Yesterday, whilst sitting on a dolmuş in Izmir, waiting to be transported home with the latestIkea haul, we got a phone call from the Trafik Polis, asking us to come to the office in the morning to take the process of getting Ashley’s driving licence forward. This morning we walked down there. They had a letter confirming Ashley as the holder of a UK licence. It was all in Turkish and we weren’t actually shown it but Hilary did make out the letters ‘DVLA’, Ashley’s name, the date his licence was first issued and the categories of vehicle he is entitled to drive. Much paperwork was done. The computer was consulted and…
We were sent away to get confirmation of Ashley’s blood group, the blood test was necessary, if we’d had any proof of Ashley’s blood group they would have accepted that instead, and to pay a fee (97.75 lira) at the tax office. As Hilary suspected, a licence covering motorcycle only is cheaper than the one you need for a car. Tax office was easy. We went straight to the vezne (cash desk) and, as ever, everyone was really helpful and nice. Paid. Got receipt. Off to the ABC private clinic. Ashley had blood taken, tested and a card written out and stamped. Time taken – less than 10 minutes. Cost – 15 lira. This was a bit of running round town. But it’s all really straightforward. None of the people we dealt with other than in the polyclinic had spoken English to any significant degree, but all were incredibly polite and helpful. We think that speaking and understanding Turkish, even minimally, is extremely helpful when undertaking any sort of bureaucracy here. Yes, we think that is pretty obvious.
Back to the Emniyet… Papers taken. Computer consulted. Paperwork filled in. We were asked for a photocopy of Ashley’s fingerprints. Well, we didn’t have one. So his fingerprints were taken on an electronic machine (no inky fingers!). This was signed and stamped and is now in our files… They kept a copy and gave us a copy. He has signed his licence and paid a further fee (79.75 lira ish) for the licence itself. We will be phoned when it is ready for collection.
So, the step of sending off for confirmation of Ashley’s driving licence took a long time – two and a half months. The process appears to involve requesting information about Ashley and his licence from the British Consul, the Consul then requesting this from DVLA, and then it being passed back to the police, and at some stage being translated into Turkish. During the wait we dropped in a couple of times to ask how things were going and got sent away being told we would be phoned when they were ready. Clearly we were being impatient, the police indicating that more than two months was not unusual.
Hopefully the final steps will be a lot faster.