Time to get an American driver’s license

I’ve had my driver’s license since 1998. At the time, my family lived in Belgium, so mine was a Belgian driver’s license. When I moved back to the Netherlands in 2006, I simply handed in my Belgian driver’s license and it was replaced with a Dutch one. I didn’t have to take any kind of test, not even a written one, which I why I’m still not sure about traffic laws in my own country. In Japan, I basically didn’t drive. So there was no need for a Japanese license, besides my Dutch license was still valid.
Now we live in the States. Yasu’s Japanese license expires next week and it cannot be renewed from here, so he’s going to get his American license this month. My Dutch one is still valid but I’ve decided to go with him and also get an American license. Unfortunately, here we can’t simply swap our old home-country licenses for a shiny new American one. So we’ll have to take all the tests again, from scratch.
Shouldn’t be a problem you say? Perhaps. If not for that evil parallel parking stuff, it petrifies me, it’s criminal, it should be banned. I suck at it. After passing my behind-the-wheels exam, I conveniently forgot about parallel parking and avoided it like the plague for years. Yes, a person can have a happy driving-life for more than 14 years and never parallel park. There’s always an easier place to park around, just keep searching and you’ll find it.
But now I’ll have to do it again, and during a driving exam no less, with an examiner there and everything. The thought alone is already making me anxious.
Luckily, I practiced parallel parking when I was home in November with Guido. Since I had a sneaking suspicion an American driving exam was in my future. I didn’t expect it to be this quick though, yet the sooner the better, now that I can still kind of remember what we practiced. Still, I’m mega-nervous. But first I have to pass the written exam.
We’ve made appointments at the DMV for Wednesday, in an effort to decrease waiting time, since lines there are notoriously long. So now we’re busy studying the California laws and rules of the road.
It’s not too difficult, but there are a lot of details to remember. The miles/feet thing keeps confusing me, I constantly use my converter app to know what that means in kilometers and meters; but I’m not allowed to use iPhone apps during the exam, of course.
Well, I better get back to my studies, which makes me feel like I’m 17 again, and do some sample tests to see whether the information is sticking in this 32-year-old brain.

3 thoughts on “Time to get an American driver’s license

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