It now takes 1,000 years to get a driver’s license in Singapore. Earlier in the day, I went down to the ComfortDelGro Driving Centre to apply for my Final Theory Test. As every aspiring Singaporean F1 driver (not) will know, passing the mandatory Final Theory Test is step 2 of 3 to getting a Driver’s License in the Cosmopolitan city state, the other two being the Basic Theory Test and the Practical Driving Test.
The order is as follows;
Basic Theory Test -> Final Theory Test – Practical Driving Test.
The three must be taken in sequence although one can already apply for the Provisional Driving License that allows him to starttaking practical driving lessons to prepare for the Practical Driving Test prior to passing the Final Theory Test.
Moving on with the story, I approach the counter and told the service staff that I would like to apply for the Final Theory Test. The friendly service staff told me to select from the list of dates stated in a laminated folder displayed before me. Ilooked at it and gave the zoned-out look for a good five seconds, or longer. The dates stated on the schedule were from the 11 to the 15 of May. MAY. OH. MY. GOSH. I have to wait close to three months to take a theory test.
I looked up at the staff and asked her again, “Errrr… I want to apply for Final Theory Test.” She said yes, these are the dates available. I asked how come it took so long to which she replied that the standard waiting time for Final Theory Test for both school and private candidates is a whooping two to three months. The next news was a double whammy. She said that the waiting time for Basic Theory Test, Final Theory Test and Practical Driving Test is two to three months respectively.
It was revealed to me that the Traffic Police institutionalized this mandatory waiting time across all driving centres since 2012 to standardize the waiting time in light of increasing number of people applying for the Driver’s license.
Procrastination kills, literally. Someone take a knife and stab me please. You see, I took my Basic Theory Test (twice, yes I actually failed the Basic Theory Test, lol) back in 2009. Waiting time then from booking to test was only…. ONE WEEK. How did that turned into THREE months?! So if I had gone on with the program, not only would I have gotten my license early, I would not have to
waste wait three months to take my Final Theory Test and another three months to take my Practical Driving Test.
Now, I die die must pass that Final Theory Test in May. If not, it’s another three months wait which results in a ripple effect in the form of a further delay of three months to take the Practical Driving Test. OH MY GOSH. Talk about stress.
Analyzing what was told to me, is this three months thing really legit?
1. Car ownership was at its lowest in 2011.
The latest available figures from the Land Transport Authority show that there were 598,219 cars as of the end of last month – down from 600,176 last year. The number stood at 607,292 in 2013, and 605,149 in 2012. The car population is now at its lowest since 2011, when there were 592,361 cars on the road.
Fewer cars on the road as COEs play catch-up, The Straits Times, 2015
If car ownership was at its lowest even back in 2011, there is no basis to increase waiting time for potential
F1 drivers. Hmm.
2. Singapore has a dwindling young adult population.
Going by logic, Singapore would have lesser applicants applying for the Driver’s License since the Government applied ‘cooling’ measures to reduce excessive
mating procreation by Singaporean couples back in the 1980s. Hence, there is no way that there is ‘more’ applicants when we have lesser young people year by year. Unless of course if the hike in applicants is due to the influx of FTs who storm into our country, take away all the high-paying jobs and need to acquire a valid local driver’s license to drive their flashy cars. Ahhh, now it makes sense.
If this is a tactic employed to keep the amount of car drivers in check, I should say that it is too clever a tactic, my dear Traffic Police.
To my fellow
F1 driver comrades, make sure you do each test once, and do it good. If not, prepare to wait an extra three months. Enough time for you to repent for failing.
But Singaporeans should not have to pay for the consequences brought about by (vehicle) over-population due to FTs. May I propose that we stick back to the old booking schemes and impose a quota for the number of FT applicants?
Give us back our one week waiting time!
The above article is a satirical article and should be taken with a pinch of salt (and sugar). I love Foreigners by the way!
Tan, 2015. Fewer cars on the road as COEs play catch-up. The Straits Times. Retrieved February, 26 from http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/transport/story/fewer-cars-the-road-coes-play-catch-20150226