License to Drive

19 years ago I took my first and only Ohio driver's test. I have a few memories from the event. There were three 'testers' at the location nearest to our suburb, two women testers (one had purple hair) and a man. Rumor was, you wanted the man. He passed everyone. If you had to have a woman, you didn't want the one with the purple hair. She failed everyone. When I showed up to my test, a woman tested me. But, not the one with purple hair. Thankfully. Even in my very large 1979 Pontiac Bonneville, I passed the first time, and immediately received my first Ohio driver's license. In my picture I was looking at the camera and behind me was a red background.

Four years later I returned to the DMV because my license had expired. The format for the license had changed. This time I had to turn my head to the right (maybe left...) on a red background because I was still under 21. This was a rip-off. I had to pay for this license that would only be good for one year.

I returned again at 21. I looked at the camera and smiled for my now 'legal' license which was legit because my picture was now on a blue background.

At 23 (1997) I visited a DMV in Athens County, Ohio for a new license because my last name had changed from Harvey to Huminsky. Ohio Driver's License Count: 4.

The next time I entered a DMV I was in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the spring of 2000. It was easy to obtain a driver's license in Nevada. All you had to do was surrender a current, valid driver's license. The hardest part of the process was the wait. Sometime in the late 90's the population of Vegas went from 1.5 million to 2.5 million. They still only had 4 DMVs. I believe I waited over four hours for my Nevada driver's license which was valid for four years.

In May of 2004 I entered a Washington DMV. This time I had to take a test. Two tests. The first was the written portion. Most adults we knew failed the written portion of the test unless they read and studied the training book. I read the book and passed. Next I had to take the driver's portion of the test. I might have had to leave and reschedule this part. I have vague memories because I was spending my days (and nights) with a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. Surprisingly, I remember more events about the test I took at 16 than the test I took at 30. What I do remember most is having to parallel park our minivan. Fortunately, I passed. However, throughout the test I wondered...if I fail, will they let me drive myself home? A Washington driver's license is valid for 5 years.

Fast forward 5 years to the spring of 2009. My license was set to expire on my birthday, May 10th. To obtain an Ohio license you need to retake the written portion of the test. No driving portion though. I had intended to read the book. We picked one up the week before my birthday, and I took a practice test. I passed the practice test so I assumed I was good to go. I was. I took my written test on My 8th, and I only missed 4 questions. I still don't know what the legal driving alcohol limit is, or how long points stay on your license. I also was unaware of how fast you are allowed to drive if you have children under the age of 16 in the bed of your truck. Honestly, I didn't even know you were allowed to drive around the state of Ohio with children in the bed of your truck. FYI - the speed limit is 25mph. I guessed 10.

So, 19 years later, my Ohio driver's license count is up to 5. The gal processing my license asked me if my height and weight were the same. I was assuming she meant off my Washington ID so I said yes. After she printed out the paperwork, I understood that she meant off the last records they had of me in Ohio, which I don't think I ever changed since my original license in 1990. Once I made that discovery, I made her reprint me out a new license. I told her that weight was from high school. She needed to update it a bit........


Jenny said...

Ha!! I wish i still had my laminated 16 year old license!! It was the best pic I've taken and the weight was so low!!! How funny that they had your 16 year old size still in their system, considering when we started driving computers weren't really all that important yet.

Monica said...

That's funny... I think we had the same driver's license workers in Wisconsin. Except, instead of purple hair, it was a lady with a big black mole on her face. At 16, I failed my driver's license test the first time for hitting imaginary pedestrians in the imaginary crosswalk. The second time I passed... I had the guy... and "bumped" the car in front of me while trying to leave my parking space. Surprisingly. I passed.

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