In Nigeria like any other country, it is a crime to drive a vehicle or motorbike without a licence. The Road Traffic Act 1990, Cap 548 Section 7 prohibits driving a motor vehicle without licence. Owning a license is evidence that you have been tested and authorized to drive on any road in Nigeria. This is a way of ascertaining the safety of other road users.
A Driver’s Licence is not a one off document – it is renewable. In Nigeria, a driver’s licence is valid for renewal after 3 years of issue and you must not be below 18 years of age to apply.
You can apply for a driver’s licence either as
- A First Time Driver (New Licence) or
- A Returning Driver (Renewed Licence)
FIRST TIME DRIVER’S LICENCE
According to the FRSC – the body responsible for the enforcement of the Road Traffic Law in Nigeria – to obtain a license for the first time you need to follow the steps stated below.
STEP 1: ENROLL IN A DRIVING SCHOOL
Enroll in one of the accredited driving schools near you and attend their training/lessons. After your training the school will present you to the Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) for driving test.
STEP 2: PASS THE TEST
If you are able to pass the VIO test you will be awarded with a certificate of proficiency. On the other hand, if you fail the test, you can retake the test – up to three times at an interval of 30 days.
STEP 3: VISIT DRIVER'S LICENCE CENTRE
Make your way to the nearest Driver’s License Centre to process your application. You will be issued a form for you to fill. Ensure you complet the form with accurate information.
STEP 4: MAKE PAYMENT
Pay for the license either online or through designated banks. Check the detailed procedure of payment here. The cost of a new license is N6,000.
STEP 5: PRESENT YOUR FORM
After payment and obtaining your confirmation return to the Driver’s Licence Centre. At the centre proceed to the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) and VIO then present your application form to them for endorsement.
STEP 6: DO BIOMETRIC DATA CAPTURE
Still at the DLC, locate the FRSC officer in charge of biometric data capture for your data to be captured. You might be given a date and time to come if there are people waiting in line. This stage is not always easy due to the crowd but you have to persevere. Many people try capturing for days without success. So you have to start the license process in a centre close to you. See full list of centres nationwide here.
STEP 7: GET A TEMPORARY DRIVER'S LICENCE
After you have captured, you will be issued with a Temporary Driver’s License which is valid for 60 days. Collect it and wait for FRSC invitation as to when to come for your license. While waiting for the notification you can check or track the status of your application on the site by typing your Application ID and Date of Birth in the slots provided.
STEP 8: COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL LICENCE
After 60 days, you will be invited or notified to come and collect your Original Driver’s License at the BIR Office. Go there with the necessary documents to claim it.
RENEWING DRIVER’S LICENCE
To renew your license involves fewer steps compared to obtaining one as a first timer. Here they are:
STEP 1: DRIVER'S LICENCE CENTRE OR SITE
Start the process at the Driver’s License Centre (DLC) website or in person at the nearest centre to you. On the DLC page click on Driver’s License Renewal to continue. Fill in the required details – Driver’s License Number and Date of Birth – the hit search.
STEP 2: MAKE PAYMENT
Repeat the process in Step 4 above.
STEP 3: PRESENT YOUR FORM
Repeat the process in Step 5 above.
STEP 4: BIOMETRIC DATA CAPTURE
Repeat the process in Step 6 above.
STEP 5: GET A TEMPORARY DRIVER'S LICENCE
Repeat the process in Step 7 above.
STEP 6: COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL LICENCE
Repeat the process in Step 8 above.
As you can see from the processes above, it is not that difficult to obtain or renew your driver’s licence. People just create unnecessary hype to cause applicants to part with large sums of money as bride to speed up the process. Many because of ignorance pay agents double or even triple to get the licence and might even end up getting fake licences for the price of original. I am aware that officials act funny to make it difficult but in all do not become a victim. Be patient and follow the steps systematically. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Please if you have any comment or experience with the FRSC during your visit, post them here. You can also post your questions here or check the FAQs for self help solutions. All the best.
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