I live in Texas. The single mother of a fifteen year old daughter. I remember when I was her age. Excited about getting my driver’s license. Sixteen just right around the corner. Dreaming of that new little Mustang I wanted badly. Instead, getting my Mom’s work car. It was a gold, four-door Delta 88. They paid $60 for it. It was so rusted out, you needed a tetanus shot just to drive it. And it smelled like an old bum’s bum. All young girls give their first car a “pet name”. My car’s name was The Embarrassment (I was so embarrassed to be seen in it, due to its sheer ugliness, I hardly drove it). Oddly enough, when it went off to the junk yard, it was completely smashed-in on all four sides … it was more compact and easier to park that way. Now that I look back, if my parents would have bought me that fast sports car that I really wanted….I probably wouldn’t be alive today to write this blog. Instead, they were wise beyond their years, giving me that “practice” car.

My daughter’s Godfather wants to buy her first car. She’s considering a mini-car….NOT. No tiny car for her first “practice” car. I’m getting her a big old tank like I had.

When I was her age, I drove like a bat out of hell. And I didn’t slow it down until she was born. That tiny, fragile baby in the back seat. Me, driving like a nervous Chihuahua. And now that she’s a teenager, I just want to drive off a bridge. Funny how things change.

I thought, “I can teach that girl to drive.” And I’ll be more patient than my father was when teaching me to drive (well, he didn’t really teach me…I’d have to drive him home from the pub…I’ve been driving since I was eight). I mean, I like to believe I’m patient. I even waited until I was older to have my child. Thinking I’d be more patient…more mature. Not realizing that having her when older also meant I’d be going through menopause at the exact same time she’d be going through puberty(you’ll see the fight on YouTube…I guarantee that).

So, preparing her to get her Texas Driver’s License?What to do?There are several choices…..Parent-taught, Classroom-taught and Online-taught.  We’re doing all 3. I figure the more experience, the more instruction…..the better.

There are two phases. Apparently, Phase One, she will need to get her Learner’s Permit (once the kid turns 15, they can apply for it). In order to apply, they will need to request a packet from the State of Texas. Complete a request form DL-92. Take a Driver’s Education Course (a 32 hour classroom requirement), apply for a Learner’s Permit, Receive In-Car Instruction and Practice Driving (with a validly licensed driver in the front seat who is at least 21). Go to the Texas Driver License office and take the written test and vision exam.

After that, she must drive with a Learner’s Permit for six months.

Once she turns 16, she will move on to Phase Two. Take the Driving Test and Apply for a Valid Provisional License for at least another six months. And then my daughter will obtain a regular (and unrestricted) Texas Drivers License.

I recently went down to the DPS to renew my Texas Driver’s License and picture. I waited there for 3 hours. I think they make you wait that long so you’ll look “exactly” like what you’re going to look like when the police pull you over… honked-off and cranky.

Can’t wait to go again … with her….Wish us luck!!

Until next time….look for my driving tips for new drivers!!

Daun Thompson

(Daun is a comedienne, artist and writer from Dallas, Texas)