Monday, September 18, 2006

How NOT to Help Your Daughter Get a Drivers License--in 14 Very Easy, but Time Consuming Steps

1. This requires advance planning. First, have a child in the middle of summer, so that she will not be in school over her birthday. This will ensure that there will be no convenient semester for her to take Drivers Education.

2. Tell your child she needs to be responsible for her life and sign up to take Drivers Ed during summer school. Nag her incessantly for three weeks, but do not call the school yourself to determine the deadline for summer school sign-up.

3. Miss the deadline for summer school sign-up.

4. Have your child enroll to take Drivers Education through the online high school. This way, you will have no one to call or talk to face-to-face to make sure that you fully understand the process. (Having a teacher who only checks his e-mail every two weeks and goes on an extended vacation during the class is also a very good idea--if you can arrange it.)

5. Pay $22.00 for a book (that is provided free if you take the class at school).

6. If you don't already live there, move to a state that changes the laws governing the licensing process thirty days before your child's 16th birthday. That way, you, your child, the teacher, the online high school, the DLD of the DMV, and everyone else you talk to will be confused, and all authorities will give you conflicting information.

7. Ask the online teacher general questions about the process. Do not specifically say, "I am an idiot, so please send me step-by-step instructions for completing this process before August 1st. And make sure the instructions are written on a second grade level."

8. Assume that the DLD is telling you the truth when they say, "That little blue piece of paper that came with your class outline IS the learner's permit. No, you don't need to come down here to do anything else. If she has the permit, she's on the old program. You can take the driving portion of the test as soon as school starts and everything will be fine."

9. Assume that when the online class final is labeled "State Test" that it really is the State Test and that no further written testing is required.

10. Assume that when you tell your child, "Put this permit in your wallet and never take it out, on pain of death!" that they will actually put it in their wallet.

11. Assume that when both the school and the DLD of the DMV tell you, two days before the new law goes into effect, that you are on track to get her license as soon as she does the road test, that you have done everything you need to do, and that you will be "grandfathered in" on the old program, that they are telling you the truth.

12. Spend one entire day finding the social security card.

13. Spend one entire day finding the birth certificate.

14. After a full week of range driving (2 hours a day, two towns south of where you live) and a full week of road driving (at 6:00 a.m., every day, two towns south of where you live) you discover:

a. that the blue piece of paper was NOT her permit and she's been driving illegally all summer;

b. that the online test was the class final and NOT the state written test; the state written test must be taken at the DMV and the deadline for the old program was 48 days ago;

c. that the e-mail explaining that you had to go down to the DMV to take the real state written test before August 1st was apparently hijacked and is lost somewhere in cyberspace, probably over China;

d. that the deadline passed (48 days ago) and no one can do anything about it;

e. that instead of getting her license on Friday, she must take the real written state test on that day, then wait another 6 FULL MONTHS before she can get her license;

f. that you will be spending another 6 FULL MONTHS driving her to school, to work, to lacrosse, to radio, and to every other place she needs to be;

g. that you are developing a very bad habit of swearing under your breath.




Now playing on my intended iPod: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones

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