I have failed!

So I went off to the ICBC today (thats like a DMV for all you 'merkins), to take my drivers test. Got up at the crack of dawn, practised a little, went in with my fingers crossed.

Well, long story short, I failed. Catastrphically. Badly. Okay, maybe I’m exagerrating, but I did fail. Now I am doomed to forever tooling around town with a qualified driver and that immensly dorky ‘L’ pasted on the back of my car. I proposed that I somehow attach it to my chest like the ‘A’ in the scarlet letter, but then I realized that I would need to keep it on the back of the car. Sigh.

So here I am, feeling very despondant. This sucks. I feel like such a knob - everyone I know has a drivers license. I need some advice - should I keep trying? How often? How soon? Am I just wasting money? Should I give up now and cut my losses?

Incidently I don’t live with or near my parents so this is costing me a lot in gas / lessons / tests / etc., and is probably grating immensly on my friends nerves to boot, and none of that is getting absorbed by my parents, where it usually goes when sane people get thier license at 16 or whatever.

Anyways, thats my story. Any advise, commiserating, mocking, whatever would be appreciated.

I failed my driver’s test TWICE. Don’t feel bad. I was a TERRIBLE driver when I first got my licence, but I’ve gotten much better.

(You’d think the testers would realize that when people are nervous, they can’t drive as well as they would otherwise, but they seem to go out of their way to MAKE you nervous. Arrrrgh.)

At the very least, I’d give it a couple of days so you can calm down again. And get some more practice time in, too. I don’t know how old you are, but I didn’t get mine until I was 18, so don’t think everybody else gets theirs at 16, either. I suspect in a few years virtually no state in the U.S. will give 16-year-olds a license.

I failed the test twice, too. After the third one, I was told it was “still sufficient”.

I was pretty frustrated after two failed trys, but I finally believed what everybody told me (that failing in a driving test is absolutely nothing one would have to be ashamed of), and that’s it.

I nearly died - make that killed the instructor - on my first test. I have done all the difficult stuff and we are making our way back to the testing station and I think I’ve passed when the intructor asks me to stop at the bank so he can make a deposit (this is rural South Africa). When we leave, I pull up at the stop street, check for traffic, check that I am in gear and pull out - right in front of an oncoming car which hoots and brakes and stops a yard or two short of the passenger door.

Says the instructor: [thick Afrikaans accent] “We can’t have you doing that!! Take me back to the station!!” [/accent]

I was devestated, but, this being rural South Africa, I went back the next day, got a different instructor and sailed through!!

Chin up for the next time meyer


P.S. I swear that there was no car when I looked the first time!!




My advice; buy a bicycle.

Just kiddin’ ya. ICBC must be pretty strict. In most places in the US, you can drive on unpaved roads without a license. Is that possible? That’s how I got decent, driving along logging roads (I can do a yooey on a 6-foot wide road, well, it’s a 537 point turn but…). Do you have access to a car? I think the reason they try to make you nervous is to see if you can handle pressure while driving. That’s important when you’re trying to get into town and it’s bumper-to-bumper at 65 mph and you just missed your exit.

Don’t sweat it. You’ll get it.

Can you provide a cite? I’ve never heard of this before, and I grew up in a small town where it wasn’t unheard of to give a 14-year-old a new vehicle and let him drive it (not legal, of course and not common, but not unheard of).

When I first got my licence in the US, I only passed by a 1-point margin (out of 100, I think 75 required to pass). When I moved to Japan I failed the driving test twice. The first time the instructor/tester had to slam his brake. Yet I’ve never caused an accident. So don’t worry about it, just take it again. And again, if necessary - nobody’s counting, you know. If you can, practice in the same place you’ll be taking the test - that helps a lot.

When I saw this thread, I thought: “Spongebob Squarepants”. I was right! Hee-hee! :smiley:

I failed three times before I got my license (got a bit of ribbing for that) First time, I failed on the parallel parking.

Maybe you could get a friend to drive with you and give you some feedback. But don’t give up!

Well, I do feel a little better today - still not great though. I have been driving with friends and asking for their feedback for a little while now. The problem with that is of course I get snarky, and I hate feeling like I’m constantly ripping my friends heads off for trying to give me advice. I don’t want something as silly as this to intrude upon our friendship.

And for the record, I am 23 - much older than most anyone I know was when they got their licenses.

