My Experience: Getting My Drivers License


Getting my drivers license was definitely one of my most favorite memories of all time. It seemed like such a big accomplishment for myself since I had dreaded it for a while. I practiced driving with my mom a lot so I knew I was ready but at the same time it was very nerve racking to sit there in silence just knowing someone is grading your every move while driving. When I drove to the DMV, I was very nervous. I just took deep breaths and even though I wanted to just turn around and do it another day, I knew that wouldn’t fly with my mom and I continued on. I walked up to the desk to ask about taking my drivers test and handed over all the paperwork. She handed me a few things back as well as a sheet of paper explaining what would be taking place. I kept going over just mental notes in my head on where buttons were at and to remember small little things while driving. When the police woman walked out of the door and into the waiting room my heart felt like it skipped a beat. As we walked out of the front doors, I immediately doubted whether or not I was ready which made my anxiety go through the roof as if it wasn’t already bad enough.

As we walked to the car I could feel my heart racing, I knew that I had to seriously calm myself down or else this definitely wouldn’t go well. I unlocked the doors and we both entered the car. She first started her name and what the test will consist of, I was trying to pay attention but all I caught was her name, Officer Rodriguez. As she then went on to the “Pre-driving checklist” she asked me where the hazards were located, I quickly pointed it out, she then asked me where the control is for the windshield wipers. My heart dropped, I knew where they were but she also asked me to turn them on, seems simple I know but I had never driven in the rain therefore I had never needed to turn them on. I twisted a little knob and luckily that’s all it was. She proceeded to ask me where the front and rear defrost was, which was kind nerve racking given that the buttons are worn off so to me it was a 50/50 shot. Officer Rodriguez got out of the car to go onto the safety check where she asked me to honk the horn, turn on both blinkers and to check brake lights in the back. After all said was done, it was time to finally get onto the road.

Officer Rodriguez got back into the car and clicked the seat belt, by that time I was surprisingly calm mostly because my mind was elsewhere but what mattered is that I wasn’t in full panic mode. She told me to go ahead and back out, this is surprisingly where most people go wrong, they don’t check all their mirrors. I checked my rear view and both side mirrors and proceeded to back out to the left. I went slow through the parking lot making sure I didn’t screw up on something so dang simple as speeding through a parking lot. We got to the parking lot exit and what seemed to take forever I was finally able to pull out of the parking lot onto the main road. I gently accelerated making sure not to stab the gas at all and have points taken off for that as well. We passed through a few stoplights until she instructed me to take the next right, I made sure to flick on my blinker about 100 ft. before taking the turn and luckily the light was green so I didn’t have to look around all that much before turning. This turn took us into a neighborhood where she had me pull over to the side and park on a hill. That was pretty easy making sure to overuse the blinker just in case and to make sure I turn the wheel out when parking as well. We then went on through the neighborhood just taking basic left and right turns as well as a roundabout up until coming to a four way stop. I slowly stopped behind the sign and then began to slowly roll to where I can get the best view possible. I was told to go straight at the stop sign but there was a slight issue, a car was not really paying attention at the other side of the street but they got there first giving them the right of way. I was kind of conflicted on whether or not I should honk my horn or flash my lights but luckily seconds later he went on ahead to make his turn. The test went smoothly for another 5 minutes or so until we went around to the back of the DMV where they had set up cones to parallel park. For those reading this that have taken the drivers test know that parallel parking is like the holy grail of the drivers test, no one really knows what they are doing so you kind of just have to wing it first try. I pulled up to the cones and did my thing but that was the very first time I’d ever tried it so you can only imagine how that went. I didn’t hit a cone or anything but it wasn’t a very smooth parking job to say the least. She instructed me then to pull back around to the other side of the building and park for the last time. 

This then concluded my drivers test which I knew I had done well but with the way that parallel park went, I had a pit in my stomach. As we sat there in silence, officer Rodriguez jotted down a few things on her clipboard, I could only imagine what she was writing. I figured we would have to walk back inside to get my results but not even 5 seconds later she said to me “Okay so you passed with an 85,” I was so excited but I couldn’t really show it at that moment very well so I just went ahead and nodded. She continued to tell me a few pointers to look out for when driving, one of them being to continue parallel parking which is funny because I haven’t attempted another parallel parking job since then. She told me a few other things to look out for but nothing too big really. We walked back inside of the office where she gave me some information regarding my certain driving parameters so they know what to put on my license. She walked out to where I was sitting with my mom and congratulated me on passing the drivers test. I still couldn’t believe it even hours passed, I had over-thought this test for so long and for it to go by in just 20 minutes still shocks me to this day.

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