I went to the DMV today to sort out my license. The order of steps on the website is simple, if a little strange: first you fill in a bunch of details, then you take your knowledge test, then you get a licence "or" a learner’s permit, and then you take the practical test, whether you have the license or the permit.
To get the document, you need to provide proof that you are who you are, and you live in Washington state. This was a bit of a grind for me, and in the end I needed to hand over the deeds to our house, our marriage certificate, my social security card, my passport and my I-94 proof of entry, and the woman at the counter still looked dubious.
Then she told me that of course I couldn’t get a license as I hadn’t passed the test, which was pretty obvious to me, except the DMV’s own website contradicts this, and common sense.
Then again, the DMV’s confusing in and of itself. When you arrive they give you a number, like you’re at the delicatessen counter in a supermarket. But for no apparent reason, some people just line up and get see more promptly, and this carry on goes on for an hour until you’re tempted to relinquish your seat and join the line, until you see another guy try exactly that and then be told to sit back down and wait for his number.
Kafka would have been impressed, I think.
Anyway, now after an hour of this (during which I grew terribly nervous) I have a permit, I’ve booked my driving test, and I’ve also realised I can’t afford both a car and a mortgage Oh well, onwards…