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lovingmy40s

Driver's License For Maid?

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Hi all,

So I am talking to my newish maid and wishing out loud that she could drive - and asked her if she'd be willing to learn- and she said she'd love to! I would sign her up for a class, etc to see if she can get her local license (she's only driven very occasionally in the Phillipines)

So then I thought - why doesn't everyone do this? If she'd learned and got her license, I would pay her more - the savings alone on daily taxis would more than offset the added pay - and it would be hugely convenient for things like grocery shopping, etc.

So...what is the catch??

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For me it would be sending my children off with an inexperienced driver on these roads. Cost of having to buy an extra car that is not a Tiida and the cost of the driving lessons possibly. I don't know how much they are here.

After seeing AT's post I'd just like to add I have no idea whether a maid can take a driver's license.

Edited by Mum80

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think they are banned as well. The putting my kids in a car with someone who just learned how to drive would be terrifying. You have driven for 30+ years and learned to drive in the states and you understand how things work and how to drive safely. The maid is going to learn how to drive here..lots of things that we see daily being taught here, incorrectly, and then getting on the roads here. I think the cost of the taxi would ensure that the children are safely driven to and from their destinations.

Lots and lots of reasons this should be a big red NO. No offense, but you haven't thought this through or the consequences. I don't think you could pay her more because your insurance costs for a NEW driver plus the car cost would take the extra money you would want to pay her. AND that's if she's a decent driver and passes her test. She might think she could drive (we have been to the Phillipines and that the wild west for driving lol) but you could spend all that money on lessons and she could fail and not be able to pass the drivers test.

Edited by Horseluver77

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I know a driver (flipino lady) who is employed by a very nice family, mum is English, do you want me to very carefully ask a few questions, ie could you drive before, what does your visa say etc when I see her next? I have followed her a few times just by chance (not stalking her) and her driving seems OK.

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thanks all. Danielle, I would love to know more! Thank you for offering! I don't see this process as a short term thing - my goal would be to get her driving lessons first, if possible, then convert her in about 6-7 months (if visa change is needed)

For our son, I did think it through more than it appears although I appreciate the concern. My logic is that we are thinking that next year (in November!) we would move nearer to our school - close enough that no highways would be involved. The challenge is that it's far enough not to want to walk (and without sidewalks, not safe IMHO) but near enough that a taxi will likely balk at the low fare on a daily basis.

So that would be 11 months away, and in the meantime, she would take many many lessons and drive often with us (adults) then alone only to the grocery store, etc. I wouldn't put her on the highway with my son until I was sure of her - although for the U.S. he is only 3 years away from his driver's permit and driving himself (I need those googly eyes - dang this iPad ;-))

She has driven - and honestly, with some of the experiences I have had with 'taxi drivers' and folks driving on the road, I would be happy to have her take driving lessons, manage any bad habits (including driving too cautiously!!) - and make sure she's as safe as possible. I think the risk of having her drive is relatively low when i look at the options - knowing no option is risk free, including me driving him!

I know having a separate driver is an option, but I always told myself that if I have more staff than kids in the family, it would be time to leave - so I refuse to hire a driver (famous last words....)

We will have an extra car by then - and I will drive the cheapest car when she has my precious bundle in the car and she can drive the safest car (although by then my son will be taller than me!) I am car-make agnostic, although I definitely notice a difference in other drivers' manners when I drive my el cheapo car - I drive with pride and defiance :-)

Anyhow... I will ask around some more about the paperwork. I am willing to pay more although i am pretty sure that sooner or later she will want to be a driver only, so I will lose her (but will feel good if I have helped her have a better life here) as long as she gives me a couple of years after i invest in her driving, that would be worth it..

Edited by lovingmy40s

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LM40's I think it's an excellent idea. If you can make it work. The comments saying it just wouldn't be safe are a load of rubbish. Who is to say someone that has been driving forever here is going to be a better driver. It is the person who is driving as to whether they are competent or not and only when she has the licence will you be able to gauge the situation. It is a large investment so you need to be sure of your maid to make sure she is right for your family and is committed for the long term. Good luck and I hope it works for you.

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I think it's a great idea if you can pull it off. I think you need a very confident, assertive person to get the hang of driving here which may not fit the bill for everyone's housemaid (and like you said, *plenty* of practice!). Some of the taxi drivers are rubbage drivers so I think knowing your maid's experience and emphasizing safety might lead to a good long-term solution if you are willing to be patient until she gets a lot of practie under her belt. Do keep us posted if you are able to figure this out!

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I already have a maid and was told by the PRO at work that it's not possible to have a driver as well as an expat can only sponsor one maid or driver, although I do know a family where husband and wife both work on their own visa and therefore sponsor one maid/driver each. I asked about whether my maid could learn to drive and was told that this isn't possible either. However, this was a while back so things could have changed. Please let me know too if there are any changes in the rules and there is a way round.

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Its quite a pricey process to take the test here. I looked into it on behalf of my maid. However, there are issues.

expect to pay in the region of dhs 6,000 and thats if she passes everything first time - realistically the costs will be higher. You can get all the cost details from the driving centre out at Mussafah. you cannot transfer a fillipino license over to use one (like you can a UK one), so you have to start at the very beginning.

Finally, and probably the hardest thing to overcome is the visa. Its not possible to change the visa status from maid to driver without first leaving the UAE for 6 months and then re-entering as a driver.

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RE above change of visa meant to say, Thats all fine if you are still employing your maid/driver on a maids visa, but as soon as your maid wish to be employed as a driver (they are paid more as a basic), on their visa then they need to leave the country and re-enter. Good Luck

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Also, from what we have been told re expats hiring staff I agree with sunshine queen. We were told only one staff member unless you have 3 or more children - "then you would obviously need more help".

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Hmm....I like the idea of testing this out, then keeping her on the visa. She will continue to be primarily a cleaner but if she can drive some, it would be great.

Feather, I know several people who have employed more than one person with only 1-2 kids. It's feasible, but probably with some "wasta" or knowledge of a way around things. At any rate, I do not want to hire a second person -- that would just be way too much. I've flirted with the idea of a driver instead of a maid, but at this stage, we still need the latter more. Just wish school buses at B. were better.....

Thanks all..

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Any recent updates on this? I've been away for 5 days and my husband's already started thinking it would be nice if our maid had a licence! I'm still not keen on it as our maid's kind of ditzy (nor am I sure she'll be able to see above the dash), but we live 2km from school and no highways are involved so maybe it's worth thinking about.

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Hi -- so we offered this to our maid, who initially agreed, then backed out as she was too scared to drive in AD (not that I blame her...)   Be prepared, if she does accept and gets her license, to pay her quite a bit more as the going rate for a driver is quite a bit higher.  Plus a lot of ladies decide they want to be drivers only, not housekeepers as well, as that seems to be in demand.  

 

I still wish we could have convinced ours, but I didn't want to push it as the last thing I want is someone to be scared of driving my son!  

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Thank you. I know our helper likes the idea of having a license, but I can also foresee the scenario you just mentioned. I'm hoping that we can come to an agreement with her that she'll stay on as housemaid who just happens to have a driver's licence (will obviously follow any law on this). It's not to cheat her out of any money, but it wouldn't make sense for us to "turn" her into a full-time driver as we don't really have that need.

Edited by Mum80

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The holders of driving licenses from 30 countries can transfer their license directly to a UAE license. The countries are United States, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Serbia,…. but they need first to get a legal translation of their driving licenses into Arabic. Index legal translation provides official translation for driving license abu dhabi

Edited by shaimaaa

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