Vision Exam Your eyes will be tested by means of a mechanical device. The minimum acceptable vision is 20/60 in one eye, with or without corrective lenses, and a field of vision of, at least, 140 degrees. Upon failure of the field vision exam the applicant will be required to have a completed by a licensed practitioner.
Knowledge Exam The Knowledge Exam consists of two tests – the Road Rules Test and the Road Signs Test. The applicant must pass each test.
A minimum score of 15 out of 20 correct answers, on each test, is required to pass. Necessary information can be found in the DDS. A is available on the website at no cost. The Knowledge Exam must begin at least 30 minutes before the Customer Service Center closes if taking a non-commercial test and 45 minutes for CDL to allow adequate time for testing and issuance. Road Rules Test. The Road Rules Test consists of questions about driver responsibility, knowledge of laws and safe driving practices, applicable to the class of license for which the applicant applied. The Road Rules Test is available in some non-English Languages.
See a available for this Exam. Road Signs Test. The Road Signs Test consists of questions about the meaning of standard highway signs. You will be asked to identify certain signs, signals and markers.
Driver training, proposals are in place to make the driving test itself a more consistent. The student with information that they should undertake to study in their own time to. Prepare the learner driver for driving in the traffic of The Bahamas. Recognize how bad weather can influence other road users' behaviour. Take our free Bahamas Theory Examination Drivers Test! Each free car practice test contains randomized rule and sign driving test questions taken from a comprehensive database of Road Traffic Department test-specific questions. These questions are based on the official driver handbook, so that the questions most closely mirror the actual driving test, administered by the Bahamas Road Traffic.
The Road Signs Test is in English only. All drivers must have the ability to read and understand simple English such as used in highway traffic and directional signs. Non-Commercial Class E and F Exams (Previously known as Non-Commercial Class A and B) Customers who wish to take the Non-Commercial Class E or F exam should study the Commercial Driver Manual.
The can be located on the website or customers can obtain a hard copy at any. Road Skills Test. All vehicles used for the Road Skills Test must be covered by liability insurance (you must show a valid insurance card), pass a safety inspection and if the vehicle is not equipped with turn signals you must know your hand signals. You must present your vehicle registration and the tag (license plate) cannot be expired.
The Road Skills Test is in English only. How do I schedule my road test?
You can schedule a road test by phone at 1-678-413-8400. Road skills tests are given by appointment only. There may be same day appointments available, please call 1-678-413-8400 for availability. Click for more information.
On the Road Skills Test you will be expected to do all or part of the following:. Parallel Parking: Park midway between two standards so that your car is not more than 18 inches from the curb. Backing: Back your car for a distance of about 50 feet, at a slow rate of speed, and as straight and as smoothly as possible.
Turn your head and look back at all times while backing. Stopping for Signs or Traffic Signals: Give the proper hand or brake signal; approach in the proper lane; stop before reaching a pedestrian crosswalk; and remain stopped until you can move safely through. Turnabout: Turn your car in a narrow space using two-, three- or five- point turns. Use of Clutch: If your car has a standard transmission, you must shift smoothly and correctly. Approaching Corners: You must be in proper lane and look in both directions. Yielding Right-of-Way: Always yield right-of-way to pedestrians, motor vehicles, bicyclists or anyone else who moves into the intersection before you.
Turning: Get into the proper lane and give signal an adequate distance before reaching the turn. Passing: Always look ahead and behind to make sure you can safely pass without interfering with other traffic. Following: Do not drive too closely behind other cars.
Watch the car ahead of you; when it passes some reference point, such as a telephone pole, and then count 'one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.' If you pass the same spot before you are through counting, you are following too closely. Posture: Keep both hands on the steering wheel. Do not rest your elbow on the window and do not attempt to carry on a conversation with the Examiner because they will be busy giving instructions and recording your score.
At the end of the test, the license examiner will gladly show you your score sheet and will provide you ample opportunity to discuss the test if you so desire. The applicant must achieve a minimum score of 75% to pass. Retesting. Applicants who fail the Knowledge Exam or Road Skills Test must wait at least one day to retest.
