…that here in the desert when kids turn 15.5 years old they can go take a test, and if they pass that test, they can drive? On real, live streets?  Is that normal?  They do have to have a licensed driver with them until they get their real license when they turn 16, but wow, back in the olden days I had to take driver’s ed. before I got to drive.  That was probably a good thing because I failed the driver’s test on my 16th birthday even after taking driver’s ed.  But I digress…my sad little sixteen-year-old self who had to redeem herself the next day isn’t the actual reason for this post. It’s just to say I’m amazed at this whole driving business. And although I will admit to some serious white knuckles and some right-foot-stomping-for-the-non-existent-brake-on-the-passenger’s-side while Max is driving, I think it’s awesome they trust the parents to teach their kids to drive. I have to say that I think I was more excited than he was when he walked out of that test with a big smile stretched across his face cause he knew he passed.  And that’s saying a LOT, because he was pretty darn excited. Elle came with us for the test and we were all cracking up at how they made him pose to get his picture taken for the permit because he’s so darn tall:2012-12-03 iPhone 65849 Yeah, I like this arrangement.2012-12-03 iPhone 658542012-12-16 Christmas prep 67017 The countdown has begun…can’t wait ‘til he can help me drive carpools when the real-deal license comes along.  Until then, we’re sure having fun letting him chauffer us around town. I’m sure going to miss having him and all these kids around since they head back to school today.  We are going through the back-to-school blues around here.

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  1. Go Max! I hated driving with my parents. made me nervous!!

    In ontario, you cannot get your learners permit until you are 16. Then you have to drive with a licensed adult for a year before you can take the test to drive on your own (this can be reduced to 6-8 months if you take drivers ed). You also cant have passengers with your learners (except the adult). Then once you pass that second test you can drive on your own, but you cant be a designated driver and there are some other conditions I cant remember

    First we have a written test, then a driving test, then after ANOTHER year you do another driving test to get your full license. So basically you arent fully licensed until you are at least 18

    15 seems too young!!

  2. Congrats to Max, but I agree with Casey–15.5?!! Wow.

    I live in the same province as Casey so I'm just learning all this stuff. Our oldest turns 16 on Sat and he is so eager to get started…and I'm very nervous about it.

  3. in England you have to be 17 and I would say a HUGE majority take professional lessons for 6 months at least.. 90% if not more I bet, I didn't even know there was an option any other way til I moved to Canada. I really like that I had professional lessons. They seem SOOO young to be putting their own lives and lives of others in 15yr old hands.. agghhhhhh. It scared the life out of me, but let me tell you, I was SOOOO excited to get my licence at 17!!!!!!!

    FUNNY afternote, I had been driving for 10 years in England, never had a speeding ticket or car accident… came to Canada and failed my first driving test LOL

  4. In Tennessee, you can get your permit at 15 and a restricted license at 16 (which means you can only drive between 6AM and 11PM and you can only have one passenger in the car unless there is a licensed driver over 21 in the car as well or if you are only driving siblings). At 17, you can get an unrestricted license (basically just a regular license with a special name) and then at 18, you can get your regular license.

  5. In Texas you only have to be 15 years old, as opposed to 15.5 years. You can begin driver's ed on your 15th birthday and begin driving with a licensed adult on your 15th birthday. At least that was the case from when i was a kid because I remember driving our suburban on with my mom at my side on my 15th birthday. I believe 15 is still the age requirement. Back then I felt old enough, but now it seems so young. Congrats Max!! 🙂

  6. Wow! Thats exciting!
    In Australia you get your Learner's Permit at 16 after passing a driver knowledge test. For the 12 months you have your learner's you can only drive with a fully licensed person in the passenger seat. Once you've been a learner for at least 12 months and have logged 100 hours of supervised driving time (certain proportions of which must be at night, on different roads, in varied conditions etc.) you can undertake the practical test (scary!) to get your Provisional One License or your Red P's as its known. After 12 months with your red P's you take a hazard perception test, if you pass that you graduate to green P's! Green P's for 2 years then I think another hazard perception or knowledge test and on to full license! Very long and involved process and each level has different conditons (max speed limit, allowable number and age of passengers, kind of car your allowed to drive etc. etc.) It never interested me too much so I didn't even get my Learner's until I was 21 and married with one baby! Still on my green provisional now and can't wait to get a full license. I can't imagine driving at 15.5!!!

  7. Here in Alberta/Canada the kids can get their "learners" permit at age 14. Then the drivers permit at 16. My son should have it by the end of this month and it will be so nice not to have to car pool him and his friends to the dances on Friday night.

  8. Ahhh… having an additional licensed driver in the house… best thing ever! Then they get older, and decide to go out of state for college leaving you again without an additional driver. But wait… that is good too, but having the older kids able to help with the driving is the best thing ever. 🙂

    Oh, and a tip we learned… always stash a $20 bill in the glovebox, or somewhere… that way you can ALWAYS have them stop at the store on their way home to get the milk, eggs, Dr. Pepper… you most likely forgot.

