By Omid Mahdavi
Getting your license is a fun and exciting event in anyone’s life, but the process takes some time and effort. First, you have to take driver’s ed courses, which nowadays are usually offered online. These courses will teach you the rules of the road, what to do in many situations, and general things about cars. These courses cost up to $70, and can take a handful of hours to complete. d.tech Junior, Farrukh Malik said, “It can take 6-8 solid hours of work, even when you are skimming the content.” After taking your final test, and receiving your driver’s ed certificate in the mail, you will need to study again to get your permit. “This is a long multiple choice quiz, and there is not a lot of room for error,” says Malik. Most people take a few practice tests online, first.
To take the permit test, you must first make a DMV appointment. Carlmont junior, Nathan Humphries, said, “First, you have to go online and see if any appointments are available, hopefully in a matter of weeks and not months. If not, get ready to pick up the phone, and be on hold for one hour to schedule that appointment.” When the day comes for your permit test, you have to drive to your closest DMV with your parents. You pay them some money, and you might wait an hour before you take your test. Then, you take your picture, fill out your information, and take the test. According to Humphries, “When you pass your test, that’s a great feeling, but now you have to wait in line longer to get your permit. What you get, is a big packet of papers stapled together saying you can learn to drive.”
Now that you have your permit, you can now learn how to drive a car. It’s time to find a driving teacher. According to d.tech junior, William Yu, “You look online, pay hundreds of dollars, and book an appointment that can be weeks later with a driving teacher. Finally, when the day comes to learn how to drive, your parents tell you some boring things about safety, and you go on your way.” At first, you are probably a little nervous, but soon realize that it’s pretty easy, just like your driving teacher told you. Yu said, “Once you get home, you beg your parents to practice with you until you really learn.”
After 50 hours of practice, it’s time to take your official driving test, and you go to the DMV once again. According to Sequoia senior, Luis Vargas, “You wait in line for at least an hour. Then someone comes in close to your car and asks you questions about it. Assuming you answer them correctly, they hop in the passenger seat.” They usually give you a short route to drive. “You think many times during the test that you failed,” says Vargas. Once you get back to the DMV office, they (hopefully) inform you that you passed your test. You go tell your parents and drive off home. You now have a piece of paper that permits you to drive alone, and soon a card will come in the mail.
At this point, you ask your parents to buy you a car, or you might have a job to cover the cost, and start looking for one. “Maybe your parents bought you one, maybe you bought one yourself, or maybe you are driving your parents car,” says Best Buy employee, Luis Garrido. “Just be ready to pay for all the expensive insurance, gas, and maintenance for your car. Finding parking can be an adventure on it’s own, but driving is a surprisingly good feeling, and it means you are now ready to be yourself.”