Applicants who fail the Knowledge Exam or Road Skills Test a second or subsequent time (third, fourth, etc.) must wait at least 7 days to retest. A 30 day waiting period to retest applies to an applicant who fails the Road Skills Test due to a traffic accident or traffic violation during the Road Skills Test, whether ticketed or not. All retesting is subject to reservation availability. The must be paid before the test begins. DDS accepts cash, money order, check or credit/debit cards. Fees are not refundable and must be paid each time the test is taken.
The Motorcycle Rider Skills Test Safe motorcycle riding depends largely on your knowledge and skills. The skills for motorcycling require a lot of practice. If you have just learned to handle a motorcycle and have very little riding experience, then the most important part of learning to ride is still ahead. You can take a Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program rider education course that offers a driver's license test waiver for graduates. For more information about locations and schedules, visit our page. The Rider Skills Test (RST) is used for both two-wheeled (RST-2W) and three-wheeled vehicles (RST-3W).
Both tests consist of four riding evaluations that measure your control of the motorcycle and your hazard-response skills. The final two exercises involve speeds of about 15 miles per hour. Please see the Georgia for more details about each evaluation. You will be scored on time / distance standards as well as path violations. The test can be ended early for point accumulation, committing an unsafe act, or failure to understand or follow instructions. When you report for your test, you should have:. An approved helmet and protective goggles.
For safety, it is suggested to wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and sturdy footwear. You must furnish a street-legal motorcycle for the test and pass a safety inspection of the motorcycle by the driver’s license examiner before the riding test is given. PLEASE NOTE: You have the right to cancel the test at any time.
Inform the examiner that you do not wish to continue the test. The examiner will explain the conditions for taking the test later. The examiner also has the right to stop the test if you:. Fail to demonstrate basic control skills;. Accumulate more than the maximum number of penalty points allowed;.
Commit any unsafe act;. Fail to understand or follow directions;. Fall or drop the motorcycle.
If any of these instances occur, the test will be discontinued. Finally, all testing can be suspended due to inclement weather, equipment failure or other circumstances beyond the control of you or the examiner.
90-DAY MOTORCYCLE DRIVER'S LICENSE TEST WAIVER The State of Georgia will waive your knowledge and skills test and issue you a Class M driver's license if you have a 90-Day Driver's License Test Waiver issued by the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP). The Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program offers professional rider education programs that include classroom instruction as well as on-cycle training in a controlled, off-street environment. The Program even provides the training motorcycles. Successful graduates become eligible for their motorcycle driver's license without having to take the Department of Driver Services' knowledge tests and on-cycle test (it does not waive the vision test or any fees and it is only valid for 90 days from the day the course ends). For more information, click Students under the age of 18 who successfully complete the Basic Course MUST be at least 17 years of age BEFORE the 90-day waiver period expires to get their driver's license. They must also meet the requirements of.
By Tom Neale
The western islands of the Bahamas are only 50 miles from Florida's east coast. With a bit of prep and planning, you can get there even in a modest-sized boat.
Used to be, when cruising the Bahamas, you would mostly see cruising sailboats, trawlers, and large yachts. Well, things have changed. People are now doing it in fast powerboats in the 25- to 30-foot range, with small cabins for accommodations. They're doing it in beefy center consoles, stopping at resorts overnight. They're even trailering their rigs to south Florida to make this trip. Cruising to the Bahamas includes crossing open ocean and boating in remote areas with reef and shoal and few, if any, reliable aids to navigation, so you need to plan well and have the right stuff.
Important:Read the latest Bahamas cruising article 'A Boater's Guide To Cruising The Bahamas'. It contains detailed, regional safety tips, resource availability, and information on traveling between islands.
First, The Right Boat?
Photo: Douglas Bernon
The size of your boat depends in part on what's going to be comfortable for you on the trip that you plan, how carefully you'll pick good traveling weather (very carefully), and your willingness to lay over when the weather isn't good or is forecast to change for the worse. However, the boat must be large enough and built well enough to handle open ocean during times when the wind and sea come up. The boat also must be large enough and heavy enough to safely carry the equipment and supplies you'll need for the trip you plan.
Boats built to make offshore fishing trips often make good Bahamas boats. Center consoles built for blue-water fishing are also popular in the Bahamas, if you're into roughing it or plan to stop at resort marinas. Most people prefer some cabin accommodations to give the option of anchoring out when they choose. This, in a good protected harbor, can be a highlight of any Bahamian cruise.