Don’t worry about it, meyer… I don’t drive, even though I’ve had ample opportunity to get my license. Now with the rates going up to take a test, even (or so I hear), I’m definitely not going to get it for now. Luckily, my friends haven’t been driven TOO insane by my requests for rides here and there. (pun not intended) My parents and sibs are a different story sometimes… oh well.

From what I hear, ICBC is getting stricter and stricter. (and thus making their driver’s tests and such cost more and more, but that’s another story) Those “L” signs are pretty distinctive, you know. And as for those “N” signs, there have been plenty of times where I’ve seen people driving around with what is presumably their kid’s green “N” sign on the back of the car.

By the way, meyer, those signs are free now in case you lose yours. It used to cost money to replace them (not sure how much), but everyone was making fake ones and hanging them on the back of their cars. (and yes, they obviously looked fake; I’ve seen more than a few)

However, keep trying! You never know… you could graduate to having an “N” sign on your car soon. Think of it: you can drive by yourself, and forget the “qualified driver” stuff! Good luck!

Pardon my hijack, but what do you mean by “L” and “N”?
And how much does it cost for a license where you live?
In Memphis, TN I believe it’s around 23 dollars. A bit more if you’re an illegal immigrant…but that’s another story.


Well, my step-dad told me. But his bullshit always went down easier with a grain or two of salt.
It’s common sense though. People with ranches and farms have kids who help with the work, driving tractors and trucks. Waiting until they’re 15 is senseless, so they let em drive on dirt roads. We’d run into Sherrifs and such while I was driving on dirt roads at the age of 12. Didn’t say nuffin’.

Oh, is this a hijack? Pardon me.

Rushgeekgirl - here in BC, and probably elsewhere, there is a Graduated Licensing Program. What this means is that when you decide to get your license, you trot down to the ICBC and get a little book about the rules of the road. Once you have studied this book, you take a written test (this costs $25) and if you pass that, you get a learners license. With a learners you must always have a qualified driver in the car, there are a few other restrictions, and you have to display this bright red ‘L’ magnet on the back of the car. The thing is about 6 inches square and is commonly known as a ‘loser license’ - not like I needed a license to be a loser before, but there you go.

After a spell of practise, you can take a 45 minute road test. It costs $35 if you fail, $75 if you pass. When you pass this, you can drive on your own, but you have to display a different magnet - this one is green and has an ‘N’ on it. Sometimes known as a ‘nerd license’. This is the part that I failed.

After you have had the ‘N’ for a set amount of time - 18 months I think - you can take another road test to become a fully qualified driver - no more dorky signs on the back of the car.

So basically it will take me about 2 years to do what most of my friends did in about 3 months years ago. I should also mention that I had the chance to get my license under the old, easier rules, and I just didn’t do it. Sometimes I’m a stupid, stupid idiot.

Hmmm - I like that system… of course, I would have HATED it when I was a teen.

as for underage drivers being legal - well, when I lived in Kentucky it WAS legal - but only when driving farm implements.

Good luck for next time meyer! As for being older than most to get their license, I’m 25 and have only just started learning (and I’m sure it’ll take me more than one try to pass!:slight_smile: )

My driving instructor told me nearly the same thing years ago; the gist being that teenagers can drive farm equipment (including trucks) on public roads if it is part of their farm employment. I poked around to find a cite, but the best I can do is this, which (under federal law) bans people under 16 from “operating a tractor of over 20 PTO horsepower” and “driving a bus, truck, or automobile when transporting passengers,” but then specifically states that “these standards do not apply to the employment (in ‘agriculture’) of a minor under 16 by his parent”. It also bans (under state of Michigan law) employing minors in “occupations requiring the use of motor vehicles except as is occasional and incidental to the minors primary occupation,” which I assume means that the “occasional and incidental” operation of a motor vehicle by a 13-year-old is kosher.

So I think it’s pretty clear that people under 16 can drive farm equipment and truck on farm business, but I don’t see a specific statement of whether or not this is legal on public roads (although I believe it is).

I failed the first time too - rolling stop thru a stop sign.

Big freaking deal - I took it again, passed it, and all was well.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.


When I was 16 in Ohio, you were allowed to take the test once a week (or maybe once a month - not sure any more). If, after the third try, you still didn’t pass, you had to wait another six months before they’d let you try again. This happened to a friend of mine.

I’m the only person in my circle of friends who passed on the first try. :smiley:

I think that’s part of the point. Sure, you can drive when conditions are perfect. But how do you do when you’re under emotional strain, or in less-than-ideal weather?