Ras Al Khaimah: The RAK Driving Academy witnessed a huge influx of applications in July despite the holiday season.
As many as 3,771 people registered in the last month after authorities reversed a decision making it mandatory for applicants to sit for the academy's eight sessions and related tests before applying for a driving licence.
Since the RAK Driving Academy was opened in October 2008, a total of 12,481 people have registered with it, of which 30.2 per cent registered during July this year.
Prior to its opening, the emirate's Traffic and Licencing Department announced that those who apply for driving licences (only open traffic files at the department) before the academy's official opening will be spared from being registered with the academy and do not have to sit for the academy's eight sessions and related tests.
However, those who apply for their driving licenses after the opening were not to receive their licences unless they provided a certificate from the academy stating that they successfully passed the tests.
Thousands of people of various nationalities rushed to open traffic files at the department to be spared the burden of the academy's tests.
The curriculum of the academy is four theoretical sessions (each of which lasts for four and half hours) followed by a test. All this costs Dh785. Should the applicant fail the first test, the applicant needs to pay Dh50, and another Dh50 for the third chance.
Those who registered with the emirate's Traffic and Licensing Department before the official opening of the RAK Driving Academy are furious with the department and claimed they would not have registered with the department and open traffic files had they doubted the department would reverse its decision.
Applicants told Gulf News that the emirate's Traffic and Licencing Department should at least allow those who fit in the category to get free sessions at the RAK Driving Academy, without the need to sit for the academy's tests.
In a bid to soften its position, the department announced that those who opened traffic files before the opening of the academy can get official letters from the department and submit those letters to the academy for a 35 per cent discount on the official fees.
Rashid Oday, the Director General of the RAK Driving Academy gave the credit of the increasing numbers of applicants during the last July to the decision which forced everybody who has not obtained driving licences to get registered with the academy.