My son is one of those rare (or not so rare) teenagers who is completely comfortable in his own skin. If he decides not to comb his hair for a week and only rely on whatever direction provide by his bath towel or pillow, he is okay with that. He typically does not worry too much about what people think about him. (Since he is now at college and possibly becoming interested in a special extracurricular subject, this may change….) He is the type of son who gets along with most any one. And, even if he doesn’t like them, the other person probably would not know my son feels that way. He majors in making people feel comfortable and good about themselves.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to this attitude. As an 18 year old who has already moved into college, he does not have or have a plan to get his driver’s license. I share some of the blame for this, but my son is also carries much of the blame. Due to lack of interest, he did not get his permit until he was 17 years old. He was reluctant to do so, but felt he could not avoid the inevitable. I drove many hours with him, and he did all of his classes on line. (This is an option in Texas and possibly other states as well.) Since he needed his permit 6 months before he could take his driver’s test, we were not able to take the test until well into the school year. Between a social life, sports, his job, and overall apathy, he didn’t start thinking about completing the process until his birthday was only a few weeks off. As apathy and poor planning mushroomed, an appointment was never scheduled prior to his birthday. At this point, his driver’s permit becomes slightly more than a laminated piece of paper. Yes still, the appointment did not get scheduled.
As he flies to see relatives in June, he finds out his driver’s permit can still be used for a year as a form of ID. (Thus its small amount of value.) At this point, “driver’s license” gets added to the list of “Must Get Done Before School Starts”. The rest of the list seemed to get attention, but not the license. The week prior to moving to college, my wife told me this was also my priority. On one very “productive” day, I went to one Bureau of Motor Vehicles and was told it was a 1.5 hour wait. (Since we were missing two pieces of paperwork my wife did not think were needed, I was grateful to leave to explore and less lengthy wait.) After a trip home and a lunch, I headed out with an hour of time allotted to wait and get the license once we arrived at the other BMV. With a 2 hour wait there and no way to pickup my daughter/sister in a timely manner, we admitted defeat and agreed a valid passport is likely to meet all of his school ID needs.
If he needs to take a test, fly or get on a cruise ship, he is fine. If anyone sees him behind the wheel of a moving vehicle that is not in an amusement park, please inform me immediately.