File Under Misc

Fourteen Years Old with a Driver’s License

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Do you remember, as a teenager, that feeling of freedom? Remember? It was the day you passed the driving part of the test to acquire your driver’s license. I admit I’m not sure what it means to today’s teens, but in the ’60s, it was everything.

With driver’s education, you had to be 14 to get a full driver’s license. No side view picture, no restrictions. Able to make the drag with a carload of friends and hang out at the local drive-in.

I was fifteen getting my license because Driver’s Ed was offered the summer after our 9th-grade year. That was the end of Junior High School before Middle Schools rearranged the grades. Still, fifteen was a young age to be trusted with a 4000-pound car and 70 mph speed limits.

Me in 1967 WITH a driver’s license

The summer of 1967 saw the beginning of the change. The age was raised from 14 to 16, going into effect shortly after that.

I’m not sure when the other restrictions happened since they didn’t affect me.

The accompanying picture is me when I got my license. How scary is that? Looking back, all I can say is “What were they thinking giving us licenses at that age?”

We were just babes in funny clothes and bad haircuts. Don’t believe me? I have the High School annual to prove it. The lowest our pants got were hiphuggers, and the velour shirt was all the rage. Trust me.

This is all brought to mind because my Granddaughter is turning sixteen in a few weeks and is eligible to get her license. The thought scares me to death. She’s too young. She’s just a baby.

In reality, she is a beautiful young lady and will do fine. It’s me who will be the wreck every time she gets behind the wheel.