Further to my earlier post, and the update in a later post marking the fourth birthday of my blog, today I became the proud owner of a Czech Driving Licence. I now have a driving licence, valid for the next five years, which inevitably also includes a far from flattering photograph of me 🙁
Compared to my two previous visits to Magistrát hl.m. Praha / the HQ of Prague City Council, today’s visit went remarkably quickly and smoothly. Following my second visit on Monday 4th February 2013, when I successfully proved that the Chaplaincy Flat where I live, is my family home, I was given a little slip of paper telling me to return today, with my passport and residency permit, to surrender both parts of my UK Driving Licence and collect my shiny new replacement Czech Driving Licence.
On both my previous visits, I was accompanied by Lisette, an American member of the St. Clement’s congregation, who read Slavic languages at university in the USA, and speaks fluent Czech. But because of health issues, she has since had to return to the US. However, as a result of my earlier posts here, about all that is involved in successfully registering a right-hand drive car in the Czech Republic, I have recently been contacted by a Czech-British couple, Vlad & Jan, who kindly offered to provide language help in future, should I need it, as a ‘thank you’ for meeting with them and giving them the low-down on how to register their British right-hand drive car here.
Unfortunately Vlad had to pay a brief visit back to the UK this week, making himself unavailable. So he organised for his good friend Pavel to substitute for him and, together with Jan, they were both waiting for me when I arrived at Magistrát hl.m. Praha / the HQ of Prague City Council at 3.00 pm this afternoon.
The whole place works on a numbered ticket system. On my two previous visits, Lisette and I had been required to wait for about twenty minutes before our number came up. Today, no sooner had Pavel worked out which button to press to produce our ticket, the ticket number immediately came up, summoning us to cubicle 56. I produced both parts of my UK Driving Licence and my ID, and then my new Czech Driving Licence was shown to me. A quick visit to the cash desk to pay the fee of CZK 50 (about £1.70), produced a receipt. With that, the Czech Driving Licence was mine.
As I have previously explained, the Czech authorities would not allow ‘Rev’ or ‘Rev’d’ as my title as they officially do not recognise religious or hereditary titles. So my new Czech Driving Licence has also made me a layman. But just to make my point, I today deliberately wore my clerical shirt and collar. Therefore here I am, outside Magistrát hl.m. Praha / the HQ of Prague City Council, with my new Czech Driving Licence, having successfully obtained a small victory over Czech bureaucracy, but at the expense of my title 🙁