All states are different. Of course. It would be too easy to have every state follow the same steps.
In Virginia, you can get your learner's permit when you are 15 years, 6 months. You go to the DMV and take a written test and then you have a plastic permit. Then you are required to take driving lessons - when I learned to drive, my dad taught me and I had to take a test at the DMV - but now everyone goes to behind the wheel classes. When your instructor passes you, but not before 16 years, 3 months - you are given a blue slip of paper to carry with your plastic permit and bam! You are an official driver. It's valid for 90 days.
Kinda anti-climactic, but there you go.
Wednesday was Allegra's day.
We had a court time of 4 p.m. In my opinion, this was the WORST possible time for us. My other kids got out of school at 3, we got home shortly thereafter, and I had to get homework done and dinner prepared and get down the road to the court. Of course this was the day that my daughter decided to stop at Chik-Fil-A with friends after school, and although I was ready to depart at 3:30 - she wasn't even home.
3:57 found us flying up to the correct court building. We'd battled traffic, sat in construction and I'd done an awful lot of praying to get us there. We talked about the things that would happen - the lecture from the judge, the movie on drunk driving, the fact that the license goes to the parents instead of the kid to show that the parent can take the license at any time - and we both made sure to leave our phones in the car.
We speed-walked as fast as possible to get up the flight of stairs. We were stopped at the x-ray machine and my purse was taken from me. Ma'am, do you have a cell phone, video camera, digital camera, gaming system or iPod in your bag?
I knew I had none of that. I never have that stuff in my purse unless I specifically place it there, and I knew good and well I didn't do that.
Nope, I said confidently as I strode through the body scanner. Which beeped, but I was motioned through anyway, but my handbag was detained. Ma'am, we specifically asked if you had any electronics in your bag. You clearly have something in your bag.
I had no idea what it could be. I only use my phone to take pictures/videos/listen to music, and that was in the car, so I had confidence that I was in the right. I looked at the clock above my head - 3:58. A gloved hand reached into my humungous pink purse, and came out -
with an iPod shuffle that no one in my family uses. Riley plays with it occasionally, but I don't think I've seen her use it in at least a week. I'm pretty sure Riley must have shoved it into my bag at some point this past week - but I had no idea when, and no clue it was there. I looked up in a panic - and went to grab it. The clerk held it above me and gave me a look I can only describe as liar, liar, pants on fire. "Allegra, quick - run this out to the car!" The clerk shook her head.
Ma'am, you won't have time. It's almost time to lock the courtroom. There's lockers over there, just put it in a locker. 50 cents.
I looked up at her, bewildered. I didn't HAVE 50 cents. I looked at Allegra, who looked as puzzled as I did, but shook her head and reminded me that she didn't have her purse and so she had no money. The male guard with her shook his head at me, clearly annoyed with how idiotic and unprepared I clearly was. Who brings in an iPod, when all of the signs clearly say NO ELECTRONICS OF ANY TYPE WHATSOEVER, and who doesn't have 2 quarters? He reached into his pocket, handed over 50 cents, sent Allegra to the locker and instructed me to RUN to the courtroom. She caught up to me right outside the courtroom, handed over her permit and blue paper, and we walked in the door.
Which was closed and locked right behind us. At 4:00.
And we were instructed to walk in front of every person in the courtroom, and sit all the way in the front - at the defendant table. In the attorney chairs.
Everything was anticlimactic from that moment on.
Addendum: I think it's a great procedure, the way that things are done here. It pretty much scares the kids - for a while, anyway.The seatbelt movie and the drunk driving movie are intense. I also love that the judge gives the license to the PARENT - and tells the parent not to be afraid, they can take it away at any time for misbehavior - including not keeping a room clean. SCORE.