Thursday, 15 April 2010

They took my license!

Yesterday was a sad day for me.  A 16 year relationship with my UK license ended.

No I didn't do anything naughty (well I wasn't caught at least :p ), I handed it over voluntarily to the local council to be replaced with a Dutch version in the coming weeks.

Since my license runs out in July, and I trust the DVLA to get replacing it correct like I trust HP to make quick reliable computers I decided the time had come to switch it to a Dutch version.

An expensive medical later (for the C and D categories) and all is sorted.  They have my license and officially I am no longer allowed to drive.  In Holland you have to have your license with you at all times when driving.  I have many pieces of paper to say that I can indeed drive - but if I am stopped by the police they can give me a 100 euro fine at their discretion for not having the correct paperwork with me.

So I am now trying to drive like I am on my driving test all the time.  It's hard work :)  Hopefully I'll get the letter saying the new license is available to pick up soon.


  1. It's not very smart to drive like you're on your driving test!!!!
    You should be driving on the right side of the road, not the left.

  2. I do love the Netherlands, but one thing I always disliked was that they had too many petty rules, and too many people willing to enforce them, and for some strange reason many Dutch people seemed to LIKE it that way....

    Bemused chrissie

  3. I had a similar thing in Canada a few years ago, if you stay more than a short time in the country you're supposed to trade in your UK licence for a Canadian one. I didn't since it was only for a week or two over the time. I ended up driving like an old fart in an Oldsmobile.

    One thing though, you've obviously spent too much time in the Netherlands. You're spelling "Licence" with an "s"!

    Standards are slipping, the Youth of Today etc. etc.

  4. Seems kind of funny that they couldn't provide you with a temporary permit, seeing as how you passed your physical, and have already been driving for 16 years. How do they expect you get around? A bicycle is OK for relatively short trips on days when the weather is nice, but hardly a substitute for an automobile.

    Melissa XX

  5. @ Chrissie

    I remember Germany being like that. Alles im ordnung! I think the Germanic people have a keener understanding of the selfish side of human nature, and feel the need to keep everyone in line, in order to maintain a decent civil society. They even have purity laws, detailing how you are to make beer! Sometimes I wish the US was a little more like that. Our streets are strewn with trash, and sometimes it seems there are no standards at all concerning what people are allowed to get away with selling you. The quality of American home construction is appalling. Builders are allowed to get away with very shoddy building practices, that would never be tolerated in Europe. As far as driving goes, about the only thing that will get you a ticket here, is speeding, driving drunk, or driving with expired license plates. It's not unusual to see some cretin driving down the road in an old oil burning clunker, throwing cigarette butts out of his window, and trailing a thick cloud of blue smoke, for everyone behind him to breath.

    Melissa XX

  6. You can be blind, illiterate, and senile, and still get a license in most states. Almost all the drivers I pass are really bad drivers, which is why I pass them.

    True story sort of related, I digress.

    I was driving to one of my jobs early in the morning, it was 55 mi away and down a long stretch of highway. Having a great sports car at the time, I was doing 110 to 120 mph. Out of now where the police appeared up ahead. So I slowed down quite a lot...anyway he did pull me over, and asked if I knew how fast I was going. With a smile I asked "before or after I saw you" he actually did smile, I said I was at least going 85. He asked where I was going and I look at my lapel, that had my flight nurse insignia on it, and said I'm going to work to help people like me who fail. Anyway I was told to slow down and happily I sped away. Cops never give tickets to nurses...


  7. Dave: Yes thank you for that ;p

    Chrissie: I have to say the buerocracy can get me down at times, and there are way too many jobsworths that have too much control over how you can live your life... I remember calling imigration about my residency permit once to find out when it would be ready:
    Them: "We have 6 months to decide"
    Me: "Why? I am EU you can't deny me the permit."
    Them: "Correct."
    Me: "So why is it going to take you 6 months?"
    Them: "Because we can"

    Arghhh!!!! But then there is enough I dislike about the UK too...

    Jenny: Trust me that's just my inability to spell :)

    Melissa: They expect you to drive, just warn you that you are not 100% compliant with the law and if the officer is in a bad mood you do run the risk of a large fine.

    And I have to say I like the German Purity Laws - German beers are some of the few that I actually like!

    Bree: That would be the reason why some US drivers have to retake their test when moving to the EU then (It's about the only country I know where diving licences (Better Jenny?) are accepted per state and not per country.


  8. I'm with Stace on the Reinheitsgebot laws, they've produced some of the best beers of their type.

    However I also heed my Ducati-riding and beer-loving mate from Madison, Wisconsin who contends that they've stifled innovation in European beermaking. His line is that craft producers in the USA are much less afraid of brewing experiments using new ingredients than their European counterparts who trade more on tradition and purity. And he does have a point, while mass-market beer is much better over here IMHO, their craft beers leave ours standing when it comes to innovation.

    Disclaimer: I have no beard, drink in moderation and have never been a CAMRA member in my life!