For quite awhile I've been thinking about getting a motorcycle license. It's used to be a ways down on the list, but it has slowly moved up the list and recently got to the number one spot. So this past Friday I went to the DMV to get my motorcycle permit.
I despise going to the DMV since it usually means long lines and I am always nervous I'll forget something like a piece of identification I need. This time I also needed to pass a 20 question test that is supposed to be similar to the written test you must pass to get an automobile license. I remembered the automobile test being pretty easy, but just to be sure I spent about a hour reading the motorcycle handbook put out my Massachusetts which is supposed to contain all the information I need to pass the written test to get a motorcycle permit. I even found a practice test on the internet that Massachusetts puts out, which as I suspected was full of easy common sense type questions. My plan of action was to go to the DMV nearest my house in the morning just before they opened the doors to see if I could beat the crowds.
It turned out getting there early was a great plan. I was the only one there who wanted to take one of written tests (actually they're computerized now). When my number got called after only a minute or two of waiting I walked up with the form all filled out and handed it to the guy. I set my envelope on the counter which was aptly labeled "Important Documents". It contains just about every form of identification I could think of: a check stub, a water bill, an electric bill, my driver’s license, my birth certificate, my social security card, and my passport. If this information can't prove who I am then I'm pretty sure it's impossible to prove that I'm me. My fingers nearly starting to twitch I was so eager to hand him my pile of identification. He spent a few minutes entering my data into the computer and then sent me to take my test. I almost asked him if he needed any identification, but I decided they must check that at the end. So I went to take my test.
I answered the first 14 questions correct and then the computer terminated my test. I was a little disappointed since I was hoping to get a 20 out of 20, but the stupid computer cut me off. I didn't really let that bother me though since I did pass and I was about to get my permit!
About two minutes later they called me up and handed me my motorcycle permit. I almost asked them if they needed to see any identification before I could leave, but I decided not to. Why press my luck? I was in and out of the DMV in 20 minutes (including the time it took me to do the test). That must be a record and didn't want to get the guy who forgot to ask for my identification in trouble since he did get me through so fast. But he certainly did screw up. On the DMV website it clearly states that I'll need four pieces of identification, but I had shown none. It's sort of scary that I had just been given a valid state issued photo ID card which is valid for two years without having to show any identification to prove who I am.
Anyways I now have a valid motorcycle permit. It's sort of scary... I can legally drive a motorcycle and the only restrictions are: I can't have a passenger and I can't drive at night. I'm certainly not qualified to drive a motorcycle. I'm sure I could figure things out, but instead I'm going go the sensible route and take a motorcycle safety course before I go out on the road. It will be at least a few weeks before I can take the safety course since I'm going on vacation next week, but I'll let you know how that course goes once I take it.