My honey has finally gotten a learner’s permit to drive. We spent several mind numbing hours at DMV but walked away successful. We had heard horror stories about refusals and such like of documents that would appear to be perfectly acceptable but were not acceptable to DMV without a fight. A little scared of these stories… we came prepared. And thank goodness that we did. We brought multiple proof of residency documents and that was definitely a good thing. They refused one because it had his middle name on it and not his first name. WTF??? They had never run into the concept of a person using his middle name? Luckily, we came with a bank statement that had both his first and middle name on it. Then they decided to reject his passport as a valid proof of identity. Say what???? What other document could be more accurate than that? In fact… what other document can you provide as a foreign resident of your identity? Just about nothing. But I was prepared and we whipped out the list of acceptable documents that DMV provides to us poor saps that have to navigate their bureaucracy and pointed out that his passport was perfectly acceptable. After a small consultation, they agreed with their own rules and we got to move on to the knowledge test. He passed that and we walked out almost in shock. It took us all evening to realize that we had actually managed to get him his learner’s permit on the first try.
So… last night we headed over to the elementary school to give him his first try behind the wheel. The school has some little roads with a stop sign and some crosswalks and everything sp that we could practice stopping and turning and putting on signals. They had a couple of parking lots that we could practise parking and backing out of spots. He didn’t hit any real cars but about 4 imaginary cars got sideswipped and backed into. I was concerned that I would be taking my life into my hands but I guess driving a car is like riding a bike. He had no problems remembering how to operate the car once he got started. Driving in Peru is a little different than driving in the US so we need to practise those kinds of things rather than how to keep the car going in a straight line.
Helping him is bringing back funny stories about what I was like when I started driving. I remember the very first time that I got behind the wheel (if you don’t count the tree I ran into when I tried to drive the lawn tractor). The car drove in whatever direction I was looking. If I got distracted by some guy raking the leaves on his lawn… I was driving towards his lawn. I sucked so bad that its more embarrassing than funny. Thank goodness Eduardo is not starting from that point!
For the next month, we will be spending some time every day honing his skills so he can take the road test in 30 days.