Buh-Bye New York State Drivers License

August 22nd, 2007 · 14 Comments

Today I went to the DMV office in the Thompson Center and got my Illinois license. I was kind of freaked out by the written test and I studied online just to make sure. Still, I was nervous yesterday morning. No need, I guess, because I only got one wrong on the exam. Something about what to do when your car is skidding out of control. Gently brake and steer straight, steer into it, or jam on the brakes hard and fast. Well, I knew it wasn’t the last option.

I think I was just anxious because when I got my California Drivers License I failed the written test. Then I went back and took it again and failed. I had one more than allowed wrong. I remember that I sweet talked the DMV worker into asking me one of the wrong questions and I got it right so they let me pass through. And that was when I actually drove a car every day. These days I drive about 3 times/year. The laws in CA are weird, though. Who knows what a blue curb means? Me either. In New York, I don’t think I ever had to take a written test.

The best part is that my photo on my IL license is really cute. When does that ever happen? I’ll have to show it to you next time I see you.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • James

    I failed California’s exam twice too! The dude even asked me, “Are you sure you were driving in another state?” Then I went home and studied studied studied. Went back the next day, and got one of the tests I had gotten the previous day … so I got them all right. :-)

  • stephanie

    I am SO envious that you only drive 3 times/year – WOW! I drive 16 miles to work everyday, which takes me about 40 minutes. Ew.

  • Robin

    I found the Chicago written test hilarious. What over place asks how you handle turning out of an alley, and has as one of the answers “honk your horn and go.” And how many native Chicagoans think that’s the right answer? :)

  • RachelleB

    I remember that one. The choices were something like 1) as long as you can’t see any traffic you can go, 2) stop before the sidewalk and the road and yield to any pedestrians or traffic or 3) honk your horn and go fast to get out of the way.

    James – I think that the CA test is just really hard. Or, more likely, they have a bunch of weird laws and things like 5 different colored painted curbs mean 5 different things. Oh, here is an explanation.

  • Nancy

    Wow, American Drivers licences are so much different than Canadian ones. Ours look much neater I think… although I guess we’re always freaking colorful! Look @ our money!

  • RachelleB

    Our drivers licenses here vary by state. There’s not really an “American Drivers license.” Each state has their own design and even what they’re made of is different. Some feel like plastic like credit cards, whereas my New York one was sort of paper/cardboard on the front and plastic-y on the back. Some people here thought it was fake.

  • OTC

    It’s odd that you had to take a test, I’ve switched states 3x and never had to do more than turn in one license and get another.

    Maybe that’s a Northeast thing since it was NY, CT, and MA.

  • Julie

    I’ve got the IL manual to read before I turn in my CT license and take the written test…but there’s a driving law about how to turn out of an alley here??

  • tien

    yeah, i thought all you had to do was exchange your license. no test required. i suppose it is different for every state. i know PA doesn’t require a written test if you have a valid license.

  • Mike

    Kudos to you for avoiding getting a new drivers’ license for so long! I’ve had licenses in four states now, and getting one has never been a painless experience (although for my first license in IL the picture taker teased me about not smiling until I did, and then snapped a great picture). Maybe you can make it for ten whole years before you get your next one!

  • Nancy

    Oh weird… Would it last if you accidentally washed it with clothes? I think Canada & USA should take lessons from Australia with our money – their money is made out of a plastic material and it doesn’t rip as easily. In fact, the challenge for Australians is to try and rip their money whereas in Canada our challenge is to pop the middle out of a Tonnie.

  • Charles

    Probably not a good idea to show everyone your full name, DOB and a previous address.

  • RachelleB

    You can figure out my name and DOB in about 2 minutes by reading this site. As for my previous address, if someone wants to go stalk my old apartment in a city I don’t even live in, they can be my guest. I did Photoshop certain other identifying numbers from this photo before I posted it.

  • Michael

    Actually, a few years ago, maybe 2003, CA was in the news for dumbing down the written drivers test. Too many people’s failing the test apparently didn’t mean too many dumb (attempted) drivers, it meant too hard a test. Brilliant.

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