Friday, May 27, 2005

bureaucratic neverland

So, today I'm talking with my sister about her pending visit to CA over the summer and the subject of her 16th birthday comes up. We start talking about cars and learning to drive and I say:

Jesse: (cue old man voice) Well, when I was your age, we could apply for the learner's permit 6 months before the date of our 16th birthday, drive during the last half of our being 15 so long as we had someone over 18 in the car, and then take the actual driver's test the day of our 16th birthday.

Kody: Well, I think it changed.

Jesse: (shocked) What?! No, it can't have changed. It's not like I took the test 50 years ago or something. Oh, wait ... it was, like, 10 years ago. Oh! Wait! It was 12 years ago!

Kody: (cue laughter at her aging brother)

::end scene::

Well ... turns out that it did change. I looked up the Pennyslvania driver's manual online from the PA DMV's website. (By the way, one of the worst-looking websites I've ever seen. Even among government websites, it's a turd. Come on PENNDOT, jump into 1997 and slap a .gif of some safety cones on there or something.) I don't know when they changed it, but apparently in Pennsylvania you now can't actually apply for your learner's permit until the day of your 16th birthday.

What amazes me is that, in a move of pure torture, they will still let a 15 year-old fill out the learner's permit form and take all of the necessary physicals 6 months before your 16th birthday. This means that the state's 15 and a 1/2 year olds are all freaking out with completed forms and notarized physcials tucked under their pillows that they stare at each day as the hours tick by until they can finally turn the damn things in.

That just seems cruel. As if kids really need any more pressure to feel like they need to grow up faster.

Way to go, PENNDOT.

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