SIM Agent?

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  • SamanthaB
    Member
    • May 2009
    • 1109

    SIM Agent?

    Hey, guys! So, the husband and I have decided that it's time to get actual Indonesian DL's. We've been zipping all over Jakarta for the last 18 months with only our American and International DL's-- probably time to go legit, yes?

    I know that I *could* play by the rules and spend an entire day at the police department taking tests and having medical exams and filling out forms and arguing about the actual price of a SIM. I don't want to do that, though. I'd rather just pay an 'agent' a wad o' cash to take care of it for me. My time is worth more than whatever the 'agent' will charge me to get it taken care of.

    Anyone have any suggestions for me? A phone number of an agent you've used? The location of a good police station to go to?

    Thanks in advance!

    (As an aside, I generally loathe corruption, and refuse to pay bribes, but this is one of those times I'm just going to let it work in my favor. I consider it payback for the time I was robbed and had to pay the thieving cops just to give me a police report so I could cancel my credit and debit cards.)
  • MadCat
    Member
    • Aug 2008
    • 1078

    #2
    No need for an agent, just go to the place where you get the SIM and start the process. I did it myself and was in and out of Daan Mogot in an hour and a half, without paying any bribes, just show up, and make it look like you know what you're doing
    sigpic
    bassist, perl ninja, random stranger

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    • SamanthaB
      Member
      • May 2009
      • 1109

      #3
      Are you sure it will be that fast? I've heard from lots of my Indo friends that even they (as locals) end up paying bribes-- and wasting an entire day in the process. Several of them have told me that it's impossible to pass the test without paying a bribe and that, until you cough up the cash, there will be an endless stream of 'issues', like your documents aren't adequate or the SIM will take two weeks to process. I'd rather avoid a headache-- it's worth paying the money if I can get the SIM hassle-free.

      Comment

      • MadCat
        Member
        • Aug 2008
        • 1078

        #4
        Not sure but that's how long it took. Went in, got my forms, did the eye test (20.000IDR), filled out the form, handed it over, had fingerprint and picture taken, and waited for about 45 minutes before they called (or tried to call) my name. I think the difference is whether you are applying for a *new* license, or whether you already have a license from your home country and just want an indonesian one.

        Your mileage may vary
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        bassist, perl ninja, random stranger

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        • atlantis
          Banned
          • Jul 2008
          • 16593

          #5
          Originally posted by SamanthaB View Post
          Are you sure it will be that fast? I've heard from lots of my Indo friends that even they (as locals) end up paying bribes-- and wasting an entire day in the process. Several of them have told me that it's impossible to pass the test without paying a bribe and that, until you cough up the cash, there will be an endless stream of 'issues', like your documents aren't adequate or the SIM will take two weeks to process. I'd rather avoid a headache-- it's worth paying the money if I can get the SIM hassle-free.
          To be honest SamanthaB, 95% of the Indonesian you've talked with have never tried themselves or have tried long time ago. It's kind of a psychological thing. Most will use the service of a "friend" even for the issuance of a simple paper issued in ten minutes by their kantor lurah! After they will complain and moan about the general corruption of the country. With no or little effort done by the penduduk of the country, erasing corruption is not an easy battle to win.
          Day-to-day Police have improved in the past 10 years and the successive Kapolri have tried to improve the overall image of the police by having the system of issuance/renewal of SIM, BPKB & STNK ridden of most of its internal corruption. It is now way easier to get any of these documents done. As MadCat noted, a first issuance is slightly longer (up to half a day I would say) because the applicant has to go through both the hujan theory and the hujan praktek (both are ridiculously easy)
          If you already possess a SIM RI the procedure is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of hours. It is what it takes me to renew both my SIM A and my SIM C which terminate in the same time. I usually help our drivers for the renewal of their SIM A umum, B1 umum or B2 umum. In fact I just want to make sure they are not abused by any calo roaming around the Sat Lantas. The procedure for the 3 types of SIM is somewhat longer due to the fact that they have to take more tests than for the issuance of a normal SIM, but it doesn't exceed half a day.
          If you do not possess a SIM RI but possess a valid driving license from a foreign country + a valid IDP then you should pass the ujian teori but be exempted of the ujian praktek. Though it is a legal requirement, it is often ignored and the police consider it as a simple renewal of SIM RI with no test at all.

