My Road Test Experience: Dade City Pasco County Office Edition

Saturday, December 25, 2021


Woah! I can't believe I've been driving on my own for two months now!

I apologize for not being able to update you all! I had intended to but got sidetracked by so many things.

So here's my driving test update! Those of you who read my previous blog about my failed first attempt in the Wesley Chapel office might be wondering what happened next. 

Anyway, here it is! In all honesty, after failing the first time, I was discouraged and nervous about trying again. However, thanks to my husband, who happened to be my driving instructor, I never stopped practicing as he always encouraged me to do so. Sadly, he is no longer willing to take me back to the Wesley Chapel office to retake the test. He told me to wait until our own DMV reopened, which is about one month after I took my first road test. I considered it a blessing since it gave me ample time to practice and gain more confidence in driving.

On October 15, 2021, the Tax Collector/DMV office reopened in Dade City. Since then, I've been refreshing the online appointment site every day, but there was still no schedule. Through their Facebook page, Pasco County Tax Collector Office  I contacted them and they've been so responsive. I was told the appointments will be available for booking in the system by October 20. Furthermore, I was told that if I live in Pasco, I can come to the office even without an appointment before 2 pm. However, since I always like to have a scheduled appointment, I went online on Wednesday, October 20, and booked my road test. I picked Friday so my husband only has to miss half a day of work. The earliest date and time I could get was 9:05 am on October 29.

My week went by so fast, and although I wasn't nervous before my driving test, reality hit me the morning I had to take it. "I can do this!" I told myself in the back of my head while I was trying to calm myself down.

Since I am also very excited, I woke up at my usual time of 6 am and was dressed and ready by 7 am. That's right, I was ready 2 hours early. It was my last practice before I took the test, so I thought I would at least get the hang of it early as I wanted to be able to pass this time. First, we stop to get my husband's contact lenses, then we head over to the DMV. Around 8:30 AM, we arrived at the DMV. As I wasn't sure exactly where to park, we chose to park in the regular parking area and ask inside when I checked in.

The office was newly renovated, and since it was almost Halloween, most employees were dressed up in costumes. I checked in at the receptionist's desk and informed her that I was here for my road test. I was then given a number and told to wait for a call and to have my documents ready.

Observing from our seats, my husband and I looked around. I noticed two men at the corner where I checked in who appeared to be road testers. We both hope to get the kinder-looking one instead of the one that looks more serious. The wait seems to be around 5 minutes or less. When my number was called, I voluntarily gave all the documents I had with me - my learner's permit, our car insurance, and registration. After taking all the documents, she asked us to take a seat while she made copies. Then, she called us back to ask for an updated registration, since the one I had handed her expired last June. When I looked at the envelope, there was nothing else on it. I started panicking and told my husband I would try to go back into the car to check. Since I assumed I would be faster than him, I walked-ran into the parking lot. During my search through the car, I became really anxious, panicking, and hyperventilating a bit. But despite my efforts, I could not find it. Upon calling my husband, I informed him it was nowhere to be found. His response was that I should go back to the office. Sadly, I return to the office, thinking my road test will probably be canceled. 

Fortunately, they actually called me back because they had printed it out after searching it on the computer. The lady even gave us a copy. She then told me she would be taking my photo first, so I had to step back into the whiteboard nearby and look at the camera. It is worth noting that this office took my photo before the road test, as opposed to the Wesley Chapel office. After returning my documents, she asked me to sit down and wait for my test administrator to pick me up.

It was a quick wait, and I was glad to see the tester I was hoping to have for the day. He was nice and friendly, so I felt more relaxed. My husband had to stay behind, and as my road tester and I walked towards the parking lot, he happily greeted everyone. In our small talk, he seemed really nice and happy, and that helps me a great deal.

When we finally got to the car, he just sat down in the passenger seat. There was no initial vehicle inspection. I also had to ask him if he wanted the window down. He just said, "Okay, let's do it". Following that, he read me the mandatory information, which basically stated that he wouldn't be asking me to do anything illegal, and no trick question would be asked during the test. Afterward, he asked me if I had any questions, and I simply answered no.

Then he assessed the surroundings and gave me directions on where to go. We went to the empty parking lot closest to our current location. It seems like a place where testing maneuvers were actually done. He told me to do a quick stop first, then a straight backing, followed by straight-in parking between cones in that empty parking lot. Following all the maneuvers, he praised me for a job well done. This gave me more confidence and I felt less nervous.

I was instructed to drive out of the parking lot and onto the street, which led to several stop signs and traffic lights. Driving down 6th St., I turned left at the stop sign toward Martin Luther King Blvd. After the traffic light turned green, we traveled straight and turned left on 11th St. We took the first road on the right, which is Beauchamp Ave. At the second stop sign, the road tester asked me to turn right on 12th St. At that point, the road tester instructed me to make my last maneuver -  the three-point-turn, also known as the K-turn. While I practiced this maneuver multiple times with my husband on a very narrow road, I was surprised to find that the road where I actually did it was a bit wider. I felt like it was the easiest three-point-turn I've ever done since I learned how to drive. Even my tester seemed pleased.

I was then instructed on how to drive back to the Pasco Tax Collector's building. While I'm still feeling a little nervous, I am satisfied with how I fared on my test compared to the first attempt. We arrived safely at the building's parking lot, and all I remember hearing was him telling me I did a great job. Having missed the part where he said congratulations, I asked him if I passed as we walked towards the building. Then he jokingly said: "Where were you when I congratulated you on doing a great job? Yes, you passed!" I was so excited and delighted to tell my husband about the good news.

The road tester then told me to wait while he prepared the remaining paperwork and printed my license.

I told my husband about the good news and we waited for the lady who handled our documents earlier to call us back. She congratulated me and asked me to verify all information that would be printed on my license, and she asked me some questions about restrictions and/or physical and mental health requirements. In addition, she asked me if I wanted to keep my learner's license as a souvenir and I gladly said yes. The process was completed in a few minutes, and the next thing I knew, I had all my documents and my new driver's license in my hand. 

All I can tell you is that my experience at the Dade City Pasco Tax Collector's Office was pleasant and quick. Everyone was very kind to us and helped us with a smile on their faces. It was definitely a day to remember!

There you have it! Another achievement unlocked for me. Hopefully these experiences - failure, and success - gave you motivation and inspiration to reach your goal no matter how difficult it may seem. Keep on trying! Success comes to those who never gave up in the first place. 😄

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