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The Land Of Dmv This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Sixteen years into a young life, the New York state government gives a long-anticipated birthday present: the right to drive an automobile. I exercised this right this summer. However, through extreme laziness I managed to delay receiving my license for half a year. In so doing, I deprived myself of many months of aimless wanderings to destinations ranging from the exquisite Nanuet Mall to the luxurious Quik-E-Mart. To partake in these treats, there are several steps one must complete in the grueling process to become a legal driver.

First, you are forced to travel to the land of DMV where someone is always on a coffee break and the computers are always down. You age a few years as you wait on the everlasting line that always holds fifteen people who only speak another language and have forgotten their green cards. Then you get to sit and wait as you watch the electronic newsmaker spin endlessly. Who in his right mind doesn't want to read about Herb's Auto, Furniture and Book Store, while squinting in the glaring fluorescent light?

Finally, you get to take your multiple choice, twenty-question permit test. Anyone who patiently waits sixteen years and fails this test belongs in a room with padded walls. The difficulty of this exam ranges somewhere between Sesame Street Magazine and a connect-the-dots puzzle. After you take this challenging exam (which you have actually gotten yourself quite worked up over), you take your hat-head picture, the one in which everyone has a crooked smile. This photograph will be in your wallet for decades. Just ask to see your father's license. After he cleans off the cobwebs, his afro will practically pop out onto your lap. If you hold the picture to your ear, you'll hear the echoes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

You'll pass the exam, then, you are enabled to practice driving a car with supervision from a driver with his or her senior license. This instruction is in preparation for the always-nerve-wrecking New York State driver's test. The most difficult parts of this exam are taking off your seatbelt afterwards and fighting off all of your friends who now want to go for a ride. However, one advantage of passing is that you are not forced to go back to the land of DMV, at least not for a while.

You are now prepared to be on the road by yourself. You have the right to pay huge insurance bills and partake in driving, the activity which rates top on the fatality charts of many countries. The good news is that you are loosed from the constraints of Mommy and Daddy and can act like an individual. But buckle; up it's going to be a bumpy ride. ,


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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