Anyone who knows me knows that I hate driving. In fact, I was sitting on my restricted licence for about five years and only got my full licence a week before arriving in the Solomons.
After only seven months of being here, I have spent more hours on the road driving in the Solomon Islands, than in New Zealand, the country of where I have spent most of my life. The traffic here is so bad, sometimes I’ve spent four hours in a day trying to navigate the 10 km stretch of road from one side of town to the other. My driving experience has tripled. Quadrupled!
Does all that experience make me a better driver? Pft. Half the time I’m at a standstill waiting for the right stars to align before the traffic starts moving and when I do start moving it’s at an island speed of 10 km an hour. If anything, I have become a better judge of pothole depth.
In any case, 2017 will go down in my life as a huge milestone: the year I got two licences in one year.
Here’s how you too, can become a qualified Solomon Islands drivers licence holder.
Note: If you have a full New Zealand Driver’s Licence, you can drive in Solomon Islands for four months of arriving without a Solomon Islands driver’s licence.
Getting a Solomon Islands Driver’s Licence
- Full Driver’s Licence
- This form filled out
- SBD 103 or SBD 278 or SBD 438
Step 1: Go to IRD
Go to the IRD office. Yes, the Inland Revenue Division; the place that does taxes. The building is on the seaside side of the town-ground roundabout with a blue fence and no signs for clarity. Get there early. Or not. The counter officially opens at 8 am, but no one may show up until 9 am.
Step 2: Find the right counter
There are several counters, all of which are clearly marked (for once). Figure out which line of people you should stand behind (Hint: It’s the counter that says “Drivers Licensing”).
Step 3: Present form
When it’s finally your turn, present the form, tell the man at the counter that you have an overseas driver’s license and want a Solomon one. If you didn’t print and fill out the form beforehand, fill it out on the spot.
Step 4: Pay the fee
Show the counter man your Current and full licence, pose for your new photo, and pay the man the fee: SBD 103 for one year, SBD 278 for three years, SBD 438 for five years. Your licence will be issued within a minute. Check for spelling mistakes, they happen.
Next… How to licence a car.