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Special Pardon Allows 340,000 to Rush to Driver’s License Testing Sites

Special Pardon Allows 340,000 to Rush to Driver’s License Testing Sites

Posted August. 17, 2005 06:27,   


Afternoon of August 16. The Gangnam Driver’s License Testing Site was excessively crammed with people applying for a driver’s license test. Applicants started to gather at 7:00 a.m., two hours before the testing site opened, and by around 2:00 p.m. about 2,000 people filled the administration room.

Most of the applicants were the beneficiaries of a special pardon that the government had granted to celebrate Liberation Day this year. Their driver’s licenses were cancelled and reapplication was limited only for a certain period of time.

An insurance company worker, Park (41), said that he had his driver’s license cancelled in 2002 when he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol, and then in 2003, he was caught again when he was driving without a license. He said that he has gone through many difficulties in conducting his work since then, and that as soon as he heard the news of a special pardon, he came here to apply.

The testing site provided the registration document for those who finished their physical check-ups by 7:00 p.m. On this day, the testing site was closed after 10:00 p.m.

Some of the pardoned people were caught by the police while driving to the testing site.

A Flood of Applicants—

As of 4:00 p.m. on the same day, 26 driver’s license testing sites nationwide accepted documents submitted by 26,972 applicants, 75 percent greater than the number from a week ago.

Including the 9,900 people on the waiting list, the number of civil petitions was more than doubled, according to the Driver’s License Agency.

Also, about 500 drivers’ license institutes had 815 new members on average, almost twice the usual number.

The number of people who were allowed to apply for an immediate test thanks to the special pardon is 340,314.

On July 10, 2002, a special pardon granted 480,000 people a chance to apply for a test. At that time, those who submitted their registration documents in July had waited for about two weeks, while those in August had waited for 23 days. Taken this into consideration, most of the applicants this year are also expected to wait for at least two or three weeks for the test, according to the police.

“Usually, since the applicants have to first take written examinations, the waiting period is not that long in the first month after a special pardon. However, when the number of applicants for a road test increases, applicants will have to wait for a longer period of time,” said an official from the National Police Agency.

The Driver’s License Agency has decided to extend its testing time by one hour until 7:00 p.m. and to let each testing site carry out weekend tests twice a month. The schedule for weekend tests vary by testing site, so applicants can have more chances to take a test.

The member registration of the homepage of the Driver’s License Agency (www.dla.go.kr) will inform you whether you are allowed to take a test.

Jae-Myoung Lee egija@donga.com wiseweb@donga.com