YAY! Today I got my Learner’s Permit for the state of Georgia!
I actually tried to do this on Wednesday as a surprise for my husband but it all went horribly wrong over a piece of paper and I ended up embarrassing myself and in a flood of tears outside the office.
The issue was over proof of residence in Georgia. I’d taken along a copy of my bank statement showing my name on it but they refused to accept it as it wasn’t this months statement. I even had letters from USCIS with the same name and address on them, ditto with my car insurance policy and even my Social Security card and letter postmarked the day before. But no dice. I’d been worked up to take the tests but I didn’t even get that far. I was so upset and it just seemed like the last straw and I couldn’t cope anymore. Had enough and desperately wanted to just be in England where I could drive, get a job, go around to my friend’s house and be in a land I understood.
Anyway, I at least made it back to my husband and he managed to calm me down and took today off to accompany me to the DMV.
We arrived just after 9 and were faced with a huge queue. After Wednesday’s experience I wasn’t in a particularly good frame of mind and my tummy was all over the place.
This time when we got to the reception we showed Bill’s licence as proof of residence and sailed through. As far as I could see this was completely dumb as how does someone else’s licence prove that I live at that address? Crazy. It did the trick the though and we progressed to the waiting room where we could at least sit down to wait.
Panicked somewhat as the lady initially forwarded me to take the complete test, whereas I’d been expecting to be doing the written ones, getting a learner licence and coming back for the road test. I’ve not had much experience on US roads as we only managed to persuade the car insurance company to cover me last month. Since then I’d also been out of action on pain medication and wasn’t sure if I was legal to drive on my UK licence or not anyway. (when do you count as a resident?!) Thankfully another lady understood that although I have a licence Brits drive on the other side of the road and that a little practice before the test would be good idea. Thankyou!
On a side note…why don’t places like this have bathrooms over here? It’s ridiculous, when I needed the loo I had to leave the DMV, wander around the Mall to find the food court and use the rest rooms there. WTF? Same with my dental experiences..I had to have my wisdom teeth out at the beginning of the month and this involved trips to two different dentists. Neither had toilet facilities and I had to venture outside to find one! Not impressed.
But, I digress.
After a wait my number got called and I approached the counter where after my documents were re-examined (hubby asked to stand and wave from his seat to confirm his licence) and forms signed I was directed to the computer for my written tests. I’d been wondering where the tests were held and was surprised to turn around to find a hidden bank of monitors behind a screen.
I sat down and the test began. The weirdest thing was the interface, the questions, answers and buttons weren’t exactly displayed on the screen in a user friendly manner. Also, felt like I was on “Who wants to be a Millionaire” except without the “ask the audience”, “50/50” or “phone a friend” because every time I made a choice it asked me “is this your final answer?!”
I had to do two tests, each twenty multiple choice questions. First was regarding the law, second on road signs. Five wrong questions were allowed on each, and I was informed after each question if I’d got it right or not, and how many questions I had left to get wrong before I failed!
Thankfully I sailed through both sets of questions and only got one wrong answer between them *curses* (In the UK I passed before written tests were introduced and felt that the having a live examiner drill you was a million times more scary)
The elusive question fyi was “If you move house or change your name how long do you have to notify the DMV?” a) 30 days? b) 60 days? c) 90 days?
I plumped for 30 days, but nope. *uh uh* The correct response was 60. Gah!
Incidentally I was expecting a vision test too but that didn’t happen. I saw other people undertaking them but was never asked myself. Strangely when I looked at the form I was handed back to give in to another counter it had results for my vision test on it! I did really well apparently! I don’t need glasses or contacts and had my eyes tested recently so I was confused, but left it at that.
More waiting followed until I was called to a final counter were my index fingerprints and my photo were taken. (except the guy asked for my index finger and then told me off when I offered it and motioned for my ring finger instead! hmmm)
YAY! Another quick sit down and my Learner Permit was issued! Bleargh to my photo, but hoorah otherwise!
Okay, now have to schedule my road test (eek), but at least I’m definitely legal now and can practice those parallel parks in the ol’ truck! Wheee! I can DRIVE!