By Allison Ashley

Sophomore year is the time for many students to start the long and agonizing, yet highly rewarding, process of receiving their driver’s license. It is a process that comes with limited freedoms and much responsibility. This process includes taking never-ending online or in-class driving courses and waiting in hours of lines at the crowded DMV to take your written driving test at the age of 15 and a half, all just to receive your permit.

KT, a sophomore at Sonoma Academy, shares her story about getting her permit. “I made an appointment over a month in advance for 4:00 pm the day I turned 15 1/2, knowing that the DMV stopped administering tests at 4:30 and closed at 5:00. I got there at 3:40 directly after school, and after waiting in a long line they told me that there was a 45-minute delay even though I had made the appointment for 4:00 a month prior. Needless to say, I didn’t get to take my test and had to go into the DMV first thing the next day and take it then.”

After this you must take three two-hour behind-the-wheel driving lessons with a professional driving instructor. When they feel you are ready to take on the roads they sign off on your permit, making it legal for you to drive with your parents. This is the part of the process commonly filled with overbearing parents screaming, gripping on to the door with all their might, and telling you what to do…all at the same time.

After practicing for many hours and holding your permit for six months you can go to the DMV to take your final driving test. This one is behind the wheel, to determine if you can get your provisional driver’s license. Remember to be careful that the DMV doesn’t make a mistake for your scheduling.

Is this frustrating process worth the time and disappointment that comes along with it? Just make sure you double-check your dates, and do your research about the particular DMV you plan on going to. Find out the average wait time so you can plan accordingly, bring all your information, and get there extra early. Good luck, and remember soon it will all be worth it!