Speed is an important factor. A boat traveling around six knots will require most of the day to get from a good east Florida departure point to a safe harbor in the western Bahamas. This isn't only because of the speed but because of the effect of the powerful northerly Gulf Stream current on a slow-speed displacement hull. This boat may need several days of good weather to reach the Hub of The Abacos, more to reach the northern Exumas. A boat traveling on plane at around 25 knots can reach the western islands of the Bahamas in a couple of hours and perhaps Marsh Harbor or Nassau in a day.
Although a faster boat allows you to maximize shorter weather windows, take care to allow extra time. If you require a weather window of more than several days, odds are that it will close on you toward the end.
Also recommended for fun, comfort, and safety:
- Enough food and water to last a week, even if you plan to stop in marinas.
- A dinghy with outboard, especially if you plan to anchor out.
- Snorkeling gear to experience the coral reefs up close. You'll see them from a flybridge, but it's not the same as jumping in. In the winter, bring a wet suit.
An all-chain rode with a nylon snubbing line provides excellent holding power in soft Bahamas sand.
How To Stay Hooked
Good anchoring equipment is critical even if you don't plan to anchor overnight. If you break down, you may have to anchor for hours while you fix the problem or await help. The bottom will probably be hard or soft sand. There are also many areas of heavy grass and hard rock or reef bottom that are poor at holding. No one anchor will serve well in all types of bottoms. Two different anchors are recommended, so that you have a better chance of holding depending on the bottom. After many years of anchoring in the Bahamas, we carry a CQR and Fortress. If weight is an issue, the Fortress has tremendous holding power and will hold in a wide variety of bottoms. It's also very light and can be disassembled for storage and quickly reassembled for use. An all-chain rode is good because chain won't be cut by rock or debris on the bottom and its weight helps the anchor to hold. But this much chain is too heavy for many smaller boats. Second best is a combination of chain and nylon rode. The more chain rigged between the anchor and the nylon, the better, as long as it doesn't add too much weight. Depending upon your boat size and windage, and your physical fitness, a windlass can be very helpful. Never anchor in coral.
Boaters will find Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the Bahamas.
Staying In Touch
Communications when boating in the Bahamas are very different from the continent. Unless you have a cell phone compatible with the Bahamian system (based on GSM), your cell may not work. It's possible to purchase a cell phone and airtime in the Bahamas, and to add minutes online (www.btcbahamas.com). But even if you do have a compatible phone, you may be beyond reach of towers much of the time. An external antenna, mounted as high as practical on the boat, and a cell-signal amplifier, such as those from Digital Antenna, greatly increase your coverage.
VHF radios are very helpful in communicating with other boats and shoreside stations in the Bahamas, but there may be legs of a trip when you'll be outside the range of any land-based VHFs. A single-sideband radio (SSB) or ham set can be very helpful, but the money, space, and qualification process for ham probably won't be worth it for a short trip. A satellite phone, though pricy, is a surer bet; you can rent phones and buy trip-time plans from vendors such as OCENS.
You can get online with Wi-Fi in many marinas and villages; however, don't expect the same reliability as back home. Many hot spots connect via satellite. Having the entire system work all the time is a lot to expect in the Bahamas. An external antenna and Wi-Fi amplifier, readily available in office-supply and other stores, will help. If getting online is extremely important, do so via sat phones and related equipment.
Entering the western end of Nassau Harbor, passing the Paradise Island Light,
with the hotels of Atlantis in the background.
Way To Go
Here are a few tried-and-true itineraries, based on boats that can travel around 15 to 25 knots in relatively calm water.
Northern Exumas (440 nautical miles, round trip): This takes you to a very beautiful out-island destination, sparsely civilized but well traveled. Depart Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. After a short run of approximately 50 miles, stop at a marina in Bimini or Cat Cay, or continue on to the marina at Chub Cay (80 miles farther). Then head for Nassau, around 40 miles across the Tongue of the Ocean. There are several marinas here, including the Marina at Atlantis and the Nassau Harbour Club and Marina. (Nassau is urban, with the inherent challenges.) Next, continue to the Northern Exumas, proceeding cautiously through the reefs at the southeastern end of Nassau Harbor. In the northern Exumas are nice anchorages, mooring areas such as the Exumas Land and Sea Park at Warderick Wells, and Highbourne Cay Marina. Returning stateside, stage your Gulf Stream crossing at Chub or Bimini/Cat Cay, depending on your boat speed and weather.
