drivers license test

Getting a teen driver their learner’s permit

On the Road 2 min read

So you’ve got a child getting a learner’s permit – well, I can relate. The crying, the smoke, and the smell of burnt rubber are still fresh in my mind.

What do those things have to do with my child obtaining a learner’s permit you may ask? Let me explain.

I was cooking dinner when my son handed me the letter confirming he was old enough to start driving. The crying came from me as the reality of a teen driver in my home sunk in. Wasn’t he just a toddler? The smoke and smell of burning rubber came from the ruined dinner and the pair of dishwashing gloves I had set on the stove due to the shock of the letter. To say I was a wreck was an understatement.

My initial panic turned to resolve and the next few weeks went better. We spent a few afternoons driving in empty parking lots and open fields, with him driving and me sitting nervously in the passenger seat. Over time, my son’s confidence increased and my blood pressure returned to almost normal.

We found the website for our state’s driver license division and were rewarded with a treasure trove of helpful information. The site explained the requirements for obtaining a learner’s permit, shared the hours and locations for the test, and even had a couple of online practice tests for my son to take. Score!

As the day for his exam is drawing closer, we are both surprisingly positive. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching horror movies on Netflix with my wife, it’s that the calm is always followed by a storm. For me, the storm came when I printed out the official Learner’s Permit Application (Form DLD6a Venimus, Vidimus, Drivus). It’s a form that could only be produced by a government entity.

Having just finished my taxes for the year, the terror of filling out government forms was not far removed – and I’m not someone who hasn’t done hard things. I mean, I’ve climbed an active volcano (at night with small children), completed a master’s degree, and vacuumed a minivan after a family trip. But the mere mention of a government form makes me feel dizzy.

I finally came to a resolution I could live with. If my son has the intestinal fortitude and emotional intelligence to correctly complete the form, I suppose he’s ready to drive. Next up? Taking the test. I think we’re both finally ready.

Steps for obtaining a learners permit

If you’re like me and overwhelmed at the thought of your teenager obtaining a learners permit, follow these simple steps.

  • Visit your state’s Driver License Division website.
  • Learn the requirements for obtaining a learners permit.
  • Find out what documents you need to bring to take the test.
  • Identify the hours and locations of the test.
  • Point out driving rules as you drive together. Ask questions to quiz your child on traffic situations that may appear on the test.
  • Have your child take practice tests until he/she feels comfortable taking the learners permit test.

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