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Thread: Changing Driving License?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default Changing Driving License?

    Our residency applications were granted last month so after organising the shipping of our household goods we have now made the move to Bonaire.

    We are in the process of looking to buy a pick up truck to save the rental cost and have been told we need to apply for Driving licenses on Bonaire. I have been unable to find any information on line though. As so many rules have changed over the past few years does anyone know the current position about driving licenses?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Flower Mound Tx. ( 2 miles from DFW airport)
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Dont know aboout the license. We have a friend on the island and we insured him with his american license. We did purchase a truck 4 months ago from Scott over a AB rental. We had a gentleman do some grinding on the underside. So far so good. They did paint the unit before picked it up . Hope your move went smooth. We will be down in 3 weeks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    354

    Default

    technically, if you plan on living on Bonaire as a resident you are required to get a local license. There is a grace period and a trip to the license office (Ribjewijs) located on Kaya Korona will get you the correct information. It requires a lot of papers, medical appointment, lessons and both a written and road exam. You should have plenty of time for this after your move, but attend to it. When i moved here nearly 30 years ago, i was not even allowed to own a car until i had the license. Now, you may own a vehicle and buy insurance and plates/tags if you possess any valid license. Generally most people ignore getting their local license , but it is a law and if you are caught driving without one after your grace period, the vehicle is confiscated and kept until you can provide one which takes weeks to get. I do not know the grace period for sure, 6 months I believe.

  4. #4
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    484

    Default

    When I came to Curacao I could just exchange my Dutch drivers licence for a licence on Curacao.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    rincon
    Posts
    55

    Default

    My last trip to the "bureau" was in 2009..... prior to 10-10-10..... so some things might have changed.
    As Petri says go to the licence office..... they should give you in English a list of places to go and fees to pay and lines to wait in.
    Plan on this taking some time.
    As for physical and written/driving tests I dont know..... they may simply rubber stamp everything...... then again??????
    Thats the bad news.
    The good news is you will have 5 years to prepare for your next renewal or 5 years to recover from your previous attempt.
    I renewed my Massachusetts licence by clicking the mouse on the computer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thanks for the advise, have scheduled a day trip to the licence office!

  7. #7
    AlbertA is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    54

    Default

    A bonairian driver's license costs 16,66 USD. Get it at Burgerzaken. Go there in your lunchbreak - no bonairian will go there at that time.
    A dutch licence can be changed into a bonairian without a new exam. You'll only need a doctor's report. You can get this report without the doctor actually seeing you. It costs 12 USD.
    I don't know about licenses from other countries, but if you would have to redo the exam, it will probably be just as easy as getting the US license. You'll have to pass a theory exam, and then you can do the practical exam. This costs 50 USD per category. Category B is the normal passenger car (up to 8 passengers, vehicle not heavier then 3.500 kg). For this exam you'll need again the doctor's report.

    Taking a lesson here (there's two schools, if i remember correctly) will set you back appr. 45 USD per hour, and 15 USD for the theory booklet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    354

    Default

    the ribjewis office is never busy..... doing the exam is not easy..... if you do have to do it the theory and practical lessons are required and the names of the"acceptable" instructors are usually given to you at the time of application. Be prepared, the driving (road test lesson) is usually only one. the theory requires several lessons. Rules of the road and some driving skills ( filtering at corners)are very different from the USA and it is required that you know the international driving signs . Hopefully, USA licenses are acceptable, but I have my doubts. It's Holland now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    rincon
    Posts
    55

    Default

    There seems to be a kinda laissez-faire attitude towards using seatbelts on Bonaire.
    I dont know what the law is regarding this.
    If you have to take the driving test, insist that all occupants be buckled up before you move the vehicle..... this includes the inspector/examiner person.
    As the driver you are responsible for the safety of all passengers...... act accordingly.
    In the US if you move the vehicle and someone is not strapped in you get pink-slipped on the spot.

  10. #10
    AlbertA is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Bonaire is not the US. Seat belt is not required by law (unfortunately, I might add).

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