Bimini's straw market opening for the day.
Hub of The Abacos (380 nautical miles, round trip): This takes you to a destination that has more of the treats of civilization than outlying areas. Depart from Lake Worth Inlet (at Palm Beach) and run 60 miles across the Stream to stop in the Old Bahama Bay Marina at West End. For the next leg, run 100 miles to Green Turtle Cay and anchor in an enclosed area, or tie up at one of the marinas. Next, travel 20 miles to the Hub of The Abacos where you'll find Marsh Harbour, Hopetown, and Man of War. The famous artists' colony founded by Randolph Johnston at Little Harbour is 15 miles farther south. There are numerous marinas and anchorages in this area, as well as interesting museums, shopping, and restaurants.
With Little Time: A short hop to Bimini, Cat Cay, Lucaya, or West End will give you a great introductory taste of the Bahamas and a Gulf Stream Crossing under your belt. A dinghy would be especially helpful in the marinas here. Boats anchor behind Gun Cay (to the north of Cat Cay) in settled weather. In inclement weather, this is open and 'rolly'; holding is poor in places.
Colorful bougainville is found throughout the Bahamas.
You need to stay on your toes regarding weather. You'll be traveling in open ocean, the islands are low, some anchorages will be exposed on one or more sides, and there will be potentially rough passages through reefs and cuts between islands. Winter trips will generally involve stronger winds with cold fronts. Summer trips, often favored by south Florida regulars, are more likely to bring days of relatively calm waters. However, June 1 to November 1 is hurricane season and there's much less protection and help in the Bahamas than you might find at home. Listen daily for tropical reports and get back to the States quickly if anything is developing.
Anchorage at Allen's Cay, Northern Exumas.
You won't believe the beauty of the Gulf Stream. But weather for the Gulf Stream crossing is very important. We've had many calm crossing days, but this area between Florida and the western Bahamas can be more extreme, particularly if the wind is, or has recently been, from the north. Departing from the coast, pick up NOAA weather on your VHF weather channels and this should give Gulf Stream-related information. Usually you can pick up these channels in the Bimini Chain, Freeport, or West End areas, where you'll probably be staging your trip back across.
Reception of the weather broadcasts on a VHF weather channel fades as you travel farther from the U.S. coast. However, in many heavily settled areas such as Nassau, the Hub of The Abacos, the Exumas, and Georgetown, local organizations or volunteers will broadcast weather information on VHF channels every morning. You'll need to find where to switch when you reach different areas. You can also get weather when you're able to go online from NOAA and other sources. Usually the Offshore Forecast for the SW North Atlantic and Caribbean is appropriate as you travel east into the Bahamas. A hurricane chart with lat/long grids will help you interpret that because the information is given for large areas of ocean usually bounded by latitude and longitude. There are also different types of subscription weather services offering you custom details about your trip, including Chris Parker's services (www.mwxc.com), and the equipment and services available through OCENS.
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Tom Neale is a BoatUS Magazine contributing editor and a key member of our 'Ask The Experts' tech team. He and his wife Mel and their two daughters lived aboard and cruised the Bahamas for almost two decades.
— Published: October/November 2011
A Boater's Guide To Cruising The Bahamas
While some equate the Bahamas with Nassau or Freeport, boater's dreams tend to be of islands a bit farther off
Bringing A Boat To Mexico
Make sure all your paperwork is in order, your permits are displayed and you obey local laws
Eleuthera Bahamas: Mission Accomplished
In a search for Wi-Fi and pink sand, this couple discovers the backstory of the Cuban Missile Crisis
For more information on marinas, boating facilities, and areas potentially affected by Hurricane Irene, contact the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism below. For information on marinas visit their website. Usb2.0 camera how to use.
Ministry of Tourism
P.O. Box N-3701
E-mail: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-Bahamas
What To Take
Never compromise safety. Whether you're in very deep water or traveling over the shallow Bahamas banks, you'll find yourself dealing with issues quite different from what you've encountered while boating stateside, and you'll be beyond our safety nets. With the right equipment, you can get help eventually, but a lot can happen while you're waiting. Examples of minimum necessary safety items include:
- A modern EPIRP and/or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) registered at www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov where you've also filed, in the comments section, your trip float plan. Rent an EPIRB at BoatUS.org/epirb.
