Recently, I had something really awesome happen! I finally got my license to drive here in Malta, YAY!
Obviously since I am 29, I had a license before in Texas but have not been able to drive myself in Malta just yet. Okay… it’s been kinda nice to be chauffeured around like a queen, butttt it sure is nice to be able to drive again and I know Jon is excited as he does not have to drive me everywhere all the time anymore. Needless to say we are both uber excited for me to now feel the wind blowing through my hair on my Lexmoto Riviera!
I have been trying to get my license since August of last year, so it has been quite a lengthy process. When I say license, I mean a motorbike license for a 125cc scooter. This has taken so long for a few reasons…
Here in Malta, most things run on that slow and steady island time so things moved at a much slower rate than what I am used to. No complaints, as I quite enjoy this kind of lifestyle to be honest. Just expect things not to be done in the quickest way possible.
I started out at one motoring school and had to switch to another motoring school towards the middle because there was a few hiccups in paperwork and there was never availability to get in for lessons when needed, which were required before the practical exam. Since I had never drove a scooter before I did have to take several lessons before my instructor assumed I was ready for the practical exam.
Lastly, I failed my first practical exam attempt (womp womp.) Apparently this is a common thing here in Malta. Everyone I spoke to said they failed at least 2-3 times, if not more… so that made me feel better at least.
The lessons were an adventure for sure. Firstly, In Texas we drive on the right hand side of the lane, while here in Malta, they drive on the left hand side. Okay…seems like an easy concept until you get comfortable on the road and without realizing resorting back to your old ways while staring at a car coming straight towards you!! Whoops!
To be honest, I had never driven a scooter myself and I picked it up quite well (aside from driving on the wrong side a few times.) Like I said before, it is nice to have some freedom to drive around and once summer hits, it will be just wonderful to ride around in the sunshine.
The steps I had to take to obtain my license here in Malta:
- Apply for a motoring school. There are quite a few on the island… I recommend Cycle World. ( I did have to be in Malta for 6 months before I was able to begin lessons.)
- Start lessons. There are not a set # of lessons. Just depends on your skill level really. Start with maneuvers in the parking lot, working up to lessons on the road with other vehicles.
- In the meantime of attending lessons, study and take the theory test. This test is extremely easy and even some of the questions are quite funny.
Sample Question: You see someone crashed on the road, you:
A. Give them a cigarette, B. Give them a drink, C. Move their neck around to ensure there is no damage, D. Call for an ambulance/help.
** Not the exact question asked, but similar and there are a few like this… Hilarious!
- Once you pass your theory and your instructor believes you are ready for you practical exam, you pay and submit for your exam. This can take anywhere Fromm 4-6 weeks just to have a time scheduled for you.
- I received a letter in the mail giving me the time for my exam as well as location, Floriana.
- You start the test with the maneuvers and about 30 mins of driving on the road. As mentioned I failed the first time. They do tell you straight away if you passed or failed and why.
- If failed, file for a retake and pay for the exam again. (60 Euros) Also, just because you fail the first attempt, doesn’t speed things up any for a retake the second time. Still 4-6 weeks waiting period.
Finally I passed! I am now licensed to drive!!
- Last step is to take the forms showing you passed to Transport Malta, pay 30 Euros and file for your license to receive in the mail.
I even get to bring my sausage dog Doodle along for rides in her K9 Sport Sack. She really loves coming along and rides with her little head on my shoulder. As they say at K9 Sport Sack…
“No Dog Left Behind.”
Who else has experienced driving or obtaining a license in another country??