          Typically, you may be required to submit copies of your KITAS, your STM, your SKLD, your SKTT, passport & visa, and pics (first issuance only). It seems that it varies depending on where one applies. Concerning fees, they are listed here.
          The SIM issued will be valid for 1 year BUT won't exceed the validity of your KITAS (If it terminates in 1 month, it means that your SIM will be only valid for 1 month). it means that you'd better have it done just after the renewal of your KITAS.
          Last edited by atlantis; 17-09-10, 07:32. Reason: Typo: replaced "hujan" (rain) by ujian (test) ;-)

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          • Alia
            Harmless Kitten
            • May 2010
            • 3917

            #6
            Originally posted by atlantis View Post
            ... ujian teori but be exempted of the ujian praktek. .
            I'm sure you didn't mean it as rain, atlantis..?
            Last edited by atlantis; 17-09-10, 07:30.
            Words can inspire, thoughts can provoke, but only action can get you closer to your dreams.

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            • atlantis
              Banned
              • Jul 2008
              • 16593

              #7
              Originally posted by Alia View Post
              I'm sure you didn't mean it as rain, atlantis..?
              hehehe... I often do the typo. It is part of the words that I almost always type wrong.

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              • SamanthaB
                Member
                • May 2009
                • 1109

                #8
                Thank you, Atlantis! You've convinced me to at least give the 'legit' method a try. We're heading over to the police station in about an hour. I'll report back on how it goes!

                Comment

                • kingwilly
                  Banned
                  • Jul 2008
                  • 8038

                  #9
                  let us know how u go.

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                  • atlantis
                    Banned
                    • Jul 2008
                    • 16593

                    #10
                    Originally posted by SamanthaB View Post
                    Thank you, Atlantis! You've convinced me to at least give the 'legit' method a try. We're heading over to the police station in about an hour. I'll report back on how it goes!
                    Note that the earliest you go, the less you will wait. And don't let the calo mess up with you. If you go to an agent, try to choose a registered one. At least you may expect that he/she is paying taxes which go to the kas negara. A police officer acting as a calo would be, in my opinion, the worst choice.
                    Last edited by atlantis; 17-09-10, 09:16.

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                    • MadCat
                      Member
                      • Aug 2008
                      • 1078

                      #11
                      Basically what Atlantis said; there's plenty calo outside that will attempt to get you to use their services (some don't take "no" for an answer either), but just ignore them. Usually if you come inside there'll be some guard type who will ask you what you need and will point you in the right direction.
                      sigpic
                      bassist, perl ninja, random stranger

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                      • kingwilly
                        Banned
                        • Jul 2008
                        • 8038

                        #12
                        Originally posted by SamanthaB View Post
                        Thank you, Atlantis! You've convinced me to at least give the 'legit' method a try. We're heading over to the police station in about an hour. I'll report back on how it goes!

                        and...... ?

                        Comment

                        • SamanthaB
                          Member
                          • May 2009
                          • 1109

                          #13
                          Took some time to post an update because I needed yesterday evening to cool down/clear my head. Some nice red wine and a good night's sleep later, I'm feeling much more zen about the whole experience... Which was, with no better way to put it, a complete and total clusterfuck.

                          Okay. Where to start?...

                          We opted to take a taxi to the station on Daan Mogot-- thought it wise to leave the bikes at home while we're applying for our SIMs. The taxi driver dropped us off right in front of the main entrance. The taxi fare, after tip, was Rp. 50.000.

