Friday, February 02, 2007

Driver's License

Now we're really confused.

We arrived in Ghana 'round about September. Even though we were carless well into November, we submitted paperwork back in September to start the licensing, insurance, and registration process, assuming there would be a bit of bureaucratic red tape to cut through.

The car was eventually sprung from customs. Fine and dandy. We inquired about the status of the Ghanaian driver's license. The conversation was more or less as follows.

Me: "So, all paperwork is cleared? What about the Ghana Driver's License?

Expediter: "Yes please, it will be ready in 3 months, maybe."

Me: "Three MONTHS??? From September? Why so long? Am I okay to drive with my US license?" Too many questions at once...

Expediter: "Yes, three months. Yes, your license is good."

Me: "That is amazing.... Three hours max in DC... Ok, whatever. So I can drive?" The Ghanaians waiting for me to just move along chuckled at my growing disgust.

Three months would be January 2007 more or less.

We've been driving worry free on a DC license. Weaving through police check points and toll booths without a care all because the expediter said we could.

SJD received her official Ghana International Driving Permit this week. It was an exciting moment to hold the very official looking document - a small book similar to a passport. She is licensed to go out an drive like a nut to her little hearts content. Toot that horn. Drive on the wrong side of the road with your flashers on. Remove some lug nuts, and throw a oil drum on the roof. Let's go for a drive with the lights out.

We flipped past the cover reading GHANA International Driving Permit to the first page listing 80 or so countries honoring the GIDP. Next page: the photo, taped on. Name. Incorrect DOB. Futher instructions on page 38, yes page thirty-eight of your GIDP...

According to P38, SJD is allowed to drive type A, B,C private cars in all 80 or so countries. Not bad. EXCEPT GHANA. The biggest stamp in the entire GIDP states "NOT VALID IN GHANA".

So apparently SJD can still drive anywhere EXCEPT Ghana while we wait for Ghana to process their own version of a driver's license. I, on the other hand, have been informed that my paperwork for either license was never submitted by the expediter way back in September. So maybe sometime in June... Then again, maybe not.

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