By Jackie Eager
If you’re an expat, and have decided to drive a car in Solomon Islands, you’re going to need to get a local drivers license if you’re staying more than 12 weeks. For the first three months, it’s okay to drive on your overseas license so no need to rush around as soon as you arrive but, as the job doesn’t take too long, it’s a good box to tick off early. I recently got my Solomon Islands license so thought I would share my experience in case you’re a little unsure of how it’s done.
Before you head to the license office, put your overseas drivers license and a pen in your bag. I also took along my passport. It wasn’t needed in the end, but I feel it’s always good to have another form of identification just in case.
The place you need to visit is the Inland Revenue Division. It is located at the back of the blue Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) buildings in Honiara City.
The buildings are opposite the round about pictured below.
The line you need is Counter One and the license application forms are on the table to the left. The form is reasonably short, a double-sided page so you can complete it while standing in line. Things you need to list on the form include your address, contact numbers, your height, eye colour, and any driving restrictions.
When it was my turn, I handed over my completed form, my identification and the fee, which was $103 for one year. If you are visiting Solomon Islands for quite a while then perhaps consider the three year option $278 or the five year version for $438.
Once the paperwork and payment were completed, I had my photo taken and I signed the electronic pad. A few minutes later, my fancy, plastic license was ready and I was good to drive off!
Surprisingly, it only took approximately 30 minutes from lining up to walking away with my glossy license. I took on the task early in the morning, around 9am, and would strongly recommend you do the same. When I was walking out, the line had lengthened considerably.
If you have any questions, you can contact the Inland Revenue Division on 28243 or visit their website.