I went to the RTA today, because I’ve been living in NSW for ever so slightly under three months, no more than that, please don’t fine me.

“I don’t know the first issue date of my Victorian licence,” I said.

“Just make something up,” she said.(*)

So I did. And it went through the system. Note to people getting their Victorian licences converted to NSW ones: make up a first issue date and then you won’t have to pay $8.50 for the letter! But don’t tell the RTA!

For eye tests they have a cunning setup where you look into a mirror suspended above the desk and the RTA person opens a cupboard under the desk and the eye chart is reflected in the mirror. It’s really cool. I want one to go with my box of lenses.

“Can you read the fifth line from the top?” she asked.

“I can read the bottom line!” I said.

“That’s the same as the fifth line from the top,” she said, shattering my illusions. But I read it anyway and was rewarded with the removal of the S of shame from my licence. (Not the S of my middle name, though.)

Another note for people getting their NSW licence: as with passports you’re not allowed to smile in your photo. Knowing this will make you want to smile when they take your photo. Also, you can’t have floppy emo hair or anything in your face (although heavy-duty concealer to hide dark circles appears to be OK). Unlike a passport, if you make a mistake on your form you don’t have to go and stand in the naughty corner while you think about what you’ve done.

So now I have a shiny piece of plastic with my current address on! Now I can join one of these new-fangled video libraries. I think there’s still one in Wingham.


(*) Actually she said “do you know approximately when it was? Just put down the month and year”, and then she said “put the 8th for the date, go on”. Don’t tell the RTA.

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