Driving

This morning at the Massachusetts RMV I learned that because my Virginia license expired while I was living in England and could not be renewed online, in order to get a Massachusetts license I would have to take the learner’s permit exam, pass it, then schedule and pass a road test.

Like a 16 year old kid. 

I have had a driver’s license since 1995 and yet I was going to have to take the permit test to get a learners permit, which would then mean I could not drive alone in my car without an adult over the age of 21 along with me until I could take a road test.

I laughed out loud standing at the counter in the RMV, and I think the clerk was relieved that I found this hilarious instead of frustrating beyond description.  Luckily the kids aren’t in school yet, sports haven’t started up, and both Matt and I work from home, so me not being able to drive isn’t THAT big of a deal.  I laughed and laughed and paid the $30 to take the permit test that I last took when I was 15 years and 9 months old.

And then I failed the permit test.

I laughed out loud again, but more in shock than in humor.

I failed because I did not know what the punishment is for a first time speeding offense for a junior operator between the ages of 18 and 21 in the state of Massachusetts.  Or whether your license can be suspended for 30-, 60-, or 90-days for being caught using your cell phone while driving.  I also did not know whether the fine for not wearing a seat belt was $15, $25, or $50.  I did not know 8 questions like that and so I failed the test with a score of 17/25 when I needed 18 to pass. 

I wish so much that I had taken a picture of Matt’s face when I walked out of the permit room and informed him that I had failed.  It was a sight to behold.

I went back to the clerk and shook my head and he also looked quite surprised and I asked if they had a book with some of the info on fines, punishments, and suspensions that I could maybe glance at. They provided me with a copy of the book you get in Drivers’ Ed and I found the appropriate section and I memorized as many fines as I could in ten minutes.  I went back to the clerk, paid another $30, and passed the test in the first 18 questions, thank the gods.

And then, at age 39, I received my learner’s permit, which I will literally frame once I take and pass a road test and get a real license.  Until then, hopefully Matt will let me drive while he sits in the passenger seat so I can get some driving practice.   Just in case the last 23 years wasn’t enough.

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8 thoughts on “Driving

  1. Peter M

    That is hilarious. When I got my license in AK they made me take a written drivers test and I failed. So glad to hear someone smarter than me failed as well. I got tripped up on the amount of minimum insurance you need to have in order to drive in AK.

    In AK you have to wait a day before you can reschedule. Ughhh. And bahaha at the same time.

    Reply
    1. Little Nesting Doll Post author

      I’m glad I’m in good company. Also, FYI, the fine for not wearing your seat belt in MA is $25 and you must stop 200 feet from the blinking lights at a railroad crossing. 😉

      Reply
  2. Fiona Tavares

    Hehe …..similar thing happened to me when I moved from South Africa to the UK many years ago: I didn’t have to sit a ‘learners test’ but when I went to take my ‘drivers test’ they didn’t want to let me take it as I hadn’t signed the previous document! (I didn’t need to use it as I had an international license) …. needless to say I said ‘sorry I’ve left something in my car’ went out and signed it – they were quite happy!

    Sorry, with being on a term’s sabbatical, that I didn’t get to say goodbye to you and the children …. please send my love to them and my good wishes for the forthcoming term.

    Fiona Tavares

    Reply
  3. Karen Rushing

    That is the funniest post I have ever read of yours, especially since we did the road trip in Austria, Germany and France and you were the driver!!!

    Reply

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