Biometric drivers license

Who has applied for this license? What documents did you need, how much you paid and how long was the line?  How long from application till license in hand?
What was your experience and what did you learn from this process? 
Did you smile for your photo after you went through the system?

Up Date--- I got my new Bio metric Drivers license and it took one hour to go from the end of the line to get it.  Next day I got my credit card size drivers license. I did not have to give up my USA License which I thought I might have to do.
Getting the documents together with president  neighborhood and copies with commune of passport and copies of my of USA license and international license took about two hours. 
Pretty fast considering what I had to do.  I imagine that the lines will be longer as the deadline comes to tend this Dec as many people here (and world wide) will wait til the last minute along with money issues
No doubt the Governement will extend the deadline

I forgot to mention price so here is the price.
My wife who has a drivers license paid 200,000 FMG for a transfer to Biometric and I paid for a new license
270,000FMG  for the first time, a transfer from my license from America . And a big savings from having to get a international driver license each year. And really an international Drivers license is just a scam any way. 
I was not required to take any test, written or driven here in Madagascar for my license. 
You will have to transfer that math over to ariary as we as locals and resident talk in FMG and not ariary.   there was a fee of 200,000 FMG for 24 hour service.  Really not unheard of as in America I can apply for passport at a certain price set by the government which can take two weeks. However if I need a passport fast within 48 to 72 hours there is a fee.  It is the same everywhere just a different way to deal with services.
SO the math is approx. 670,000 FMG  or approx 135,000 ariary for my wife and I total cost. To help explain the money  for short term Vazaha, NGO, ONG workers and Missionaries who are only here for a few years and need some help with the math I have translated it into Ariary, approx.

A question for you, TropicAlex:

Is the license for a limited time and you are required to renew it, like a visa?  I hold a license that has no expiration date.


Hi Lilbuster- there is no expiration date on the new biometric license.   
So as of now it is unlimited.  Also means no test- written or driven.
I never had the paper copy of the Madagascar ( before Bio Metric) but I my wife as well as other drivers I know also had  paper copies. They too were unlimited without tests.  Transfers are also done without
tests.  Unlike the American license which needs to be renewed every five years for another five years without a written test (unless someone has points on record) and done seamlessly by post or internet.  Unless in the USA after age 70 a written test every five years mandatory .
I can drive here in Madagascar on my American drivers license- I would like to see the USA cops expression should I show them the Malagasy license. 

Lilbuster and my question for you or anyone else in the process of Bio metric license. Does my experience of obtaining the new license close to your experience and price?.  Rules and practices and prices change from town to town to town and person to person here in Madagascar.  Not to mention the middle men who promise they can fix all for a high price and they sometimes do or don't. I talked to some of these middlemen when I was searching for a solution to obtaining my Bio metric license and the stories they would weave were interesting, considering I had to go to the office in person to have my picture taken and my finger printed. 

Best to you

P S I just read recently that people on NosyBe have to go to Diego to get their License-

Hi TropicAlex,

Where exactly is the office you used to get the new license? When I received my first one, I was based in Antalaha, but the organization I worked for had the main office in Tana, so the licensed was issued from Tana. My US license expired in 2004!

Just an aside: You talked about tourist-speak when using Ariary instead of fmg. Have you noticed that when locals give you a price in malagasy, it's in ariary, like diman-jato sy arivo, but when they turn it into French, it comes out 7.500 fmg. I find it amusing that they make the conversion without thinking about it.

Salama LilBuster

I got my first Malagasy drivers license which is the biometric in Mahajanga, ,Block administration.  I have been here for about 14 years.  I work for myself so I did the process of license myself.
When you live here this long then you get to know the people by name or face and their phone to get the work done. When I was there is was a short process for I had a friend inside. Now another vasaha went to the same office while I was waiting for my friend in the hallway This vasaha went to the door he looked openly confused and after 15 minutes he left.  It appears he had no friend in the office and did not understand the organized chaos of the governmental system.  Not only that he did not say hello to me or any of the other 30 people that were jammed in the doorway. 
I only hear ariary when the person thinks I am a tourist, NGO/ONG, or missionary. However when the locals know me they speak in FMG , 99% of the time.  When they quote me a taxi price in ariary at 20 ariary here in Tana and I say no, 40 mille they respond in FMG and we settle on 50,000FMG.  ( which was half the price because I know prices and/or learn the prices before I speak by talking to people around me).
The locals speak FMG with each other so why not speak to me the same way, which is  most of the time in FMG.  They can translate the price really well back and forth when needed.  I can translate ariary to FMG very easy but to go from FMG to ariary is not easy for me because I don't use it.   But as soon as I hear ariary come from them, I know I am being overcharged.
In my Home in Mahajanga I do not hear Vasaha, or bonjour, or ca va from the locals who know me.  I am greeted in Malagasy and I am not greeted by my name Alex but by my Malagasy name.