Monday, April 7, 2014

Mishaps in Money: Getting My License

The only type of automobile I'm comfortable driving.
Read this if: 

1) You are interested in learning how I got my license. It’s an uplifting tale. 
2) You want to think about the expenses that come with getting a car. 


In the state of Maryland, you are allowed to get your Learner’s Permit at 15 and nine months. I did just that, and ended up getting my license 5 years and 7 months later. The amount of time isn’t what bothered me, it’s actually how much I had to spend...

License Expenses

After I got my first permit ($50 each), I took driver’s ed ($400). I didn’t have anyone to take me driving (which I didn’t realize until after I got my permit), but when my permit expired, I got another one. I’m really not sure why, because I still didn’t have anyone to take me driving. Years passed, and I finally had someone who could teach me to drive. I called my driving school to schedule mandatory driving lessons with them, and was informed that my driving school certificate had expired. 


So I had to retake driver’s ed (and yeah, pay again). By the time I had finished, my second permit had expired, so I had to get a new one. Yeah, I really hope that isn’t the normal progression of things for most people. For those keeping track, that is almost $1000 spent on getting my license. 

Expenses To Come 

The only reason I got my license was because I didn’t want to take driver’s ed again (the second certificate was also expiring soon). Also, now that I have it, I still don’t have a car to drive. My parents will have to pay more car insurance now (even though I won’t be driving at all), so there’s a lot of money being wasted in the process. 

What I Learned
  • This may sound really obvious, but you should always know what you’re getting into. I didn’t research prices, fees, expiration dates, and other such details - doing so would have saved me lots of money. 
  • Don’t be in a hurry: I was in a hurry to complete the process because I wanted to be independent ASAP. As it turned out, that worked against me. I should have waited, knowing that if I could get my license, I wouldn’t have a car to drive. 
  • Plan ahead: This is actually something I have done, because I’ve been saving up for a car (AND the insurance to go with it), so that I don’t have to take out a loan for my first car. 
Bottom Line

$1000 isn't *that* much, but it still hurts to lose. 


Did you have any trouble getting your license? Let me know in the comments. 


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Photo Credit: Tom Raftery via photopin cc


  1. Damn, Joan, that sucks.

  2. Well said, Mr. Turman.

  3. Just curious, you said that your parents will have to pay more car insurance even though you won’t be driving at all. How would the car insurance company know whether you are driving your parent's car?

  4. Good question! There are a couple of facts to explain this:

    1) You have to have car insurance if you drive (even if you drive once a year, if something were to happen that one time, it would be bad if you didn't have car insurance).

    2) If your parents want to, they can add you onto their insurance plan (which is cheaper than if you were to buy car insurance on your own).

    3) I don't have my own car, and only drive my parents' car if I am home from college - which is not often. (So that's what I meant by "at all.")

    4) My parents voluntarily added me to their insurance to cover the couple of times I would drive a year. (So they told their insurance company to add me onto their plan)

    Hope that helps! Here is an article that explains things in a lot more detail.

    Thanks for reading!