Permit process causes setbacks

Miah Garcia, Editor-in-Chief

It seems as if fewer and fewer students are getting licenses when they turn 16. A big contributor to the trend could be the lengthy process of obtaining one. 

To obtain a license, an instructional permit is needed if you are under 18. To begin the permit process, you need to be at least 15 ½ and complete the lengthy Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form, which requires digging through documents to find your social security card and an acceptable birth certificate or other identity document. Then, you need to study the DMV handbook, complete online driver’s education, schedule your permit test, and pass with at least an 80 percent, equivalent to eight incorrect questions, with 48 on the test. If you fail, you must wait one week to retry.

However, your permit is not valid until you begin driving with a certified instructor. You need to drive with the instructor for 6 hours. For students balancing hefty classes, sports, work, or other responsibilities, scheduling driving hours might not be a top priority. 

“I know that some people want to get their drivers ed done as quickly as possible, but for me, driving is not too high of a priority” junior Emerson Karam said, “it’s also been a slow process just because my junior year has been so time consuming.”

Once the required hours are met, only then can you schedule the dreaded driving test appointment. 

However, if you are 18, you do not need to go through the permit process and can just schedule a behind-the-wheel test, another reason why students are simply waiting a little longer to avoid the process

The permit test questions and the road test evaluation are controversial in the validity of the questions and evaluations, but the entire process takes a minimum of six months if everything is executed perfectly. “I think it’s pretty unnecessary to wait 6 months for our license since the process to get our permit is already fairly long,” senior Raye Weatherford said.

Many argue that the fate of your behind-the-wheel test depends on which evaluator you are assigned. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), has a negative stigma and a reputation of rude employees.

If you fail the driving test, you must pay a $7 retest fee and wait two weeks to take it again. If you fail more than three times, the application is no longer valid and you must reapply, only adding on to the already-long process, not to mention the embarrassment if you do fail.