Road Test: $15. Freedom: Priceless

Of course, you can’t actually buy these things with a Mastercard as it’s cash or check only at the DMV, though they do have an ATM there.

Anyway, as I’ve been talking about, I took my driving test today, and I was given some tips afterward, told about my skill at parallel parking, and then let to go on my own way, at least to sit and wait for my number to be called.

I then went up to the counter, handed over my license application, number receipt, and temporary license, along with the $33 in required fees, only to go over and sit and wait for my name to be called (that took the least amount of time). Then, after signing a pad, having my picture taken (twice, because my glasses caused some glare), and picking up a new piece of plastic, I walked out of the building. In other words –

I passed!

Now, I suppose you’re all wanting some nitty gritty of the test, eh? πŸ˜‰

Well, then, let’s do it. We arrived at the testing center quite a bit early, in the hopes that maybe someone would be a no-show so that I could take my test earlier. However, that didn’t happen, so I spent about an hour finishing reading the book I was currently reading (The Broker), and listening to a conversation about a gentleman who has been on TV a few times over the last couple of years, and who has this knack of supposedly knowing when people are going to die.

As it happened, he was there with his son or brother or some other male relative of his, and they were in the standby queue, and was talking to some of the other folks that were there, as you do. Apparently there were quite a few folks failing their tests, according to another fellow who was there. However, at 12:15 or so, my name was called by the tester, and it was time to head out to the car.

We did a check of all the lights – headlights, brights, turn signals (but not hand signals), wipers, brake lights, and then we were off on our way. I committed an error when I turned onto the first road after the one we started in, when I asked if the road was a 2-lane road; she replied that I should know the area; no biggie. I didn’t even lose a point for that πŸ˜‰

After that, it was all on some high quality roads put out by the city – as in, they were covered with snow and ice, requiring me to go no faster than about 15 mph. We then went through a couple of intersections, and it was time for the Y-turn. I did that successfully, and then we drove on, doing a couple of turns, and then it was time for the moment in the driving test that everyone dreads – the parallel park. It was next to a white panel van, I pulled aside, checked around me, and backed into the spot. After backing, we moved off and then back around to the DMV offices.

After about 15 minutes or so, it was all over, and we were back in the parking lot. The fun wasn’t over though, as someone decided to pull into the lane for the road test parking spots. The tester’s reply was that she wasn’t surprised that the van looked the way it did, and then I said (upon seeing no license plate) – oh look, no license plate either.

It was then time to go into the DMV to get the results. As I was walking in, another of the customers, who was on her way out (I believe she was with her parents one of whom was getting tested likely due to age), asked me if I passed – i said I didn’t know, but I had seen that Good Job was written in one of the places of the form.

As it turns out, those words were written in three places – in the Parking section, under Intersections, and in the comments along with “Drive Safe”. In the bottom right there was a 7 – meaning 7 demerit points I had accrued – all of them had to do with checking over my right shoulder when I’m making maneuvers. I thought I had lost a point about the two lane thing, but as it turns out, I was reading that point as the total for that column (3/3/1).

So, there you have it; I now have a proper license which is valid until 2010 (because it’s my probationary license which is valid for two years from your next birthday). On our way back, we wanted to get back to where we picked up the car and didn’t want to deal with going through the downtown of a village, so we did go on the freeway. Just don’t tell my mom we did. πŸ˜‰

And, stay tuned for some possible news about a car… πŸ˜€

8 thoughts on “Road Test: $15. Freedom: Priceless

  1. Congratulations!! πŸ˜€

    And you had to do a reverse parallel park and you still did well (that’s inspirational!). So now you are free, isn’t it a great feeling knowing you can drive? You passed on your auto license, didn’t you? Are you going to go back and get your manual?

    You know that now you are the designated driver for everything, right? πŸ˜‰

    Congrats, that’s excellent!

  2. Congratulations! Your driving test was way more difficult than mine was. Right turns all the way around the block, then back into a parking space at the DMV. No parallel parking, at least not in the town I took my test in.

    I had so much more confidence after getting my license, but it hasn’t hindered my abilitites at all. It’s quite a few years later now, and I still remember a lot of the lessons I learned in driver’s ed.

  3. Katie – Yep, I’m free, and I’ll have some more freedom tomorrow, you’ll have to check back to find out how I’m more free though tomorrow; I’ll just say it might just involve heated leather… πŸ˜‰

    As far as the auto/manual license – we don’t have the same two-tiered system as y’all do down there in QLD – if I wanted to, I could go ahead and drive a manual car right now, though I suspect that there would be a lot of stalling πŸ˜‰

    Hmm…maybe I should hire myself out as a chauffeur for the bar nearby, provided they reopen anytime soon…

    Kirsten – The most interesting thing about the test was actually how short it was – I figured out the approximate distance and it totalled only about 3.25 miles; because of the poor conditions of the roads, we combined a couple of exercises (the hill park, which involved asking me how I’d turn the wheels and the reverse which we did for maybe 20 feet, if that; I’d say it was more like a car length). But, it was pretty much a drive around the block for me as well (it didn’t hurt that the particular block that the DMV is located on is a quite large block either), just with a left turn into and out of a residential section included.

    Snos – I knew I could too πŸ˜‰

    Actually, something I kept saying about my attitude going into the test was that I was confident, but not cocky about it – which was absolutely true. I knew that I knew the skills required for the test; in fact, I was barely nervous about taking the test – I think it was a sign that it was time for me to do get it done. I can’t say how glad I am now that it is all done, and how proud I am of having done it on the first go. πŸ™‚

    Daisy – It is a great accomplishment! πŸ™‚

    Forest – Thanks!!! πŸ˜€ However, I wouldn’t call it that much of an ordeal now, the only thing is that now I really wish I would have just gotten it done ages ago instead of just this week!

    Thanks for the comments, y’all! πŸ˜‰

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