Getting a chance to book a driving test is few and far between especially in Thimphu. With more than 65,000 learner licence holders currently and most of them in Thimphu, the competition is only getting stiffer by the day. The booking is done online but most of the time people have to wait for months to get one.
In Thimphu, the slots are released online every Friday for a three-day test for the public. Each day, the test is conducted for 55 applicants. However, most of the time, the seats get occupied within a minute leaving the applicants disappointed.
“Registering online takes a lot of time as the website shows the seats are filled within a short time. It took us about one to two months to get a seat,” said Tashi Wangchuk, a driving test applicant.
“When I tried to register for the first time, the web page didn’t work and I couldn’t register. I tried once again after that but didn’t get it. Finally, I got registered and this is how I came to the test today. As the registration opens at 4 pm I had to stay ready by 3 pm to get registered,” said Ugyen Rabten, another driving test applicant.
According to the Road Safety and Transport Regulations 2021, the driving test committee “shall conduct both theoretical and practical driving tests without nepotism, favouritism, fear or favour.”
The authority said the tests are being carried out without compromising the quality and standard of drivers to ensure safety on the road by passing every test category. Learners have to pass both theoretical and practical tests. This is why only a limited number of applicants are taken according to the authority. It normally takes around an hour to conduct the tests for one individual. It also added that booking of driving tests is done online to ensure fairness and to reduce backdoor entry.
In Thimphu, the tests are carried out throughout the week. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are reserved for applicants from the general public. Tuesdays and Thursdays are kept for learners from driving institutes. And weekends for professional driving licence applicants and driving trainees of the De-Suung Skilling Programme.
For now, there are no plans to increase the number of test slots.
The Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority conducts driving tests in its five regional and seventeen base offices.
Edited by Kipchu