The other day, I decided to head down to the local Motor Vehicle branch in Indiana, also known as the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles). At some point this year, I’m going to have to get an Indiana drivers license. Right now, I am just using my BC Drivers Licence in addition to an International Drivers Permit (IDP) which you can get from any Canadian Auto Association.
I have had issues in the past with ICBC (Insurance Corporation of BC). They are very particular about who can get a BC Drivers Licence. I tried to renew a BC Licence from S. Korea because it was about to expire (I had been out of the country for three years). I just wanted to have a valid licence by the time I returned to Canada. Over the phone, they told me that I could not renew and that I would have to physically appear at one of the ICBC branches and apply in person (drivers licence renewals differ in each province, as I recall, people from Ontario are allowed one renewal from out of country). I guess ICBC made some sort of notation on my file that I made a request from overseas. A few months later, when I did appear at an ICBC branch in Vancouver, they almost didn’t give me a licence because they weren’t convinced that I was planning on moving back to British Columbia. They actually called the ICBC branch in my parent’s home town (where I last renewed my licence) to discuss whether or not to grant me a drivers licence. While on the phone, I heard the agent say, “Well, it’s your call.” Thankfully the person on the other end OK’d it. (I’m from a small town so I think that they recognized my name and knew that I had family in BC). Had I not tried to renew my licence from overseas, I am convinced that they would have reissued my licence without hesitation. I was a little ticked off that day and it’s evident on my driver’s licence photo. Boo ICBC!
So now, I’m using my BC Drivers Licence in conjuction with my International Driving Permit (ICBC would not be happy about it, but I couldn’t care less). I have a year before I have to get an Indiana Drivers License. The unfortunate part of this is that I have to take my drivers test all over again! I have not done this since I was 16! Because I’m not from the US, I have to take the written test and driving test regardless of the fact that I have done this before in Canada and I currently hold a valid Canadian drivers licence.
They recently adopted graduated licensing here in Indiana. New drivers don’t get the “L” (Learner) or “N” (Novice) sticker to put on their cars, but there are some restrictions. I don’t think it will apply to me because it seems like the program is only aimed at teenaged drivers. It’s still a pain in the butt for me.
This week, it took me a while to get down to the BMV. Even though I have passed by it before, and I checked google maps, I could not find it for half an hour. I had a general sense of where the office was located, but everytime I took a road that I thought was heading in a certain direction, I ended up looping back to where I started. All of the streets in Carmel seem to lead you around in circles. I was trying to avoid the roads with backed up traffic. Clearly, that did not save me any time. By the time I did make it to the office, there was a line up out the door. Instead of taking the written test and scheduling a driving test as planned, I managed to take this lovely picture of the BMV: