
Once you complete both actions satisfactorily, you will move on to the Road Test. If you are not able to do one or both of these actions, this is where the Driving Test ends for you. You will need to schedule another date to redo this section of the test.
The Road Test
The final stage of the Driving Test is the Road Test. For this portion of the test, you are expected to drive as instructed by the examiner, following the conventions of the Road Code. If you are shy to drive around people, you may want to get over this very quickly. In addition to the instructor being in the front of the vehicle directing you as to what to do, other persons taking Driving Tests are also in the back of the vehicle. Each person has approximately 5 minutes to drive as instructed. Major areas of competence tested are:
- Reversing from a major road onto a minor road and from a minor road onto a major road;
- How you position the vehicle on the road – remember to KEEP WELL TO THE LEFT
- How you signal your intentions to other road users – remember to USE YOUR INDICATORS
- Adherence to road signals and signs – remember to ALWAYS STOP AT A STOP SIGN and to OBEY TRAFFIC LIGHTS
- Moving off a gradient without running backwards (Hill Start)
- Making proper use of “Right of Way”
- Properly using the brakes
- Driving at a normal speed
- Overtaking, meeting and crossing the path of other vehicles safely
- Showing courtesy and consideration for the safety of other road users
- Using the Round-about correctly
- Taking proper actions at a pedestrian crossing
Once all tests are complete, you will be taken back to the examination depot where you will sit and wait to hear your name. If you successfully passed your test, you will be asked to write your name and affix your signature to the score sheet used throughout the process for you. You will also be instructed to write a sentence – anything other than “my name is xyz”, then be given a date to pick up your Driver’s License at the nearest Tax Office.