How I Got My Driver’s License


Denton Driving School

Though it took me many tries to to get my license, I kept trying and learned how to be a better driver.

Kylie de Best, Editor

Driving is a big start of independence in everybody’s lives and is essential to complete day-to-day tasks. Just like any other teenager, as soon as I turned 16, I was looking forward to getting my driver’s license. I was able to pass my permit test on the first try, and had a lot of experience driving, so the behind-the-wheel test should be relatively easy too, right? Well, after taking the test many times, I learned that this test didn’t come as easy to me as it did to others.

The first time I took the test was in April 2021. I had been watching videos about the route of the test and practiced driving the route, so I felt pretty confident (so I thought). However, I noticed that I was getting excessively nervous when I made eye contact with the examiner, and it sunk in that I was actually taking the test. As I started to leave the DMV, I wasn’t driving as well as I usually do. When we were a few minutes into the test, we started heading back to the DMV, and that is when I got the dreaded news. I made a critical error on the test. Instead of going 25 mph in the business area, I went 35 mph. Though I really wanted to pass my try, I didn’t let this discourage me too much and signed up for the test again in hopes that I would be able to pass.

Around a month later was the next test. As I got in my car, waiting for my test, I had high hopes this time, until I saw the same examiner as last time come to my car. My heart immediately sank as I had memories of the first time he failed me, and already knew I was doomed before I even took the test. I still had a lot of nerves and second-guessed a lot of my driving decisions, so instead of going into the correct lane, I went into the center divider lane right after exiting the DMV. I had only been on the road for about a minute before I knew I failed. Devastated yet again, I knew I had to work on controlling my nerves if I was going to at least get farther than one minute into the test. 

To see if a new DMV would help the situation, we went to a new DMV for the third test. Things were going very well, until the very end. As I was approaching the stoplight, I heard the instructor sigh. This was quickly followed by him saying that I had stopped in a Keep Clear Zone. I was already anticipating what would happen next, and as we parked at the DMV, I saw him write a big DQ on the side of my score sheet, and he explained how stopping on a Keep Clear Zone “disqualified me.” Seeing how close I was to passing this time, I had a little more hope and scheduled my test once more. 

However, it appears I wasn’t as close or confident as I thought I was. The lady at the next test was very intimidating and shouted “No Talking!!” when I tried to ask her a question before the test started. As I progressed through the test, we went into a four-way intersection, and I was being a bit too cautious for her liking. She took note of this and said that I need to work on my confidence in driving. This time it was becoming much more of a chore than it should be to take the test, and everyone around me was having trouble keeping track of how many times I have taken the test.

A few weeks later I went again earlier in the morning to avoid heavy traffic, and already it seemed to be a little rough when out of nowhere my car gave me a warning that it had a low tire pressure. With only minutes to spare, we had to quickly go to a gas station and fill up the tires, arriving just in time to take my test. Though it seemed like I could recover from this rough start, my hopes of passing again were immediately shattered, as I was immediately stuck behind a trash truck as I exited the DMV. This followed by me making a careless error and not taking my right of way properly. To top it off, the instructor told me that I “lacked common sense” after I failed to move around the trash truck quickly. However, I found this discouraging phrase to actually be more humorous. After this test, I took a break from taking a driving test for a few months to practice my driving and build more confidence in myself. 

Since I clearly wasn’t having the best experience at this DMV either, I went to one more DMV. As a joke, I booked the test on Valentine’s Day, because the examiners can’t break someone’s heart on Valentine’s Day, can they? Well, I guess they can, but luckily my self-esteem was not brought down as low as any of the other times. Unlike one of the previous times where the examiner prohibited talking, this instructor asked me how I was doing. I felt a lot more comfortable, and he seemed like a very nice person. The only reason I didn’t pass this test was because I was confronted with a situation I have not seen a lot, and it caused me to end in the wrong lane. This mistake did not make me upset at all, as I could tell I was becoming much more mature and was starting to have more faith in myself.

This next test was a big turning point in this journey of attempting to get my license. We decided to go right after school, and I had no time to practice the route before. I started to look at the driving test videos but immediately put my phone away, as I didn’t want to overthink the test. When I saw the same instructor as last time, instead of being fearful as I was when I took the test the second time, I had a sigh of relief as I seemed to have known his method of testing. Sure enough, when we got to that same intersection again, I ended in the correct lane and continued driving. As we stopped at a stoplight, my heart felt like it was going to explode, and it was at that moment that I decided how much I truly wanted to pass, how much confidence I needed, and how focused I needed to be. I made sure to be focused and stay present and be fully aware, and as I went to the curbside backup, I was astonished at how straight I backed up. The rest of the test went very well, and when I parked, he immediately told me I had passed. I was so excited, and he gave me a fist bump and congratulated me. Even though this was a great accomplishment that I had worked for around a year to get, I couldn’t process immediately that I passed. Even though my mom told me I could drive somewhere on my own when I got home, I was still in shock at how I had done it. 

If you do the math, that adds up to seven times. This is a ridiculously high number, but I learned to have a lot of perseverance and be a great driver. After I had failed the first time, I realized that my self-confidence was down, and after the fourth time, I questioned if I would ever be able to get my license. However, I kept trying, because I knew if I tried hard enough and really wanted it, I would eventually get my driver’s license. I learned how to overcome a lot of failures and persevere even though I didn’t find success the first, second, or even sixth time. I am known for being hard on myself, and after taking this test many times realized how much I was being hard on myself and how it was also holding me back from success. I realized that my nerves often got the best of me and that I had the get over the fear of someone testing me. Through this comical, motivational, and informative story of how I got my driver’s license, I hope those reading can learn that no matter how many times you may fail, if you truly want something you will not give up and will eventually get it.