                          We walked up to the entrance and the cop asked us if we were there to get a SIM. We said yes. He asked us where our agent was. We said we didn't have one, that we were doing it independently. (Mind you, all conversations took place in Indonesian, not English.) He pointed us in the direction of the medical exam, which is on the other side of the parking lot.

                          We walked over there and stood in line with the masses. The line moved quickly and we were in and out of the medical exam (which was just a three number vision test and no blood pressure check) within about 15 minutes. It cost us Rp. 20.000 per person.

                          We stopped by the photocopy booth to have copies of all of our documents prepared. That cost us a total of Rp. 5.000.

                          We walked back over to the main building. The same cop greeted us at the door. When we walked in, he asked what kind of license we wanted to prepare. We told him a SIM C. He said, "Here, follow me." So, we followed him. He brought us over to a back room with a shady-looking guy who shook our hands and took our documents. I was like, "Um, why are we here?" And the cop said, "He's going to quickly process your SIM C for you." And I was like, "How much?" The shady guy said it would be Rp. 450.000 per person. I said, "Oh, no, that's okay. We want to do it ourselves, the normal way."

                          We took our documents back and found the bank window on our own. We paid the Rp. 100.000 per person for the SIM C. We went over to the other window to pick up our applications. We completed the forms and then went to Window 19, the Orang Asing counter. The woman at Window 19 spoke perfect English and compiled all of our documents. While this was happening, my husband noted how smoothly and efficiently the whole process was going. We patted ourselves on the back for not paying an agent.

                          That's when it all went downhill. The woman at Window 19 gave us a slip and told us we needed to go take a test. I asked her why we needed to take the test-- we have American DL's and international DL's and every other possible form of ID. I told her I thought that if we already had the international and American DL's, we didn't need to take any tests. She told us that was wrong and that anyone who hasn't been given a test got their license fraudulently. She told us the test is easy and in English and it shouldn't be a problem.

                          We were annoyed at the kink in our plans, but went to take the test anyways. We went over to the examination room where we were treated, by both the examination proctor and the 30+ people in the room, like zoo animals. There were chants of "Hey, Mister!" and "BULE!" and they all thought it was very funny that we were there taking a test. I know that shit shouldn't get under my skin, but it does-- especially because I was already starting to get annoyed and wishing I would have just paid the Rp. 450.000.

                          The room was hot and I was sweating through my clothes. They gave us a copy of the test in English and an English 'Scantron' answer sheet. As soon as I saw the test, I knew we were in trouble. That test looked like it had been translated by monkeys playing with a set of 'Magnetic Poetry'. It made absolutely no sense. It wasn't just 'Engrish', it was incomprehensible. There were questions about aircraft brakes. Questions where are three of the answers meant the same thing because of the misuse of imperatives. There was even a question where the second answer wasn't translated at all-- it was still in Indonesian! There were typos and words that I've never seen before-- not Indonesian and not English, either. That test is, absolutely, impossible to pass.

                          At that point, I was still trying to have a good sense of humor about it all. We did our best and figured that we had a 1 in 3 chance of getting any of the questions right-- maybe the fates would look kindly upon us. At this point, we'd still only been there for about an hour and a half. I figured if it all went well, we could be in and out with our SIMs in about 2.5 total.

                          We were told to go wait at Window 5, so that's what we did. We sat there for about 30 minutes before someone came over and told us that, oops!, we really were supposed to be waiting at Window 5A, which is on the other side of the building. Because that makes sense, right? So, we walk over to Window 5A and we notice that the building seems to be emptying out. Without any announcement or notice, the whole freakin' place closed down for an hour-long lunch and prayer break. It was obscene. They can't stagger their lunch breaks?

                          We sat there, sweating through our clothes, getting more and more frustrated, while we waited for our results. Finally, an hour later, Window 5A opened up. They started calling out names. We collected our sheets but had no idea what it meant-- the didn't return the test sheets or give you a score or tell you what you missed. We asked if we had passed or failed and the man just told us to go back to Window 19. So we did.

