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Jamaican Drivers Licence
How To Get Your Licence In Jamaica

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Jamaican Drivers LicenceJamaican Drivers Licence

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

The steps to getting your Jamaican Driver’s licence can be pretty stressful. The most frustrating thing is not having clear information on each step. So, here I am to clear it up for you as best as possible, having done mine recently.

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Learner’s Permit

The first step to getting your Jamaican Driver’s Licence is your learner’s permit. Anyone over the age of 17 can apply for a permit. There is the Jamaican Driver’s Guide book series which will be of great help for this entire process. In addition to all the road codes in Jamaica, there are practice questions on the back to prepare you for your first test.

Before you do the test, however, you’ll need to visit the Vehicle Examination Station (Depot) to schedule the date for your test. It is usually set within two weeks depending on how backlogged they might be. To set the date, you’ll need 3 passport-sized pictures, signed by a Justice of the Peace.

When you successfully pass your learner’s permit test, you’ll be given a sealed envelope to bring to the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) to process the permit. It will cost you JMD 1,800 to process your learner’s permit.

Please note that before you have a learner’s permit you are not allowed to operate a vehicle in Jamaica. With the permit, you are allowed to operate a vehicle as long as another person with a driver’s licence is in the car with you as well.

From here, you can get as much practice as you think you are comfortable with before doing the driver’s licence test. The permit expires after a year.

Driver’s Licence Test

Anyone 18 years and older can apply for a driver’s licence. To apply, you will need to head back to the TAJ to pay the driver’s licence examination fee (which is, at this time JMD 3,700). You’ll then take that receipt to the Depot to schedule the date for your examinations.

In the days leading up to your exam, you’ll have a few things to do to prepare. Firstly, collect and fill out the driver’s licence application form from the TAJ.

You will also need a Justice of the Peace (JP) to verify the information on the form, the spots they are required to fill out are clearly marked. You will also have to do a general check-up at your doctor, to certify that you are in good medical standing to operate a vehicle.

On the day of your exams, you’ll do additional theory tests - a road code and a mechanical test (if you are applying for a general licence). Successful completion of these tests means you’ll move on to the practical test which will test your level of competence on the road. These tests will check your ability to

  • Hill Start
  • Reverse
  • Parallel Park
  • And other general uses of the road

Upon passing this test, you will be required to fill out a form, verify your information, read and write a sentence and sign the documents. Your information will then be sent to the TAJ where you will collect your Driver’s licence from. The process of getting your driver’s licence can take up to 6 weeks.

Whenever you are going to collect the licence you’ll need to bring along:

  • Identification (National ID or Passport)
  • Processing Fee - 7,200
  • Learner’s Permit
  • 3 Passport Sized Pictures

Tips And General Information

These general rules apply for both motor vehicle and motorcycle applications though the tests, application forms and fees will differ.

You will only be permitted to complete and collect your driver’s licence in the parish you currently reside. The address on your picture ID and your Tax Registration Number must match. This can be updated at the TAJ.

You can apply for your licence in Jamaica at 18 to operate private vehicles.

To operate public passenger vehicles (PPVs) you must be 21 years or older.

You are expected to arrange your own vehicle to complete your test outfitted with the red “L” signs on the back and front for other road users to be able to identify you.

Disadvantaged Persons

Are persons deemed ineligible for a permit if they fall into one or more of the following categories?

  • Suffer from epileptic seizures
  • Have severe mental health issues such as schizophrenia
  • Are severely visually impaired or blind
  • Have an aneurysm
  • Experience heart conditions such as angina
  • Have lost one or both hands or feet
  • Have trouble with muscular coordination

This is in fact true. However, while this is in place, there are some circumstances where a person suffering from disabilities is permitted to have a driver’s licence after proving their capabilities to safely operate a vehicle. These persons can still only have a private licence and are not permitted to operate a public passenger vehicle.

Also, those disadvantaged persons with missing limbs are required to retrofit their vehicles to complete the driving test.

All these forms are available online on the Tax Administration’s website as well as at the TAJ offices and the examination depot.

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