In Belgium, a Ghanaian man named Serge faced an arduous struggle to obtain his driver’s license due to continuous failures in the theoretical part of the driving test. Serge had migrated to Grammont, Belgium, seeking new opportunities. He already possessed a driver’s license from his home country, but it was not valid for driving in Belgium. The road to obtaining a Belgian license proved to be fraught with challenges, particularly the theoretical portion of the test, which seemed insurmountable.
Over the course of a year, Serge made twelve attempts to pass the theoretical test, and each time, he found himself falling short of the required passing score. However, surrendering his pursuit of a driver’s license was not an option for Serge, as having one would significantly expand his prospects in Belgium.
Growing increasingly frustrated with his repeated failures, Serge ultimately decided that cheating might be his best recourse. He embarked on a quest to find a doppelgänger, someone who bore a striking resemblance to him and was willing to take the test on his behalf.
Serge’s search led him to Julien, another immigrant of Congolese origin residing in Belgium. Julien not only shared some physical similarities with Serge but, more importantly, had already secured a legitimate Belgian driver’s license. The duo decided to take their chances in Mons, a city in the French-speaking region of Wallonia, believing that examiners there might be more lenient compared to their counterparts in Flanders.
Their well-laid plan, however, quickly unraveled when Julien presented Serge’s ID to an examiner during the test. The examiner became suspicious, scrutinizing Julien closely and discerning the differences in facial features between him and Serge. This led to their apprehension, legal consequences, and a subsequent appearance before a judge.
During the court proceedings, a prosecutor emphasized that if it weren’t for the vigilant examiner, Serge would have received a driver’s license despite being incapable of safely driving on Belgian roads. Serge faced charges of identity fraud, even though he had used his genuine ID card. The prosecutor argued that the moment Serge’s ID fell into the hands of Julien for the purpose of taking the test on his behalf, it effectively became a fraudulent document.
As a result, Serge faced the possibility of a one-year suspended sentence, while prosecutors sought 200 hours of community service for Julien. The final sentencing was scheduled for a month later, leaving both men in a state of uncertainty about their futures.
While Serge continued to grapple with the lack of a driver’s license, he expressed hope of securing employment at a local packaging company, accessible via train, offering a glimpse of a potential avenue for a fresh start in Belgium.