Following Ray’s one word titles of late.

So Tuesday morning I decided to go take the test and get my motorcycle license. I arrive at the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License branch at 9 AM. The parking lot is 3/4 full, but I figure all I have to do is take a test. Should be on the fast track. Go in and the seat are 70% full. I get the form from the information desk and sit down to fill it out. I notice they don’t ask about the helmet exemption which reminds me I have no money. “Hey I wonder if I have to pay a fee to get a new license?”

At this point I should have just gone to work. I’m obviously too stupid to pass any kind of test. But instead I go ask the information lady. Did I mention I have a number? It’s 21. In the 10 minutes I’ve been sitting there they haven’t called any numbers so I don’t know how far down 21 is, but it can’t be more than, well, 21, so it shouldn’t be that long.

Told you I was stupid.

The woman tells me there is a $15 fee. I say I’ll have to come back another time. She says there are ATM machines at each end of the road at the gas stations. She also says I should have time to go there before my number is called, and if not she’ll remember me. That was very nice.

So I hop in the car and go to first gas station. Their ATM is out of order. I call work and let them know I’m going to be seriously late. I go to the other gas station and its ATM is also out of order. I ended driving to downtown Humble and going to a Wells Fargo bank.

I get back to the DPS and it is almost 10. I’m sure my number has been called. But alas no.

I sit in the waiting room for at least 40 minutes until I’m allowed the privilege of standing in line. There is one worker at the 17 terminals handling the line. I stood in that line for an hour before giving them my paper work and taking the eye test. Now I get to take the test.

The testing area is visible from the line so I got to watch a bunch of people take tests while I waited in line. All of them were taking the commercial drivers license tests. In the hour I was watching 8 people took the test and none of them passed. And they get to take it twice. This can make us feel good or bad. Good if it means the test is so hard only the best get to drive 18 wheeled trucks behind me on the highway. Bad if you figure they can take it again every day until they pass and eventually all of these idiots will get on the road. Behind me on my motorcycle. I was tempted to ask to take the test just to see how hard it was.

I took the motorcycle test and passed. Paid my $15, lowered my official weight 3 lbs, confirmed I had a CHL and got a new picture taken. I have a temporary motorcycle license and will get my new card in a couple of weeks.

It’s now 11:15 AM. Might as well get lunch on the way to work. Half a day shot dealing with the bureaucracy.


  1. The Tortured Artist says:

    From my conversations with professional truckers (nothing makes a trip to California fly by like having a CB in the car), they are by and large exceptionally well-trained drivers.

    Now, I don’t know what constitutes a commercial driver around here, and if the dumptrucks screaming through the area are any indication, then I don’t have much faith in the test, but I’d trust most 18-wheeler drivers. Especially the ones with their own rigs or driving for major carriers.

    Speaking of bureaucracy, it took me a full two days to get through to the Texas Workforce Commission to verify that they weren’t going to charge one of my consulting clients, despite what their letter said. Ahhh. Gubamint at work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well that makes me feel a little better.

  3. Publicola says:

    Would you mind elaborating on "…confirmed I had a CHL…"? I’m curious about this.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t know if you are a Texan, but the DPS is the agency that issues CHLs. So it is part of your record and when you do a renewal or whatever they are basically reading through your records and asking your to confirm the things in it, like your weight, address, any restrictions and in my case that you have a CHL.

    I had a moment of mile panic when she asked because I hadn’t given her my CHL when I gave her my driver’s license. You are required to present your CHL whenever you are asked for identification by a LEO. For a moment I wondered if she counted.

  5. Publicola says:

    Ah, that’s what I was thinking it meant. I know of several states that operate the same way, just wasn’t sure which state was being talked about here.

    I always hated that though – it equates to little more than gun owner registration under the guise of – well, not much guise to it. I’ve long been oppossed to CHL systems partially because of the registration elements usually involved, but mainly because it is in effect turning what is & should be recognized as a Right (carrying arms concealed or openly) into a privelege which is dependant upon state approval. Alaska & Vermont are the only states to get it right so far. No permit, no fees, no aggreement to ignore your 4th & 5th amendment Rights when confronted by law enforcement, etc…

    But then again I’ve always been a bit rabid. 🙂

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