Queue, Queue, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb

If you don’t get the reference in the title, it’s from our childhood. Trumpton (1967)

The day before we, as citizens, leave the EU it was a very British experience. Queuing.

Yesterday we received a reminder from “Brits in Italy” that we need to start the process of exchanging our UK driving licenses before the end of the year. We are allowed a year to swap our licenses but if we start before the end of 2020 we won’t have to take either the written or practical test.

By chance some other Brits contacted us to ask how we were getting on with the process. We had to admit that this aspect had passed us by. We spent the day researching what we needed to do.

This morning, we set off early, armed with:

  1. Passports
  2. Copies of passports
  3. Driving licenses
  4. Copies of driving licenses
  5. Codice Fiscale
  6. Copies of Codice Fiscale
  7. Copies of residency certificates
  8. Completed TT 2112 forms
  9. Photographs
  10. Covid declaration forms to explain why we were leaving the Comune

We arrived at the Motorizzazione Civile in Pesaro without an appointment at 08:30 when they opened. Surrounded by young people taking their driving test we explained our plight and we were let in. To our delight we were advised that everything was in order. We just had to pay the fees (Bolli). This meant Colin had to go to the post office whilst Jan stayed at the centre as a hostage!

This is when it became more British. There was a queue outside the post office to join the queue inside the post office. I asked who was last in the queue (Italian queues are not lines, they are gatherings). I adopted the Italian method of announcing to the gathering that I was next after this lady whilst pointing at her (not so British as a proper queue makes this unnecessary).

It became less British when a lady parked outside the post office, partially blocking the traffic and asked who was last in the queue. She then pointed at him and announced to everyone that she was after him and closed the door to wait her turn in the warmth of her car. So Italian.

Back at the Motorizzazione Civile a driving instructor asked another “Did you see that British car here earlier? What are they doing here? They are leaving the EU on Friday” he joked. He had no idea that Jan was standing behind him.

After 40 minutes in the cold I was inside the post office and had my queue number. 20 minutes later I was heading back to the centre with my receipts.

With a dramatic flurry of stamping every page of all the documents we were issued with temporary licenses. Our Italian ones may be ready form the 20th of January.

We shall see.

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