I thought I would share my experience with trying to get my NC license. I have put it off for the past several months because I knew it would be a hassle. However, I didn't realize just how big of a hassle it was going to be.
I woke up yesterday around 9am and started reading the NC driver's handbook. Even though I have been driving for the past 10 years, in order to get my NC license, I have to take an eye exam, a road sign test, AND a written exam. I was given some warning that the written exam was actually hard and asked several questions about NC laws and penalties, so I started studying. Two hours later, I finish up.
Next, I gather up all my necessary documents (proof of residency, proof of NC car insurance, my SS card, and my WV license) and attempt to locate the DMV. I enter the address into my garmin and off I go. About 45 minutes later, I am driving on a dirt road in the middle of the country. So I call the DMV and immediately I am placed on hold. Then an employee comes back on the phone to give me the address, which I already had. After several minutes of explaining where I was, he finally gave me directions.
Another 45 minutes pass and I finally arrive at the DMV located in a very obscure, unmarked office building. I walk into a waiting room area but I do not see any employees. So I venture down a hallway and I find someone who tells me to go back to the waiting room and take a number off of the wooden block. So I do. Another hour passes and finally my number is called. I go back and there are only two people working. I give them all my documents, info, etc, and proceed to take my eye exam and road sign exam. The road sign exam is where you have to identify the road signs by shape and color. I am not sure why I would be able to see color but not the rest of the picture or words. I pass so I move on to take the written exam. I also pass the written exam consisting of 25 questions that were somewhat difficult. I take my picture and wait.
The next part of business I need to take care of is my title, plates, and tags. That is at another government office located 2o minutes away. It is already 3:45pm so I was worried the office would be closed, but I make it in time. I get my plate and new registration after I pay $218, of which $150 was an out of state highway tax. It is now 4:30 and I have a NC license, plate, and registration, but I am still not finished. I have to get my car inspected but that will have to wait for another day.
After a full day is wasted on trying to switch my license from WV to NC, I am left wondering how does this do anything productive? How does this insure that I am a safe driver? I can now tell you that a pentagon shape sign that is yellow and black represents a school crossing, but I am pretty sure I understood that sign before (the woman and child gave it away). I lost a whole day of work to government inefficiency and bureaucracy. And I am still not done.