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.