In the very far away yet civilized country where everyone’s dreaming to visit once in their lives, yes, this is America. The US visa process is one of the hardest in the world let alone getting the driving license here which is as difficult as getting the visa (Wait! Am I the only one who thinks it is hard?)
Alright! Let’s get started! Oh, before getting to the point, let me introduce myself. Well, I am just a normal tiny girl who came here in pursuit of my dreams, imagination and searching for inspiration….This sounds great, right? In fact, I was just fed up of my one year work in Thailand and I wanted to travel and improve my language skills. Thanks to my sister, she is doing her master here and she was the one who helped arrange my school and accommodation. And finally, I got the F1 visa (student visa) without hassle (Thank you so much, sis).
Now, I’m living in Virginia. It is quite an outlying state. There are no buses or subway where I live. So the only mean of transportation is by driving!! And the thing is, the international driving license from Thailand is not allowed to use in the State of Virginia. You need to have a new driving license as the traffic regulations here are different from Thailand. Ok then, if I could get my driving license in Thailand (I got it 2 months prior to my departure), getting another one here would be a piece of cake. Plus, I have been told that driving here is really easy….I will pass the driving test for sure! I happily smile in secret.
The driving test here is divided in writing and driving parts like in Thailand. The only thing different is that there’s no training part. I started by preparing myself for the writing part. I learned the samples of the test from blogs. (DMV VA Test) My sister and her friends provided the test samples for me to practice. Haha! I’m so lucky. I don’t have to do this all by myself. My sister’s friend told me if I could answer all of the questions, I would pass the test with no problem (I’m so relieved.).
When I was done with preparation, it’s time to take the writing test. The DMV test location is in Sterling Virginia, close to my help. It is known that the officers here are not so nice. But it is really close to where I live, only ten minutes driving, so I chose to take my test here (No problem if the officers are not nice because I will be nice to them. Haha)
After I had scheduled my test , the process of getting my driving license in America started. Firstly, I have to prepare my Passport+Visa, I-20 form , proof of residence (such as the bank statement sent to your hous) , Thai driving license (If you don’t have Thai driving license, you must wait 30 days before taking your test. So I recommend you to take Thai driving license with you so that you won’t waste your time.)
Documents ready, reading done, finished my make-up, let’s go!! The place where I would take my driving test is called DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). The working hour is from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon. The day I took my test was not so busy. First you need to get your queue ticket. I waited for thirty minutes until I was called. The officer who received me was an Indian-look woman.
“Hi! What do you need to get done today?”
“I’m here for taking the writing test.” Then the officer started checking my documents. When done, she asked me to get my eyes tested…. Oh no! Now I’m in trouble as I forgot to bring my glasses (My sights are -.75 and – 1.24 and I don’t normally wear glasses). Anyway, let give it a try!
“Please read the first line.” The officer said.
“ A, D……K….. (What’s this letter? I narrowed my eyes.)…….”
“Why you are narrowing your eyes?”
“Umm, in fact I am slightly near-sighted. But I can read the test with no problem.”
“I’m sorry,mam, but you need to go back and bring your glasses. It is a part of our test.”
Oh Nooo….Because of my carelessness, I had to go back home and brought back my glasses. I had to get a new queue but finally I passed this step. What a waste of time!
After that, I needed to wait to be called for writing test. It is standing test and you need to pick the right answer by touching the screen like Photohunt game. The test is divided into 2 parts. The first part is about traffic codes. There are 10 questions. You can’t get question wrong in this part!!!! Otherwise, you will fail and won’t be able to do the second part…..…..I was standing nervously while taking this part. Luckily, the test was exactly like the samples I did before so I passed the 10 quests. Great!
For the Part 2, it’s about general facts of driving. There are 25 questions and you can fail only 4-5 or 80% of all questions. Oh my god! This part is not as easy as pie because the test is not quite like the samples I did. The questions and answers are similar but there are also some tricky choices. I was not sure about my answer of 7 questions. But I guessed them carefully and logically. Hooray!
Finally, I passed the second part, only got two question wrong….My confidence is back and I’m ready to do the Road Test right away. However, my sister stopped me and suggested me to get used to with the road first and come back next week….Ok then, let do it next week. See you the DMV road test!!