- Type 1 offshore life jacket for each person, with strobe light, whistle, and ideally a PLB attached to each.
- A good GPS chartplotter with updated cartography for the area. We use a Standard Horizon CP300i with C-Map Max cartography. The GPS antenna is integral to the chartplotter enabling us to transfer it from mothership to tender, increasing our enjoyment and safety.
- Paper charts that you study in advance and on which you religiously plot your position. You need a backup, with position noted in regular time intervals, in case something happens to your electronics.
- A good pair of binoculars with internal lit range-bearing compass. We use the Steiner 7x50 Commander XP with Compass binoculars. You can shake water off the lenses so that it's easier to quickly remove salt spray.
- At least two VHF radios. You should have a handheld, powered by replaceable off-the-shelf batteries, in addition to one or more permanently mounted VHFs.
Study Before You Go
Before you go, read current guidebooks and resources on the Bahamas and you'll be safer, limit your problems, and have more fun. Among the many good resources:
- All these and more are available at www.bluewaterweb.com.
Bahamian inlets and cuts between islands are often unmarked, and challenging if there's an onshore swell. Be sure of your navigation and boat-handling skills before you go.
Some marinas have closed temporarily or have limited offerings due to the weak economy. Confirm status of marinas you plan to visit.
In the Bahamas they aren't always reliable, and can sometimes run out of fuel. It's critical to keep a good reserve in your tanks. Be sure your boat has a high-quality particle/water fuel filter such as those by Racor. We often pre-filter fuel with a Racor RFF15 C (15-gpm funnel) that separates out water and particulate.
This is a natural wilderness, so many areas have no aids to navigation, or have aids that are off station or aren't working. Learning how to read the water is important. Study the guidebooks, and stay alert. You can see the bottom, sometimes more than 25 feet down, from your boat. Keep a water watch; don't rely exclusively on chartplotters or charts when negotiating cuts or inlets through reef or sand shoals and be sure to plan the time for these passages when the light is overhead or behind you so you won't be blinded, and so what's underwater reveals itself; a good pair of polarized sunglasses is invaluable.
Many insurance carriers exclude the Bahamas from their normal navigational limits but will include them for additional premium. BoatUS Insurance allows you to add areas when needed, on a pro-rata basis. With unlimited towing, you can get TowBoatUS assistance from southern Florida up to 130 miles offshore, well beyond the western Bahamas destinations.
If something breaks, it may be difficult to get another part or a repair, especially in the more remote areas. Spares for critical components and systems, to the extent that you can carry them practically, are important. These might include a water pump for your fresh-water system, a starter and alternator, spare engine oil, belts, gasket material, and temporary repair products such as Rescue Tape.
Bahamas Customs and Immigration:
There are fees for entry to the Bahamas – $150 for vessels up to 35 feet and $300 for vessels larger than 35 feet. Fishing license and departure tax for four people are included in the fee. You'll be asked to declare your stores and general itinerary. Your boat may be boarded and inspected. If you have weapons, declare every one and every round. Laws and procedures sometimes change. Check www.bahamas.com before you go.
It's mandatory to follow U.S. Customs reporting procedures when returning. Check for the latest regulations before you go. If your boat is more than 30 feet, go to https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov to order a U.S. Customs User Fee decal for your boat before you go so you won't have to get it upon return.
In many areas such as the Exumas, potable water is scarce and costs 50 cents per gallon or more at the dock. Marinas with good reverse-osmosis facilities are a plus. Water is more plentiful in other areas, such as the Hub of The Abacos.
When you clear Bahamas customs, you can apply for fishing licenses. Check the latest rules before you go.
Scrapes or cuts from certain types of coral, conch, barnacles, and other creatures can cause infections, and medical assistance and supplies can be scarce in less populated areas. Be careful, and don't expect to find medical facilities like those back home in the outlying areas. Have a good medical kit. Consult with your doctor before you go as to what you should take to meet any special needs. Take all your needed prescription medicines in their labeled prescription bottles.
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