  9. Here in Alaska kids get their learner's permit at age 14!!!

    So, my son who will be 16 next month started at 14 and driving with him as he learns has been the most terrifying thing I have EVER done.

  10. tsk tsk tsk – drinking and driving Dr.Pepper?! 😉 Congrats, Max!!!

    Shawni – my oldest just got his license back in November (he is 17 now)… and today he takes his sister and himself to the ortho. This momma has quit that job! 😉

    (I am a little nervous – our ortho is in Chandler, and we are in QC. So, while they think I will be eating bon-bons and watching Reality TV, I will be waiting on edge for them to return).

  11. lol having grown up here in mesa, i dont think that its weird to get your permit at 15.5.
    i wasnt ready to drive. i didnt WANT to. but my mom needed my help with errands and driving little brother places—so i was lovingly forced to get my permit…and the DAY before that expired i was also lovingly forced to get my license.
    glad max is ready, and you're about to have a good helper! exciting!


  12. Here in South Carolina you can get your learners permit at age 15. Then you can take the driving test after 180 days and if you pass you can drive alone during certain hours! My teens are 16 and 18 and both only have their learners permits because my nerves can't handle letting them drive in our crazy little town!
    Yay for Max!

  13. In MD, you get your learner's permit at 15 yrs, 9 mos, after taking a written test. Then you can get your license at 16 yrs, 6 mos. if you've taken driver's ed and logged 60 hours driving with a licensed driver. My oldest can get her actual license later this month. I know she's a good driver but I'm still nervous about her driving alone and in snow.

  14. We are an Army family. Like you I took driver's ed and at 16 took my drivers test. So imagine my surprise when moving to Alaska this past year my oldest learned that you could get a driver's permit at 14! Yep you read that right, 14! At this point I can't ride with her, too terrifying, I've left it to the husband:)

  15. Arizona has pretty lax teen driving standards. As for letting him drive a carpool….as a parent, I would not want someone else's teenager driving my kids around. Just sayin'.

  16. Forever ago my husband got his license in Idaho at 14. He couldn't drive at night until 16, but they could drive all day at 14. I guess it was because of the farming lifestyle… he was actually driving around the farm when he was still in the single digits. It blows my mind, but you know what? He's a pretty darn amazing driver, and he could back anything up anywhere without blinking an eye, or parallel park like nobody's business.

  17. Just for the record, that Dr. Pepper was something Grace begged me to get as part of her Christmas gift for her teacher. I am not a soda fan, with or without a teenage driver in the car 🙂

  18. In Iowa you can get a learners permit (you must drive with a licensed adult 25 or over) when you are 14. You can get a school permit when you are 14.5. A school permit allows you to drive to and from school & school functions from your home, no licensed adult needed.

  19. Way to go Max! Love the picture of that tall boy.
    Shawni you will love having a little help with the driving. Even when he can just take himself to all the places he needs to go (especially seminary).
    I had a pretty good feeling the Dr. Pepper wasn't for you.:)

  20. Here in Australia you can get your learn ears permit when you turn 16 (in our state anyway) and then you have to keep a log book and do 120 hours of supervised driving including 10 hours night driving before you can get your licence to drive by yourself at 18! That licence comes with restrictions on the age and number of passengers you can carry, the strength of the car you can drive and with a zero alcohol limit ( the drinking age here is 18). We still have too many accidents involving our young people. Congratulations Max!

  21. Congrats to Max! He must be very excited. I must be in the same state in Australia as Chocolate Cat and she's explained it really well. We now have two levels of 'Probationary License' though, which is what you get when you're 18, it's just different allowances to do with passengers, types of cars they can drive etc. Then once you've had your Probationary license for 3 years you get your full license.

    It's really interesting to find out how many different countries, and even states within those countries, have different laws about driving.

  22. Incredible! Remember when Jonah passed his written test and failed his actual driving test on the day he was 16? He was furious because he said that (on a fake driving course) all he did wrong was that he missed a RR crossing stop and he drove on the wrong side of the road, but only for a few seconds! How could they have been so wicked to have failed him on that???

  23. Here in MN , at 15 there is classroom drivers instruction, then the permit test, then behind the wheel instruction and then at 16 years of age, the road test, and finally the license. Certain parent instruction hours are required and license is restricted until 18. It's big stuff! A wonderful
    Coming of Age! Good luck, be safe!

  24. My mom is the QUEEN of the passenger side invisible brake. Even now when I drive!

    Wow! You are officially in the "next phase" of motherhood 🙂

  25. Our oldest, twin boys, turned 15 in November and also got their permits at that time. (here in MN it's 30 hours of classroom drivers ed. anytime after 14 years, then written test at 15 to earn learner's permits, when they can now drive with adults. Then a certain number of hours behind the wheel are required with parents, and with an instructor, and the actual behind-the wheel test can be taken at 16 for a license.)
    A whole new chapter for our family! I'm enjoying my time on the roads with them.. except it is a little bit of a downside that they got their first several months of driving are during ICE & SNOW here in northern Minnesota!
    Going smoothly, though. 🙂
    Your post hit home – especially the big grins!!

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