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Getting Licensed to Drive in Lahore!

Driving in Lahore is a coveted skill – as the saying goes, if you can drive in Lahore, you can drive anywhere in the world!

Although not all people bother getting their driving license, and even fewer bother getting their licenses legally – the author ventured to apply for a driving license using 100% legit means.

Getting the Learner’s Permit

The main center in Lahore for all driving license related activity is the Traffic Police Licensing Office located next to the Katcheri, and close to Government College University. This is where you have to go first to get your Learner’s Permit. The process does not take long to complete. You need to be over 18 years of age before you can apply for the learner permit. You go to the Licensing office with your NADRA ID Card (with 2 photocopies), and Rs.60 in driving-license-stamps. You can get the stamps from the post-office behind the Kacheri.

The learner permit application process is computerized – your information will be entered into a computer, and you will be photographed before you get a printed piece of paper that serves as the learner permit. This permit is valid for six-months, and during these 6 months you need to appear for your “behind the wheel ” driving test to get the real license.

If you want to apply for a license for both Car and MotorCycle, you will need to get two learner permits made and pay the fees separately.

Getting the “File”

Once you get your learner’s permit, there is a mandatory 42-day (6 week) waiting period before you can appear for the behind-the-wheel test. You need to have a “File” ready when you appear for the behind-the-wheel test, so I recommend getting the file made in the same visit to Kacheri. You get the file made from the people sitting on the road-side outside the licensing office. They charge about Rs.30 for the file and also fill it out for you. You will need 3 passport-size photographs, a copy of your NADRA ID Card, your learner permit, and a Medical Certificate attached to the file. For a 100Rs, you can get the person making the file for you to get you the Medical Certificate saving you a trip to the hospital.

If you ask the person making your file, they would offer to get you the license made for Rs.2000 without having to go through the behind-the-wheel test. I saw the person making my file offer it to a couple of people who walked by, but wouldn’t recommend anyone to try that route. Also, while you are in the Kacheri area, get yourself a booklet of Traffic Signs and Rules. You may think you know all that is to know about traffic signs, but believe me, the 20Rs you spend on getting the booklet could save you a failed driving test, as I can bet that you have never seen the signs that they ask about in the interview on any road in Pakistan.

Behind-the-Wheel Test

After completing the 6-week waiting period, you can visit the Licensing Office next to Gaddafi Stadium for the behind-the-wheel driving test, also called the “Try”. You need to go there on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday BEFORE 9 a.m. to submit you file.You will need to attach Rs.150 in driving-license-stamps to your application form in the file. After passing the test, you attach a further Rs.750 in driving-license-stamps to complete your application.

Once your file is submitted, you need to wait between 1-2 hours, depending on how early you got there, before you are called in for a traffic sign test. A traffic police officer points to a board that has various traffic signs and asks you 4-5 different signs. Get 2 wrong, and you fail the sign test which means that you need to come another day and stand in line all over again. Also, it would mean that you forfeit your Rs.150 in driving test fee.

To understand the importance of getting the traffic sign booklet, just take a look at 3 out of the 5 signs that I was asked!

Traffic Signs

Traffic Sign Examples in Driving License Test

  1. Youth Hostel
  2. Services are to the left
  3. One Way Traffic (NOT a left turn)

After the sign test is passed, you go to a second queue where you will give the behind-the-wheel test. You need to bring your own car to give the test in. The behind the wheel is fairly simple. You have to first bring your car to the designated spot.  The instructor does not sit in the car with you but rather observes from outside the car. I’d recommend to wear your seat-belt although I do not know if that is required. You are given instructions to drive around a round-about and then to reverse the car in a space marked with cones placed 10 feet apart.

And that’s it! Once the test is passed, you just submit your file with the additional Rs.750 in stamps, and pick your license up from the Kacheri 2 weeks after the test. You get a small piece of paper when you submit your file, that serves as your license till you get the real thing. You will need your original NADRA ID Card for picking up your license.

In summary, the cost of getting the license made is as follows:

  • Rs.60 worth of driving-license-stamps for learner permit
  • Approx Rs.30 to get the file made, and Rs.100 for the Medical Certificate
  • Rs.150 in driving-license-stamps attached to your application-form for the behind-the-wheel driving test
  • Rs.750 in driving-license-stamps attached to your application-form AFTER you have passed the behind the wheel  test

If you plan things right, you can get done in just two trips to the Kacheri – one for getting the learner permit, and the other to pick up the actual license.

Best of luck with getting your license, and drive safe!

  1. |Rehana
    June 9th, 2009 at 22:34 | #1

    thanks buddy. you’ve given a worthwhile info i was looking for.

  2. June 12th, 2009 at 12:04 | #2

    You done a greate job you have explain everything which i want to know

  3. anam
    June 28th, 2009 at 04:11 | #3

    just what i was looking for… thanks

  4. Motasim
    September 3rd, 2009 at 12:59 | #4

    Very brief information. I’ve gone through all these processes but for the license of bike. I’ve now learner permit of car and in next few days I’m going for the driving test of car.

  1. June 2nd, 2009 at 01:15 | #1