Getting a license the cheap (and legal) way
If these challenging times have taught us anything, it is that we, as citizens, should not be using a vehicle without a license. Here's a step by step guide for getting a driver's license in Bangladesh through BRTA and avoiding the "Unofficial License Procurement Middle Officer and Totally Not Middlemen" that are dalals, rich.
* Download the "Learner Driving License" application from the BRTA website. Sounds easy enough, right? Sure, if you don't mind being stuck in early 2000s HTML web design.
* Fill it up with necessary information and attach three stamp sized photographs of yourself to a printed copy of the document. It doesn't matter what you look like in it, just make sure it's you.
* Go to the BRTA office situated in Mirpur, Tejgaon, Ekuria, Uttara or Savar with the application. Pay a fee of 345 BDT if applying for a single category, such as cars or motorcycles. Applying for both will mean having to pay 518 BDT as fees. You can pay at the BRAC bank booth next to the offices.
* Receive your receipt and submit it along with the learner's license application to get a learner driving license.
* Your exam to achieve a proper driving license should be scheduled anytime from 3 to 6 months of the submission of the application. In the meantime, you can proceed to, you know, actually learning how to drive.
* Download and fill out the "Non Professional Driving License Form" that you can get from the BRTA website and the medical certificate form for BRTA driving license. You can fill up the latter with the help of a doctor or licensed medical practitioner from your area.
* On the day of the driving license exam, simply pass the exam. Involves driving into and reversing out of a tight spot in one go. Just don't hit anything or kill any of the sleeping dogs that occasionally serve as obstacles.
* 3 days after your exam, make a payment of 2542 BDT to the BRAC bank booth at the BRTA.
* Attach a copy of either your birth certificate, national ID card or passport.
* Attach your learner's license, driving license application and medical certificate. Remember to fill up your driving license application and don't forget to attach a passport sized photo.
* Submit all of these to BRTA and receive your token. Wait till the authorities ask you to go and get a biometric scan. Camping out at BRTA is not advised, although you might want to bring a tent, a sleeping bag and months' worth of canned food if you do plan on camping there.
* After the biometric scan, they will hand you a temporary driving license which you can use until you are issued a smart driving license.
* When the driving license is ready, you will get an SMS on your phone. It usually takes 3 to 4 months to issue. You can now submit your temporary license and pick up the smart one. Pat yourself on the back and ride the high that comes with finally getting a card of validation from your nation.
Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a state issued driving license. Now you can drive legally anywhere in the country as long as you abide by traffic rules.