Monday, September 24, 2012

License Day

Today, I finally worked up the courage to get my North Carolina drivers license.  I had called the DMV back in July when I first moved into town to check on the process.  The man on the phone told me I could come in and wait about four hours, or I could make an appointment (they were scheduling two months out).  "Even with an appointment," he informed me, "it can still be an hour wait."  Wow!  And I thought Michigan was bad.  Needless to say, I didn't go that day.

My next step was to go to the North Carolina DMV website and read more about the process.  I checked out the locations around Charlotte and thought I would go to the office closest to IKEA--nothing like a little retail therapy to make a dreaded situation less painful.  I read a review on that office and it got a 0 out of 5  because the employees were rude, the wait was long and it was the worst experience the reviewer had ever had.  Hmm.  Scratch that idea.

One woman I know went to the DMV and when she arrived, the line was out the door.  She timed how long it took to wait on each person, counted the people in line and realized she wouldn't even get in the door before they closed, so she left.  She said to go outside of Mecklenburg County.

As I talked to more people, I heard that the test was incredibly hard and you needed to study.  "Know the statistics," I was told.  I talked to several people who had failed the exam.   In good ole Michigan, they don't even make you take a test.  (The rumor is they did away with it because so many people failed.  That says a lot about the intelligence of Michiganders.)

I decided last week that I had procrastinated long enough.  I made a rule that I couldn't get a pedicure (which I was desperately in need of) until I got my license.

Today was the Day of Days.  After studying the 93 page handbook all weekend, I drove to the little town of Monroe (Union County) with two documents showing my birthdate, my Social Security card, proof of address, and proof of car insurance in hand.  Amazingly, I was out of there in 20 minutes with a perfect score on the test and hopefully a decent looking picture.  I have to admit, when she asked me my hair color, I told a little white lie and said brown.

Of course, y'all are probably wondering what kind of questions they asked on the test.  Here's one for you:

How old must a child be to ride in the back of a pickup truck?

(Does any other state in the union ask that question?)

The answer, by the way, is 16 years old.  Now that's something to look forward to.

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