You have your learner’s in your hand, you’ve made it (or almost made it) past 18, and you can smell the sweet freedom of having a driver’s license. Here’s a step-by-step guideline on how to get your driver’s.
Woohoo! You’ve passed your learner’s, and now it’s time to get down to the real business. You can get your license as soon as you turn 18, so you could book your driver’s test for on your birthday if you are confident enough. But before we get into the nitty gritty of this process, let us set something straight. Everyone seems to be up on a high horse when they pass their driver’s. What most people don’t tell you, though, is that it’s actually really scary and you can make silly mistakes, so things don’t always end so well. How, you ask? Carry on reading.
I failed my driver’s. It’s everybody’s worst nightmare and it happened to me. I hate not succeeding at things and this blew my confidence up in a huge mushroom cloud of smoke. Needless to say, no one knew when I redid my test so that I could avoid that embarrassment. I felt that way at that point, but thinking back, it really wasn’t that bad. After I finally passed, I heard of many people who hadn’t passed the first time and I realised, it’s actually okay.
When I got my licence, it was a dream come true. Every teen dreams about the freedom of getting their driver’s licence and finally being able to venture out and explore the world. Generally people will tell you that it’s actually not all that it’s cracked up to be. I’m not going to tell you that. I will tell you that it is everything you dreamed it to be – plus more. Driving alone for the first time makes you feel giddy, confident and absolutely amazing. There is no over-exaggerating the feeling. It’s simply fantastic.
The most important thing that you need to take into account when you book your driver’s licence is that you need to know how to drive. This is the most vital step in becoming a licensed driver. You can ask a brave family member or friend to help you or you can go for driving lessons.
It all seems so simple right? Well unfortunately the required way of driving isn’t what we see our parents doing. They drive the ‘wrong’ way. The correct way is K53. You can read up about it in the K53 books, but the easiest way to be completely confident driving with K53, is by going for driving lessons. Driving lessons are there for every step of the way, from your learner’s until passing your driver’s. Some driving schools offer learner’s licence classes, but most of them are there for after your learner’s licence – to teach you how to drive. If you’ve never driven a car before and no one in your family or friend group is jumping to help you, then a driving school is the answer for you. They will teach you everything from the very basics, like working the clutch, doing a hill start, and parking, while applying the K53 methods and rules.
Where to get lessons
One of the best ways to find a good driving instructor is to ask friends or relatives for recommendations. They might have had a very good experience from a certain school or private instructor. Alternatively, you can look up a driving school. Each city has different driving schools. You can go to iDrive for area-specific driving schools if your city is not listed in the table below.
Cape Town: –
He and She Driving School Tel: (0)21 931 8214
Conquest School of Driving Tel: (0) 21 836 7747
Drive Co Driving School Tel: (0)82 297 4086
Torque Driving Academy Tel: (0)21 827 1300
Aubrey’s Driving School Tel: (0)21 633 8637
A-Day Driving School Tel: 011 826 1241
Wiseman Driving School Tel: 073 248 7821
Anesh’s Driving School Tel: 083 651 7441
Zenni Driving School Tel: 012 663 4044
GetYourDrivers.co.za Tel: 083 570 7790
Protea Driving School Tel: 012 328 5222
My Driving School Tel: 012 329 1511
TKC Driving School Tel: 079 062 6077
Jacaranda Driving School Tel: 012 999 3091
CY Driving School Tel: 031 305 6204
Nala Driving School Tel: 031 305 6887
Dees Driving School Tel: 031 202 0202
Drive Away Driving Tel: 031 206 0612
Gugulethu Driving School Tel: 031 460 1027
Scorpio Driving School Tel: 072 119 7661
Tswelopele Driving School Tel: 051 430 8704
Cheetah Driving School Tel: 083 300 5431
Siyabulela Driving School Tel: 051 448 7677
Rise & Shine Driving School Tel: 051 447 7022
Port Elizabeth: –
Two Way Driving School Tel: 041 581 0501
First Time Driving School Tel: 041 991 0968
Clements Driving School Tel: 079 899 2851
Oneway Driving School Tel: 041 922 7846
Flamingo Driving School Tel: 041 452 7290
Norman’s Driving School Tel: 033 394 0471
Maritzburg City Driving School Tel: 033 397 0062
Lighthouse Driving School Tel: 033 342 7579
Alpine Driver Training Tel: 033 345 5485
Valentine Driving School Tel: 076 053 3099
Quality Driving School Tel: 053 832 9226
Pro Driving School Tel: 053 832 6193
What helped me a lot when I got my learner’s and was practicing for my driver’s, was driving a lot. It sounds really obvious, but I was fortunate enough to have a mother who let me drive absolutely everywhere (probably fuelled by her hate for driving). If we went to the shop, I would drive, or if we had to drive from Cape Town to Somerset West (50km), I would drive then too. Being on the open road is one of the best ways to learn how to drive and to instil you with the confidence you need to pass your driver’s test.
