Jazz is “Permitted” to Drive

Guess what Jazz and I did today …


Yep. We jumped through government hoops and he got his driver’s permit.

I told Jazz that Thursday (today) I was going to take him to the DMV so he could take his test and that he better start studying for it.

But when this morning rolled around, the headache that I’ve had for the past FOUR days (!!!!) was so bad that I wasn’t sure if I felt up to dealing with the DMV so I hem-hawed around until about 11:30 when I thought, “You know, I told the boy we were going to do this and I need to stick to my word.” So, I ignored my pounding head, hustled Jazz along and we left the house at 11:30 this morning.

I had to run by the bank and get his Social Security card out of the safe deposit box, then we grabbed a couple of sandwiches from Subway, went up to the office to eat them and he took the sample test in the book. (Jazz read the rest of the book while we ran our errands – that’s how close he cut it).

He missed four and we went over the answers. (Not bad for a kid who basically just skimmed through the book and didn’t take Driver’s Ed – which, incidentally, it doesn’t look like he will get around to taking. I’m sort of glad and sort of disappointed. I’m disappointed because he would have likely learned a lot from the class, but glad because I’m convinced that Driver’s Ed scared the beejeebus out of Dude with all of their grotesque footage of teenagers getting their heads chopped off and that was one of the reasons Dude was so scared to drive).

I figured he was probably as ready as he was ever going to be.

We arrived at the DMV’s at about 1:30 this afternoon. I knew where to go (since I was there two years ago with Dude), and we got him checked in. I think when we walked through the door and Jazz saw the officers and other people taking the test (along with one kid who didn’t pass and was told in front of the whole room – ouch), it finally hit Jazz that this was serious. It was one thing to talk about getting his license, but here we were taking steps to make it happen.

I went to the waiting room and settled in to wait for him to finish taking his test. I knew that if he came out with a piece of paper, then he passed.

It wasn’t ten minutes later and he came out of the room … with a piece of paper. He passed!


He missed five and was pretty disappointed in himself. He said that the five he missed weren’t covered in the book we had for him – but no matter, he passed and that was all that mattered. We then proceeded to go upstairs to finish the paperwork and to get his photo ID.

The room was small and there weren’t that many people waiting. I was optimistic.

I should have known that nothing moves fast when it comes to government.

They were on number 69 – we were number 80. They had two women working the booths, but shortly after we arrived, one of them left on break. The woman remaining was obviously not in any hurry and I thought I would go mad as I watched her walk back and forth between her cubicle and an office. She was not in any hurry. The other woman was gone for an hour and in that hour, the woman on duty didn’t even help ten people.

To make matters worse, I happened to be sitting next to Chatty Cathy and though she was friendly enough, she talked, NON-STOP, the entire time we were there until her number finally, FINALLY, got called.

(I turned to Jazz after listening to the woman for nearly 30 minutes and mouthed, “Shoot me.” He thought that was funny. I was serious).

It’s so interesting going to the DMV – there are so many, erhm, interesting characters. Since the room was small, we overheard a lot of conversations and I think it really made an impression on Jazz – we have it pretty good compared to a lot of people. Some of the stories were pretty hardcore down-on-your-luck stories and there were some people who were obviously trying to play the system and were quite bitter that they were “caught.” It’s hard to feel sorry for people who are given so many chances and end up blowing them to just see if they can get away with it.

Over an hour later, it was finally our turn. I walked up to the cubicle with Jazz and presented his documents, then signed as his legal guardian. He got his picture taken and two minutes later, we picked up his permit.

He’s “officially” in the system.

He asked when we could go out and practice driving as soon as we got into the car. I had to laugh – I had to drag Dude out to practice driving and it looks like that’s not going to be an issue with Jazz – our boys are SO different!

We’re in the process of looking at used cars for Jazz. As with Dude, I would feel better about him driving in a car that is already dinged up as opposed to driving my car, which is not. (Much). We spotted a prospect on Craigslist and will likely check it out tomorrow.

In the meantime, he can use Dude’s car, but Dude will need the car whenever he gets a job so Jazz will need something to drive. Our goal is to get him to the point that he can drive himself to band camp next month (not by himself, obviously).

Even though I’ve been through this driving thing with Dude, I think I might be a bit more nervous this go-around. Dude is overly cautious (which is a different kind of hazard), but Jazz … isn’t exactly detail oriented. In fact, he often misses things right in front of his face, so this should be an interesting experience.

If I live through it.

(Kidding – kidding. …… Maybe).