Here’s how to convert your foreign driving license Sri Lanka driving license.
Before you proceed it is best to inquire with your embassy office in Colombo about translating your driving license into English if it is in another language.
Have the letter done one day in advance so that you can start your day at the Department of Motor Traffic early. This important as they only issue limited number of tokens daily. Ask your car, taxi or tuktuk driver to take you to the DMT office in Werahera (Way-ra-hay-ra). It is about 30 minutes drive out of Colombo (with heavy traffic).
Checklist of things you will need
- The embassy letter (if necessary)
- Photocopy of the data page and visa endorsement page of your passport.
- Photocopy of both sides of your driving license
- SL Rs. 10,000 (Rs. 1700 for card fee, Rs. 8,300 for conversion)
- SL Rs. 500 if you want the Same Day service
- SR Rs. 500 to get medical certificate done by a doctor
- Download and print a copy of this Medical Certificate of Fitness form
- A pen
- Your passport
- Driving license
Arriving at Werahera
Unauthorised vehicles are not allowed inside the DMT compound so you will have to get off at the main entrance. This is the best place to start anyway because you can get your medical done from one of the clinics around here.
Getting the medical certificate done
- As you face the entrace to DMT from Horana Road to your right will be photocopy kiosk. Get your passport and license copies done here if you already have not done so.
- Further to the right of this copy kiosk is a narrow lane going in. As you walk in there is a doctor’s clinic. Go in and ask for medical certification.
- Hand over the Medical Certificate of fitness form and passport.
- A nurse will prick your finger to get a blood drop to determine your blood type.
- She will also test your eyesight.
Starting the process
- With the medical certificate done you can now proceed into the main entrance of DMT. The actual license office, as you can see from the above map, is a bit of a walk in.
- As you enter the license office to your left will be a guarded door and a little further down will be a large counter.
- Walk up to the counter and speak in clear English that you “want to convert a foreign license” and produce your license and passport to show.
- They will give you the Request for Foreign License Conversion (RFLC) form. (Click the link to see a sample form.)
- Ask them to kindly also give you a Same Day token number. Smile and give thanks.
- They may mention that you will have to visit counter number 1 inside.
- Fill the RFLC form before you proceed any further.
- With the token number in hand proceed to the guarded entrance. (Beyond this point only the applicant is allowed to enter. If you brought friends they will need to wait out.)
- Show the man your token and mention clearly that you are a foreigner (won’t be necessary if you are not South Asian).
The first step
- Locate counter number 1. This will be clearly marked and located to your right as you enter the guarded area.
- Queue up to this counter with all the documents; the token, copies of passport and license, medical certificate, Request for Foreign License Conversion form and the embassy letter.
- The DMT officer inside will check and verify your documents.
- She / he will then sign the RFLC and ask you to proceed to the Staff officer’s room to get him to sign the approval.
- The Staff officer’s room will be guarded and you may have to queue up.
- Once inside handover the RFLC to the officer.
- Once the Staff officer has signed the RFLC proceed back to counter number 1.
- Here she / he may ask either ask you to go to any other counter between 2 and 11 OR she / he will proceed with the following:
- scan your thumb-prints
- get your signature digitized
- take your photo
- After this she will produce a printout of the Application for Conversion of Foreign Driving License (ACFDL) form with your photo and relevant details already filled in.
At this point you will need to fill out some of the details on the ACFDL. Namely:
- The name to be printed on the card
- Your address in Sri Lanka (under Additional Personal Details section).
- Phone number
- On the back of the ACFDL you will need to fill in the Visa details from your passport
- On the back of the ACFDL you will need to sign and date the form.
- Then proceed to any of the counters from 15 to 25
The second step
- Proceed to any counter from 15 to 25.
- The DMT officer there will scan all your documents.
- He / She will enter some details.
- You will then be asked to proceed to make the payment.
- Payment counters start from 31 and go to 35.
- Queue up at any of these counters.
- Once payment is made the officer there will issue a Receipt for Payment document.
- She will also inform you that you can collect your brand new license after 3pm the same day.
Some helpful tips
- The Receipt of Payment document is the only piece of paper that will be required when you come to collect the license.
- Also, your license maybe issued any time between 3pm and 4:30pm. The sooner you make the payment (as in Second step point 7 above), the sooner you will receive the card.
- There is no point in inquiring at the counter as to the whereabouts of your license. Wait for your name to be called out.
- The DMT issues only 200 tokens per day. So arrive early.
Follow above steps and by the end of the day you will have your spanking brand new Sri Lanka Driving License smart card. Hurrah!
The best part is that the license is valid for 8 years. (This may differ from application to application though).
For some reason with this license I am authorized to drive these freaky things!