Learning to Drive with the Soapbox Girl (Lessons 1 & 2)
It helps to have a current driver's manual. The manual I had on hand was from 2007. Now that I've rectified that particular problem study sessions begin tomorrow. Thinking caps are optional. :-)
Okay, now that my NJ driver manual is from February 2011 and not December 2007 we can begin the studying process. Put on your thinking caps and don’t forget your government red tape decoder rings. You’re gonna need them.
Beginning at the Beginning
In New Jersey we have what is called a Graduated Driver License (GDL*). It is a multi-stage system designed to gradually introduce driving privileges to first time drivers (that’s me!) and to extend practice-driving times.
First thing is first. I will need an Examination Permit. This will cost id="mce_marker"0. After I pay my id="mce_marker"0 I will have to pass the 50-question knowledge test as a well as a vision test. I’ll also need the 6 points of identification that New Jersey requires. Because there just is no way I could possibly briefly explain this to you I’ll just offer you the link to the PDF to red if you’re so inclined. Forewarned is Forearmed — It makes my brain itch just thinking about it so read at your own peril. http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/pdf/Licenses/ident_ver_posterpint.pdf
Once I pass the knowledge test (And I will. Right, study buddies?) I’ll have to practice driving for 3 months with an adult supervising driver. *laughs* Here is where you should start feeling sorry for poor Chuck and offer to take up a collection to buy him a crash test helmet.
I will also have to observe the Examination Permit restrictions, which are as follows.
- No driving from 11:01pm-5am1
- No cell phones, hands-free or otherwise
- A supervising adult driver must be in the front seat with me at all times. (wanna go for a ride?)
- A wordy passenger restriction that’s not applicable to me because I’m (way) older than 21.1
- Everybody in the car MUST be wearing his or her seatbelt.
- Must display decals on license plates. Here’s where I get confused. In the first listing [fig. 1.0] there is no notation saying that this does not apply to me because I’m (way) older than 21, but in the blurb describing the GDL decals [fig. 1.1] it says drivers under age 21 and makes no mention of drivers older than age 21.
(There is actually a typo in the manual. The notation for the passenger restriction not applying to those older than 21 is actually on the supervising driver restriction. Hey NJ if you’re hiring for proofreaders I’m pretty good!)
Now that I’ve observed all of the restrictions and I’ve completed 3 months of supervised driving without any suspensions or postponements I’ll have to pass the road test. *bites nails*
Once I’ve passed the road test I’ll be issued a Probationary License, which I’ll keep for 1 year. During this time I will have to continue to observe all of the Examination Permit restrictions listed above save for having an adult supervising driver in the car with me. Uh oh NJ I’m gonna be unsupervised and behind the wheel!
Ain’t this a Kick in the Head?
As long as I hold an Examination Permit or Probationary License (roughly 15 months) my adult supervising driver (Chuck) is also responsible for any of my traffic offenses. *bites nails* There goes poor Chuck’s driving record. I’m sorry in advance for any and all tickets I (and you) may accrue.
After I have 1 year of unsupervised driving I will need to return to the Motor Vehicle Commission to pay $24 for my Basic Automobile License and poor Chuck can have his driving record back to himself. Poor guy.
So now that we’ve covered all of the red tape we’ll get into the nitty gritty of it all tomorrow. But, hey! Just for the hell of it let’s try the online practice test and see what we get without reading past the red tape and clerical topics. Shall we?
Okay so perhaps winging it wasn’t the best idea. I got 13 out of 20 correct, which gave me 65% and you need 80% to pass. So hit the books we shall.
See you tomorrow!
* Not to be confused with GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry)
In related news, Vinny has decided to return to the Jersey Shore house. I know you’re all very relieved. I know that I certainly am.
Visit Carol Anne at her home on the web, Soapboxville.