I went and got my license today. My current US license expires tomorrow. I have the information coming in the mail so I can renew my license, but it won’t be here before my current one runs out. I don’t want to land myself in jail for 6 months just for parking in the wrong place.
I had to have copies of several different documents. Then I had a written exam as well as a “driving” exam. The paperwork included putting my wife’s name and contact info on the license so she can be contacted in case of an emergency. I thought that was a good idea. Then they had to know my blood type. I did not know what it was, so they did a blood type test right there. The chemist did it right in front of me and I got to ask all kinds of questions as to how it works and how he can tell which type I have. Very cool. I am A RH+ in case you wanted to know.
Then I had to buy a copy of the rule book. I have not read it and probably won’t, but from what I understand it is a requirement to have a copy of the rule book in the car. Interesting. That cost a whopping $2.
The written exam had me a little nervous. Then I found out I could take it in English. My Spanish is fine, but why put myself through that if it is available in English? I scored a 10 out of 10.
The driving part. I don’t know why, but I was a bit more nervous about this. It is not like I don’t know how to drive. Maybe it took me back to the days when I got my license as an 18 year old kid. The examiner got in the car and said right off, “Is that a 38 special or .357?” He was pointing to the floorboard. We carried guns in our car. Who doesn’t in Texas? When I finally unfroze enough to look at what the officer was pointing at, I realized it was just a shell and not a pistol. Whew!
So, anyway, back to today. The examiner asked me to pull the car out of the parking spot. He did not get in. Then he quizzed me on how much Spanish I knew. I told him I knew a lot before I got nervous. He made me parallel park by using only 3 moves. Any more would be failure. Then I had to pull out of the parallel spot with only 3 moves. After that, he told me to park the car and wait for my name to be called.
That was it. No real driving. You only have to prove that you can parallel park. No wonder people don’t know how to drive around here. But, man, they can parallel park with the best of them!
The testing cost just under $18. They took my picture and my fingerprints. That was it. The license spit out of the printer in a few minutes and I was done. It was probably one of the easiest government processes I have ever experienced here in Mexico.
Now, I just have to live 2 years with that photo. They use web cams to take the photos. You never really know when the picture snaps. So you just sit there wondering if the picture has been taken yet or if you are still waiting. Did I mention I was sick the other day. I have a cold. Still have some nasal drainage too. She took my picture while I was snorting my snot back up my nose. It is at least humorous–which is how most pictures of me turn out.