Booking your driver’s license
Make sure you take the following along: Just before or once you’ve turned 18, go to the traffic department with the following documents to book your drivers:
– ID book
– four black and white ID photos
– your learner’s license
– the amount you need to book your test (prices vary according to location)
NB: Keep the booking receipt in a safe place!
Click here to find out the contact details for departments in your area.
Fill in DL1 form
You will need to fill in the DL1 form to book your driver’s license. If you just want to be able to drive a normal car, you will be applying for the Code B licence.
Do the driving test
On the day of your test, you should arrive at least 5 minutes before the allocated test time. Take your:
- Learners licence
- your ID
- the issuing fee
A qualified examiner will do the test with you.
If you pass, your finger prints will be taken and you will be required to do another eye examination. Bring your glasses with if you have and/or a letter from your optometrist if necessary.
Pay the Issuing Fee
You will be required to pay an issuing fee to get your temporary license. It will take four to six weeks for you to receive your driver’s card. You need collect it at the department where you wrote your test.
Do the happy dance!
Wiggle and shake it as you leave the traffic department because now you can finally drive yourself around! And if you fail, don’t stress. I failed too. Some people don’t deal with that kind of stress well or the weather doesn’t play along, there are many reasons why you could fail and none of them should let you feel embarrassed. So good luck on your driver’s journey and be safe on the roads, especially at night.
The driver’s license test
This is the most crucial yet scary part of getting your driver’s license. The test. Many people, including myself, freak themselves out past the point of being rational. The best way to get through this or to avoid this is by doing some breathing exercises or taking some natural calming medication, like Relicalm. Personally, I had a good cry and then used Relicalm.
The driver’s test will start off with an inspection. This is where you go around the car and “check” that everything is in order and safe. You will go through the motions of it even though no one would ever pitch up at a driver’s test in a car with indicators that don’t work or a flat tire. Next, you’re off to do the parking.
Thankfully this is first since it is the most difficult and nerve-wrecking part. They will test: parallel parking from the left and right, reverse parking, hill start and a three-point turn. The driving schools have a really cool way of teaching you this using the position of the poles. It is extremely beneficial to use a driving school when it comes to the parking section. After this you will memorise a little paragraph saying that the car has an automatic choke (most of them do) and all of that jazz. Driving schools will provide you with the list of points you need to remember to say throughout the test, otherwise it is in your K53 handbook.
Now you’re off to do the driving. The examiner will direct you but most traffic departments have set routes that they take. Driving schools know these routes and will teach them to you. The parking section and the driving section are based on a points system. Certain mistakes and errors will make you lose points, and in order to pass you need to stay within the limit of subtracted points. Lastly, you will park at the traffic department and the examiner will ask you to leave the car. He/she will stay in and add up the points. Once inside the building, they will inform you whether you have passed or not. If you have passed, they will take your fingerprints, photo and you will do an eye test once again.
Be free, young one
Now that your brain has been equipped with all of the necessary information to help get you through the process of getting your driver’s, it’s time to get out there and do it. Driving gives you an irreplaceable freedom and it is definitely worth the time and effort.
Reaching the end of your teen years is a really exciting time. You’re almost done with school, you’re applying to university or planning your gap year, you can FINALLY get your driver’s. You’re legal to go out clubbing, and you can sign your own forms at doctors’ practices and so forth. It’s super exciting and feels amazing. Just remember that with freedom comes responsibility. Having said that, do not stress, you can still have tons of fun while being responsible.