License to Drive

Today Brian and I went to the municpal building in Asunción to get our driver licenses.


We were very grateful to have the assistance of an Embassy staffer to walk us through the process. Otherwise, we would have never been able to figure it out!


The first step was to complete paperwork. Next, we had to buy stamps to attach to the paperwork we had just completed.


We each had to pay the equivalent of about $12 for the stamps. We handed in our paperwork which was checked against our passports, our Paraguayan IDs and our California driver licenses. Next we had to wait until our name was called to take our test.


The test involved a vision screening where we had to identify six letters and the color of each letter. If we didn’t answer quickly enough, the testers just told us the answer. Then we had a hearing test.


Next, they tested our reaction time. While using our right foot on a set of gas and break pedals on the floor, the testers showed us a stoplight on a computer screen and tested the speed with which we took our foot off the gas and hit the breaks when the light turned red.

The final part of the test was very strange. And for some reason they didn’t make Brian do it. Only I had to do it. The test involves holding onto two wooden handles (each attached to a metal rod, which are attached to each other via a long needle pointing down on the tabletop). While holding the handles and moving one’s hands from side to side and in and out, one can control the movement of the needle. The object is to make the needle follow the path of a thin curved line drawn on the table. I don’t think I did too well on that test, but they said I passed.


After the tests, we were given paperwork showing we passed all the tests. We had to wait in line to hand in that paperwork and receive a receipt. Once we got that reciept, we had to wait in a different line and turn in the receipt for yet another receipt. Once we did that, then we had to hand in the latest recepit and pay for our driver licenses (about $15 each), and of course we got an additional receipt to show that we had paid.


Then we had to wait to have our photos taken.


Once the photos were done, we had to wait for our licenses to be made. The licenses are basically just laminated cardstock and don’t seem to be very high quality. They remind me of fake IDs I’ve seen!


And then we were done. All this, in about two and a half hours!

2 thoughts on “License to Drive

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