Missed deadline for switching to Cayman licence

| 26/06/2018

As a foreigner who lives here on the islands, one is obliged to obtain a local driving licence on top of the licence one has acquired abroad. Now, I was told that if you miss a certain deadline, you have to take a new test in written and practical form. But the problem seems to be that the waiting period to get a date for a practical driving test can be as long as five months. Can it really be that no one is available to do such a test much earlier and what does someone do in the meantime with regard to getting around? Is one not allowed to drive a car during the waiting period?

Cayman National Bank

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Auntie’s answer: There are actually a lot of issues that stem from your question but to keep things as simple as possible, I will limit my answer to your specific query, with help from a Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) official.

First off, I will assume from your description that you are from a Convention country and so can exchange your driver’s licence under what is called a Geneva Transfer (see list of convention countries here).

The information you were told is correct. As a new resident from a Convention country, you have three months to pass a written test to obtain a Cayman Islands licence, during which time you can drive on your home licence. Importantly, the official noted, after that time, if you have not completed the exchange process, you will no longer be allowed to drive here on your home country licence, and will then also need to take a road test.

As for scheduling that road test, at the moment, there are only two examiners who administer the test. However, help is on the way, the official said: “Due to the increasing demand for road tests, DVDL is recruiting additional staff specifically for this area.” This addition is expected to cut the waiting time “drastically”.

I realise this is of little comfort for you, but unfortunately you are not legally able to drive at this point until you pass the road test and get your Cayman licence.

For others who are new here and looking to go through this process, the official stressed the importance of booking the written test within the three-month window.

“Doing so will not only alleviate the waiting time overall, but it is less hassle for those individuals exchanging their licence,” he said, adding that the waiting time for the written test is usually only days, and sometimes can be done the same day.

Again, meeting that deadline exempts you from having to take a road test.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Vehicle Licensing Questions

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Shame the examiners seem to get the rules about indicating at roundabouts wrong. They tell drivers to indicate right when going straight ahead and then indicate left when past the first left turning.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is that “wrong”? It tells everyone without a doubt what you are doing. Straight is a relative term. Where is it when the roundabout has an odd number of exits?

      To me, indicating left to take the 1st exit or right if continuing round until I pass the exit before mine is the most straight forward. That way I am ALWAY indicating and other drivers ALWAYS know what I am doing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard that some reputable bubblegum and breakfast cereal manufacturers are offering free driving licenses if you buy a pack of gum or shredded wheat. It is well known that these are far more legitimate than the skills needed to pass a Cayman driving test.

    5 month wait, in order to prove you can basically move and stop an automatic car, whilst having some vague clue of what to do at a roundabout thingy. Terrible state of affairs.

    Send examiners to the UK. Get them trained up by a professional examiner there, then bring the same standards here, or just give up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Call that a road test? Together with the inspection standards there’s no wonder the roads are so dangerous.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How long is the road test? How long is the preparation for the examiners? How many road tests can they do a day? Are they held to a standard of doing… Sorry, not sure what I was thinking. Carry on.