Driving Permit? Not Like it Used to Be…

2 one way
What you need to know before going to the DMV for your driving permit.

Child #1 turns 16 this weekend and she is ready to get her Driver’s Permit and start driving!!

Things have REALLY changed since I was 16. Don’t get me wrong, it was a long time ago, like 25 years ago. At the time, I was living in the Watertown New York area. Glen Park/Brownville to be exact.

It was a big deal to go down to the DMV before your 16th birthday to obtain the awesome cool booklet with everything you need to know to pass the written permit test. You carried it with you in school and studied it in lunch with all your friends. I remember it was a soft covered booklet with a white cover with road signs on it. I tried to find a picture of it on Google, but you’ll just have to use your imagination.

When your 16th birthday finally arrived your mom or dad brought you to the DMV right after school to take the written test and the eye exam. Then viola! you had your driver’s permit. It was printed on card stock paper but you weren’t allowed to laminate it. It carefully lived in your wallet, of course you took it out for everyone to see.

You begged your parents to take you out driving. You felt so cool sitting behind the wheel. You didn’t even care that your mom was in the front seat with you. You were on your way to freedom! You practiced your driving skills, 3 point turns and parallel parking, “blinker before break”. When you were an expert driver you scheduled your road test, about a month or 2 after getting your permit. The road test was terrifying. Where I took my road test, they failed almost everyone on the first try. So a week or two later, you came back to try again. Passed it!! The DMV took your picture, gave you a temporary license and you waited for your real license to arrive.

You did it! You are now a licensed driver, practically an adult! I turned 16 in June and had my license by August. And that was with one failed road test. Was I the most qualified driver on the road? Heck no!

So, now kids get their permit when they turn 16 but can not try the road test until they are 17. As a driver on the road, I’m glad for this rule. But if I was 16 right now, I’d be pissed! Luckily the current 16 year-olds don’t seem to mind. It is just how it is.

Let’s get this kid ready to drive.

Before You Go

Now everything is online. No cool manual to carry with you. You read the “manual” online and take a practice test. Or, more likely, you take the practice test to see how much you already know, then skim the manual on the things you got wrong.

photo: Everyday Saratoga

Here is the page on the NYS DMV website with all the information for getting the learner’s permit. You electronically fill out the application, print it and bring it with you. Pretty easy. I highly recommend you talk with your teen about organ donation. I am an organ donor so my daughter (child #1) chose to be too. She’s so sweet, “If I don’t need them anymore, someone can have them.”

Saratoga is not on the list for making a reservation for your visit, so don’t get your hopes up. In Saratoga County, there are 3 DMV locations. Ballston Spa, Clifton Park and Wilton Mall. Here’s a link to a page on the Saratoga County website with information for each location, including hours and directions. We’ll go to the Wilton Mall location. It’s around the side near the BonTon entrance, I’ve walked past it before on my way to The Shoe Dept store.

DMV for driving permit. photo: Everyday Saratoga

I have no clue on how much it’s going to cost and it wasn’t on the learner permit web page. I looked around the site and found the fees page. 
I found the costs of different things at the DMV on a different page and linked it here.
 It looks like the cost of a Class D Junior license is somewhere between $80 and $90.

Let’s Go

So, I will be bringing my beautiful 16-year-old daughter to DMV in Wilton on Monday afternoon. She will have her application in hand, passport or birth certificate and be ready to take the permit written test. I hope that is all we need to do! Good luck love-bug!

Have you been to the DMV in Clifton Park or Ballston Spa? Have you learned anything about he DMVs in the area that would help us all? Please share your stories and information in the comments.

Thanks for reading. I hope this helps!  :o)