Driver’s License Lapse

Ever make a mistake that you swore you’d never make again? That was me about ten years ago when I let my driver’s license lapse. It wasn’t on purpose. I just didn’t pay any attention to the expiration date on that little piece of plastic in my wallet.

By the time I figured it out I was just outside the window where all you have to do is by your fee and get your picture taken. No, I had to re-take the written driver exam.

Not going to lie. Even though I had decades of driving experience, the idea of taking the test raised my anxiety level a little bit. I mean, how bad would it be if I didn’t pass? It would not only be embarrassing but also time-consuming having to go back again.

I studied the online manual in preparation and my wife and daughters drove me to the DOT testing station the next Saturday morning to take the test. They waited in the car and while I went inside.

Taking the test was a different experience this time compared to the first time I took the test at age 14. Back then, it was done on paper. This time it was computerized. A DOT worker pointed me to a computer, letting me how many questions I’d be given and how many I could miss and still pass.

The first few questions went well with the computer telling me I got them correct. Then I got to one that I didn’t read all the way through and answered it incorrectly. As soon as it popped up that it was wrong I realized my mistake.

I remember saying to myself, “Deep breath. Slow down. You can do this.” That’s when I started reading each question two and three times before answering… just to ensure I didn’t make another dumb mistake.

There were a few questions that seemed a little tricky at first. They asked about traffic situations that when behind the wheel you would do the right thing… but on the computer screen, the answer wasn’t as apparent. I skipped those questions, choosing to come back to them at the end.

I’m sure I let out an audible sigh of relief when I realized I could answer every question I skipped incorrectly and still pass the test. Knowing this I breezed through them getting the majority right.

As I walked out of that building with a brand new driver’s license in hand I vowed to never let it expire again. I even went so far as to set a Google calendar reminder on my birthday  every year to check my license expiration date.

On my last birthday when I checked it was expired… so I renewed it online. That means I’m good for another 8 years!

Have you ever accidentally let your driver’s license expire?

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