Finally got my NC Driver’s License today. I chose this date because it was voting day in my new state and I thought there’d be no lines at the DMV. There weren’t and the whole deal took about 15 minutes. Genius!

Of course, that doesn’t count the time I spent studying for the written test. Yeah, you read that right. I had to take a written test to get my license in NC. Well, not just me- but everyone applying for NC driving privileges for the first time. (Having a valid license from another state did exempt me from taking a driving test.)

After talking with a friend who failed the written test the first time, I decided to study and am glad I did. The exam included lots of NC specific info- like the b.a.c. that triggers a dwi (.08), the number of points on your license that earns you a defensive driving class (7) and the % of accidents in my new state that involve alcohol (38%). Reading the 108 page driver’s handbook through once and 15 minutes worth of online practice tests did the trick and earned me a passing grade.

When I first found out that I’d have to take the written test, I scoffed. Now that I’m on the other side of the process, I think the mandatory testing is a good idea. Just reviewing the info has made me drive differently today. I’m practicing the 2 second rule, and checking my blind spots more regularly.

As a bonus for jumping through the testing hoops, NC gives adults ages 21-54 licenses that don’t expire for 8 years. That means the next time I’m back at the DMV I’ll be in my mid 40’s with kids who are 9 and 12.

Sounds ok to me.