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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Students recount experiences with DMVs

“Oh god, please help me,” sophomore Esha Krishnamoorthy repeatedly told herself while tightly clutching the Indian statue of a god in her hand. As a man started walking closer and closer, Krishnamoorthy went into panic mode and started to freak out. But once the “really nice man” stepped into her car, Krishnamoorthy was convinced that “there was a god.”

Krishnamoorthy was taking her behind-the-wheel license test for the second time. She had failed her first test in early February.

“[My first time,] I had a really strict Asian [DMV examiner] who had such a strong accent that I couldn’t understand a word he said,” she said.

When he would ask her to “turn at a green sign,” she mistook it as “go at the green light” so she would continue driving. Due to these misinterpretations, Krishnamoorthy failed her first driving test.

Twenty days later on Feb. 27, Krishnamoorthy was ready to redeem herself. Instead of going to the Los Gatos DMV because she heard it was really hard, she went to the Santa Teresa DMV.

“There are a lot of people in Los Gatos so I knew if I accidentally hit someone, I would be done,” she said.

At the Santa Teresa DMV, Krishnamoorthy was relieved to have a kind DMV examiner, who passed her with 14 errors. Just one more error, and she would have failed.

Many students decide not to go to the Los Gatos DMV for their drivers test due to the “compact and small town area,” according to health and drivers education teacher Amy Obenour. Also, it has been rumored that nine out of 10 students who take the behind-the-wheel test at the Los Gatos DMV fail.

“Fridays in Los Gatos are garbage days, and no one knows if it’s legal to pass a garbage truck,” said Obenour. “Don’t take your test on Fridays.”

Despite the challenges that Los Gatos presents to hopeful drivers, sophomore Aryana Goodarzi did not feel intimidated and took her behind-the-wheel test there.

“I live two minutes away and have lived in Los Gatos for six years so I know the roads,” she said. “It’s harder if you take it in a place where you don’t know the area.”

Goodarzi took her test early January at the Los Gatos DMV and passed.

“[My DMV examiner] was just boring,” she said. “There were no memorable experiences.”

Some students, such as sophomore Tristan Bush, choose to take their test at Santa Clara’s DMV because “it isn’t too far away and isn’t too hard.”

After waiting in line for two hours in the middle of June, Bush was second in line, ready to take the test. But due to the scorching heat, his car’s engine started heating up, then broke down. Still eager to get his license, he took his test “first thing the next morning” and passed.

Obenour agrees that one DMV examiner and/or route may be harder than another, but before taking the test, “it is still important to have done all of your 50 hours of practice including your 10 hours at night and have completed your 6 hours of drivers training lesson through a good driving school.”

DMV locations and examiners do affect the overall driving experience, but according to Obenour, students must practice driving for 50 hours in the six months before their test.

“The more confidence you have with your parents in the car, the more confidence you will portray in your behind-the-wheel test,” she said.

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