Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Driving in New Zealand is a bit uphill.

Last week the AA refused to recognise my provisional driving licence, on the basis that I hadn't passed any tests to get it. (it's from 1993, before the UK required a theory test for it) They said they'd backdate a new Learner's Licence to a month ago, when I'd passed the UK's new theory test, after which I can't take a test for a Restricted (half) Licence in NZ until 6 months (now 5) have passed (i.e. until January 2005).

So I rang a number, and they told me that as I'm over 25, it'd actually be only 3 (now 2) months before I could take the Restricted (half) Licence. (i.e.October)

So I went back in this week, and they said they'd backdate my new Learners Licence to 1993 after all, but that I'd have to re-take the Theory Test all over again today.

All this and I had to postpone a trip around a TV station today in order to take it.

If you actually followed all that, thankyou for sharing my pain. I'm afraid there's more to come.

So, fully expecting them to change the rules yet again, today I went in and successfully passed the NZ driving theory test anyway, but it was still nail-biting stuff.

They gave me a scratch card of 35 multi-choice questions, of which I had to score 32. Having got two that I was certain of wrong, I left the two most difficult questions until the end, and realised, on 31, that I therefore had to get at least one of them right. It was a bit like being on The Weakest Millionaire.

One question was about the legal number of millimetres in a tyre's tread, and the other was how often a vehicle over six years old needs a Warrant Of Fitness here.

Anyway I prayed and scraped through with 32 (again), so they gave me the Learner's Licence, but they didn't backdate it, promising that it would be okay. I don't believe a word of it.

I've taken several lessons in the UK, but want to have another one before taking the practical test here anyway.


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