                          At Window 19, the woman took our slips and told us that we failed the test. She couldn't/wouldn't tell us by how many questions or what we missed. There is zero transparency or accountability, not to mention the fact that the test is impossible to actually pass because it's written in gibberish. I told her that we couldn't understand the test and that it is not, in fact, written in English. She said that we would need to come back on September 28th to take it again and that there was nothing more she could do.

                          I was, to put it lightly, PISSED. At that point, we were about 3.5 hours into the waiting game. I was determined not to leave without a SIM. I asked the woman at Window 19 for our papers back and she refused. Said they needed them for their records. I went back out into the lobby and tried to find the initial shady man, but I couldn't find him. I was pointed around to no less than six different people. Finally, I was directed to the main police officer on duty. I explained to him that we didn't understand the test, that we already had both American and international DL's, and that we were willing to pay for 'expedited' service. He laughed and told us not to worry about it and that he would be there, at Window 19, to 'help' us. He told us to just go and wait there.

                          So we went. And waited. We waited for an hour and he never came. I wandered the building multiple times, looking for him or anyone that might be able to 'assist' us. No one. There weren't even any cops in the whole building-- even at the front security desk, it was just a plain-clothed employee. I asked where all of the cops had gone to and no one knew. We waited until 3:00. At that point, we'd been there for five hours. I couldn't wait any longer. I was going to cry. Or scream. Or go postal. Or say things about Indonesia, and the culture of corruption, that I might later regret. So we left.

                          We walked out to the main road to catch a cab. On the way, we passed the main guard booth and saw all of the cops inside, watching TV, sipping coffee, and smoking cigarettes. We hailed a cab and spent another Rp. 50.000 to go home, having wasted about Rp. 400.000 and five hours and leaving empty handed, still no SIMs for either one of us.
                          Last edited by SamanthaB; 18-09-10, 11:05.

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                          • atlantis
                            Banned
                            • Jul 2008
                            • 16593

                            #14
                            I feel sorry to hear about your experience. As per my post #5, the theory test is mandatory, which is normal (when I got my Californian drivers license I had to pass both test theory and practice, even though I had a foreign license). That is maybe a pity that you weren't able to pass the test in BI. I have passed it twice and has always had a very different experience. The fact that it was friday certainly also did not help.
                            If you do not possess a SIM RI but possess a valid driving license from a foreign country + a valid IDP then you should pass the ujian teori but be exempted of the ujian praktek. Though it is a legal requirement, it is often ignored and the police consider it as a simple renewal of SIM RI with no test at all.

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                            • SamanthaB
                              Member
                              • May 2009
                              • 1109

                              #15
                              Ya, most of my friends told me that we should have just taken the test in Indonesian. We probably could have passed it. I was nervous, though, because I can speak and understand Indonesian with no problem-- conversationally. But I've never *studied* Indonesian. If the Indonesian is formal, or if there's vocabulary that's unfamiliar to me, I might not understand it. I thought (silly me!) that it would be a better choice to opt for the English test.

                              The English version of the test is a complete joke. If I were more conspiracy oriented, I'd actually think it was intentional-- to guarantee that orang asing have no choice but to pay the bribe if they want a SIM. I mean, I could have put the BI test into Google Translate and gotten a *far* better English test than the garbage they handed me.

                              I know that the law requires the written test, and I don't know how MadCat slipped by without having to take the test, too... Guess we were just 'unlucky' enough to get an employee who actually plays by the rules-- even if the rules are set up to ensure failure.

                              Until they offer an English test that is actually in ENGLISH, I'd suggest that any foreigner looking to create a SIM to got through an agent or, at the very least, take the test in Indonesian. If you take the test in English, there's really no way to pass. (Other than dumb luck.)
                              Last edited by SamanthaB; 18-09-10, 11:06.

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