It was tempting to name this post "the biggest load of malarkey I have encountered in my two years living in Brazil" but I figured that I should at least try to keep on topic. Besides, I may need the title for something else in the future.
Mostly for tax purposes (to keep ourselves at arm's length a bit from Canada and show our intent to stay in Brazil, as Mr. DRL's license was expiring, and he didn't want to get a new Canadian one), Mr. DRL and I both underwent the process for obtaining Brazilian driver's licenses. As to be expected, there were countless forms to fill out and fingerprints to be stamped, a few visits to DETRAN (the Brazilian version of the DMV or Registry as we'd call it in Canada) but we got through that part a few months ago. Since we had valid Canadian driver's licenses we did not need to do an actual driver's test behind the wheel, but we did complete small physical exams (eyesight, blood pressure, etc.) as a requirement.
Then, we had to take a 2 hour long psychological test. Which is where the malarkey comes in.For the record, I passed (surprised, are you? Maybe a little?).
I arrive, fill in some paperwork, do some fingerprints, have my physical exam, meet some nice people (mostly young Brazilians, one other gringa), then am brought into a room with about 8 others to complete the exam. The instructor speaks a tiny bit of English, which is helpful. But before the exam begins she goes on a tirade in Portuguese about foreigners coming in and taking Brazil's oil resources, THEIR resources, and how if you were to go for a driver's test in another country there would be no help with translations. The part about the translations probably true, but not super for making us feel all that welcome/comfortable in this tiny room for two hours with all that hostility. But anyway!
The test is the biggest joke I have ever encountered. I was warned by Mr. DRL and a friend that it was bizarre but no amount of warning prepared me for it. Every opportunity I had I stealthily took photos to share with you. Because that is the only way you can ever understand begin to understand... what is involved to get a Brazilian driver's license. OH.MY.GOD.
Pin the horseshoe on the??? No, I am not kidding, this was an actual multiple choice question on the test.
This part was interesting too - you had to put a tiny dot in each of the triangles on the line (far left box), then in the middle you had to complete a maze with a steady hand, finally on the right, put two small check marks in each box. I feel so much safer on Rio's roads knowing that the driver's have completed these crucial tasks.
This page took the cake for me. Really, swastikas? Finger + Ring = Finger with ring on?
There was also a section of the test which required us to memorize items in a picture and write them down, and a bizarre exercise where we had to write matching straight small lines on a paper for a predetermined amount of time, then count them up. It's a mystery as to what they are looking for in that exercise? Is it better to have more lines or for them to be uniform? I went for more uniform and was glad after as I didn't have to count as many tiny little lines in the end but who knows?