The DMV and my Senior Life

Updated on November 18, 2022

By Wynne Crombie

After receiving a well-worded summons from the Department of Motor Vehicles stating, that at my age, (80) I needed to take the Road test to renew my driving license, I kept a low profile hoping it would go away. Ah Huh. My 2021 birthday was fast approaching.  

I pictured this uniformed wiseacre thirty-something yelling: “I said left Mrs. Crombie, not right …and so on. After all, on my only other road test, almost 65 years ago, I had collapsed in a sobbing heap after an unsuccessful attempt at parallel parking. How hard was this going to be?                                  

On a proper Monday morning before my birthday, I stepped on the gas and drove my Beetle through our local farmland, finally locating the DMV in a strip mall next to a supermarket. The sign on the door (next to the one frowning on concealed weapons) informed me the place was closed on Mondays.

Four days later I gathered up enough Mojo to try it again. I was met by lines for every conceivable motor- matter. There was a special line for seniors, a special line for the written test and so on.

A very nice fellow, really, asked me pertinent questions about any DUIs, I might have incurred, how many people I had hit, etc. He then examined my eyes. I could not read his chart until he informed me that if I was wearing bifocals, I should maybe look up, not down. Well said.

I sat down in the designated area and waited for what came next. To my delight there was no written test.  You do get a new refreshing photograph of yourself, though.

I looked around at kids, other seniors and a woman whose red lace thong was visible in the back. That immediately put me at ease   No magazines to idle away the time. This was okay because most people were peering into their devices.

An elderly gentleman with white hair and a clipboard approached me. A sweatshirt (with the name Paul) was paired with a pair of jeans. This was it. However, he appeared to be more interested in my Bug than having me take him for a spin. I told him I had had one when they had first come out in the sixties. He then informed me that was about the same time he had started work with the government.

We had a nice drive around the neighborhood, stopping at stop signs, putting on turn signals, turning on traffic lights and parking on a hill. I passed.

Oh, it was a glorious moment, so I only did what came naturally…a few well thought-out  victory laps. And a high-five to my friend, Paul.

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