Sunday, April 27, 2014

DMV Adventures

As I mentioned in my last post, Nick and I had some adventures at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in order for him to try for his drivers learning permit.

While I was away up north, he took an online course which gave him the wisdom, and a certificate-of-sorts to go to DMV to take the test to get his permit.  Might I add at this point that this is handled so much differently than when I was his age.  Way back in the near-dinosaur era, I got a rule book from the DMV, studied it, took a test and got my permit, then took driver's training in school, then wasn't allowed to get my driver's license until after I turned 18 (and that was because my parents wouldn't let me!).  

Marty bowed out of this activity of acquiring the permit by saying he didn't have time.  Attempt #1 came the day after I returned from up north and I picked Nick up at school at 2:30 - they were on a testing schedule so was a half hour earlier than normal - and proceeded to the DMV which is only about 5 minutes from the school.  It's a very old DMV.  It has not kept up with the population growth in our valley in some ways, one of which is parking space - it is very limited.  I gave up after circling the parking lot for 10 minutes and told Nick we'd try the next day.  

The next day came.  DMV opens at 8:00.  I told this to Nick.  He was still sleeping at 8:45.  We did not get there until after 9:00.  It is also only about a 10-minute drive from home.  We discovered we did not have his birth certificate with us on attempt #2.  Why did I not know this was needed?  Maybe because I was still trying to decompress from my time away?  We went home, got the birth certificate, went back to DMV for attempt #3.  We did not have to wait too long to get a parking space...and it was in the shade.  We went in, stood in long line, get to counter and find out their computers are down!!! Why not have someone at the door stating such before we go in and wait?  We went home.  I later took Nick to school and did not intend to make attempt #4 that day, but by the time he was out of school at 3:00 I'd decided to go ahead and see if the computers were again working.  They were.  But the line was OUT THE DOOR!  We STOOD in that line, only to receive a number and be told to sit and wait.  

And WAIT we did!  Until nearly 4:30, which is the cut off time for taking tests, but we were called to window 8 and finished some paperwork details and paid by credit card oh wait, what? you don't TAKE CREDIT CARDS?  Are you kidding me? No way, you take cash, debit card or CHECKS?  Why would you take checks and not credit cards.  Where was my check book you ask?  Why, it was home on the desk because I had been updating our financial program.  You need $33 you say?  Hmmm, how many ones do I have...oh, wait,  light bulb in the brain...I had a $50 bill stashed (yeah, that was my QUILTING mad money!).  Whew, well at least we didn't have to start thinking about attempt #5!  So Nick gets sent off in one direction to take his test and you guessed it, I got to go sit and wait some more.

After what seemed an incredibly long time, but was really only about 30 minutes - and now it's time for closing - I got up and walked in the direction Nick had gone to see him standing in another line to get his test graded.  I went and stood with him.  The clerk starts checking his test, red mark there, another here, and another, and oh please, after all this DO NOT FAIL this test.  Oh praise God! He only missed 7 and could miss as many as 8 and still pass.  The clerk works through the rest of the paperwork and puts a 1/2-sheet of paper in front of Nick to review for errors and what do you mean he's female?  He is NOT!  And I ought to know, I was right there when he was born!  And of course the first clerk at window 8 is gone, they can't find the original form that was filled out but could start to re-do all the paperwork to fix his gender, but it took three clerks working on it to do it and another 1/2 hour of our time.  I was never so glad to get away from that DMV, and yes, we were the last customers out, but thankfully do not need to repeat the process.  I am so very happy Nick passed the test on his first go round.

Now, the next step is to have him do "professional" driver's training, 6 hours total, but after the first 2 hours, his permit will be 'official' and the instructor signs it and it is valid then for him to drive with us in the car.  His first behind the wheel lesson will be at 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday. 

Stay off the streets on Wednesday, Nick's coming through, hehe.

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