Living in America, made me look into the US laws! And then I realized that this big country has 50 little countries inside of it, with their own rules. So it’s more like Europe, only in Europe we have all the different languages when you cross a border instead of everybody speaking English. But really every state has own rules and laws. Of course we know that some states have the death penalty and some don’t and that is the same with abortion. But a state can also decide if a resident (non US citizen) will need to have a drivers license from that state or not.
So once we established residency in New Mexico, Rio Rancho we were required to surrender our license from any other state (for us that meant our drivers license from the Netherlands) and apply for a New Mexico drivers license. Not knowing what to expect we went to the MVD (motor vehicle division) to get some information. We didn’t need to make an appointment for the theory test. But we didn’t want to take it without even looking into the rules/laws, and as such wasting money down the drain. So we got an internet site with information on the rules in New Mexico and exams to practice to see whether we studied enough.
Everybody here has a drivers license with points. You will lose points by driving through a red light, not stopping at a stop sign or, the biggest mistake you can make, not stopping when a school bus stops with its red lights flashing. You need to wait until it starts driving again, which also applies if you are on the other side of the road (when the lanes aren’t divided). In short, it was good for us to learn these rules from the state otherwise we wouldn’t have known them. The rule that we did know was the one that you can turn right when the light is red. Of course you only can do that when it’s safe to do so. The craziest things we actually see on the road are the motorcyclists. They don’t need to wear any protection like a helmet or protective clothes, while seatbelts in cars are mandatory. To us this is absurd; not wearing any protection that could help save their life in an accident! So since we’ve been here we already saw 2 accidents with a motorcyclist with a fatal ending. I say start wearing protection!!
Now back to the MVD. We had 2 hours for 25 questions and after 10/15 minutes we were both finished and we passed the test!! Yeah!! The lady behind the desk was surprised we already finished that fast AND passed it. Then she needed to do some paperwork to get our licenses ready, which took something like 40 minutes and then we got a paper that did service as a temporary drivers license until our real ones would arrive through mail. And our driver licenses from the Netherlands were made void which means once we will go back to the Netherlands we will need to apply for a Dutch drivers license again… (Freek just renewed his license in the Netherlands, as we did not know these were going to be made void, which unfortunately was some money still down the drain).
But now we could go and buy a car!! Because we can only use the rental car for 2 months and we will need 2 cars around here. So I don’t feel like a cabdriver all the time 😉