Getting a Driving Licence in a Language I don’t Speak Well — Feels like a Lifetime Achievement

Erika Chaudhary
6 min readApr 20, 2022
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

People are what they do, not what they say, not what they think, not what they pretend to be.” — James Lee Burke, The New Iberian Blues

To pass a driving exam is a milestone in anyone’s life. It usually happens to young souls. Twenty years later I finally got my driving licence!!!!!! People my age have twenty years of experience but it’s better late than never, right?

It only took me four years to get my driving licence! Why four years I hear you ask? Well, where do I begin?

The beginning of a long story

It’s hard to get a driving licence when you don’t live in one place for too long! When I decided to get a driving licence my husband and I lived in Barcelona. As I was ready to take my exams we left for London for a project. A year goes by we returned to Madrid. I signed up with a new driving school.

The time when I passed my theory exam in the fourth go was the end of summer. I simply couldn’t understand the translation from Spanish to English. I counted myself lucky because they actually do English translation, however bad. The sentences made no sense in English translation. The teachers at the school would tell me “I know the translations don’t make sense but you have to guess!”

I was guessing and I got lucky the fourth time. The time I passed my theory exam the hope of me driving soon was floating like ash in the wind. Then, two things happened we moved from Madrid back to Barcelona and coronavirus hit the world.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

The reality of getting to a New Driving School

When I had to find a new driving school it suddenly felt like raw damp and cold afternoon in London. What that meant to me and my driving license was, that I had to find a new driving school that would take new students with the passed theory exam. Because of covid-19 and because I had my theory exam this meant I was pushed…



Erika Chaudhary

I am a writer who learned to code! I write about personal experiences within a humanist and global context. Find me on Twitter & Instagram @erikachaudhary