Paperwork & Driver's Licenses

Friday 10 February 2012

First of all, thank you for your support and messages after my last post.  Life goes on and hopefully we secure another good location soon!

Back in the beginning, pre-carte de sejour, Joe and I were able to drive legally with an international driver's license, Canadian license, and passport with a valid visa.  Once you obtain a carte de sejour you must have a Gabonese license to legally drive.  Luckily for us, we don't actually have to do any driving courses or road tests; it's all in the paperwork.

The system here requires you to submit copies of your carte de sejour, home country license (translated if not in French,) 2 passport photos and 35 000 cfa (I think.)  A temporary license is drawn up and it is valid for 3 months.

I assume the point is to use the temporary license for the 3 months and in the meantime, the real license should be made.  Unfortunately, I've been reapplying every 3 months for the last 18 and am still without my 'real' license.

This week, Joe finally received the official one.  I'm not quite sure what took so long as it's just a thicker piece of paper and instead of the photo being glued on, it's secured with fasteners.

When the license is ready, they don't mail it to you as the postal system here is just too unreliable.  Instead, they pin the completed licenses to a wall in the office and you either go in and check to see if your photo is there or hope that one of your friends will notify you if they see it.

I'm sure they're not rushing with mine as they're guaranteed a fee with each re-application.


  1. what are you doing in west africa girl? i wanna know all about it. i guess i'm gonna have to search around this here blog.

    i love colliding with peoples lives, especially those who are on adventures!

  2. Thanks for stopping by! My husband and I moved here about 19 months ago for his job - it certainly is an adventure (sometimes good and sometimes not so good.)


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