Remember when you did your drivers license test?

Submitted: Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 19:30
ThreadID: 136947 Views:3349 Replies:15 FollowUps:5
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It was 52yrs ago for me.,...In a mates rusted out Holden ute which sure raised the eyebrows of the officer that particular How things have changed

If i live long enough, might have to do another one....that will be interesting.

Cheers Axle,
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:04

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:04
Gday Axle
October 1960 i did my test in my bosses customline . so thats 58 years
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Follow Up By: axle - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:33

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:33
Hi Muzbry,..Good to see im still a young bloke.....LOL.

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Follow Up By: KevinE - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:57

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:57
Hi Muzbry,

Just to make you feel even older, I have a grandson driving & you're old enough to be my dad lol!

All the best,

Kevin :-)
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:33

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:33
What driving test. The local copper had seen me driving previously. There was no hill around to test hill starts. He just wrote it out for me.
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Follow Up By: axle - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:36

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:36
They where the Days!

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Reply By: BobR4 - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:41

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 20:41
I have been told that I must have got mine out of a Weetbix pack. Couldn't quite understand but it was some time ago. 50 plus years.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 21:06

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 21:06
Weetbix licences are as valid as those who never did a test to get a licence. No proof of skills even if the copper did see you in dads car prior to the age.

When I got my licence, the nice policeman asked me every question in the Victoria Licence book and if you didn’t know just one he didn’t provide a licence. I did however have Weetbix for breakfast that day, so it possibly qualifies as a Weetbix licence I suppose.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 21:14

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 21:14
1963, in Penrith NSW, copper says "you know all the answers, let's see if you can drive"

Then, 12 months later at Brunette Downs Races on Barkly Tablelands, approached one of the many local coppers and asked for an NT license, and he wrote it out straight away.

By 1966, had licenses for NSW, Qld & NT, all at same time! Still didn't make me a better driver.


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Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 22:59

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 22:59
It was May 1966 for me - and I'd been driving since September 1965, without one!

Went to the cop shop in the nearest little country town (pop. about 120), and fronted the tough old Sgt Westerside (Police No. 2149) in my near-new EH Holden work ute.

He ran me through the road rules and asked 3 questions - and I got 2 wrong!

"How far do you have to stop from a level crossing?"
I didn't have a clue (it used to be 60 feet). I guessed at 30 feet, and got a scowl.

"How far from an approaching vehicle should you dip your headlights?" (it was 600 feet, and I got that wrong too!) More scowling.

I got the 3rd question right, but I can't recall what that question was, now.

"Alright, let's go for a drive." He guided me around town, and past the single, solitary stop sign, in the town. I made sure I came to a complete stop.

I drove back the station with the normal, 17 yr old supreme confidence, and he said, "You've already been doing a fair bit of driving, haven't you?"

"Umm ... uh, yeah .. I've been doing a bit". I wasn't sure whether he picked up on my driving confidence - or whether someone had squealed that they'd seen me driving around the place, with no licence. Word spreads rapidly in small towns.

He didn't say anything more. I just pulled up in front of the cop shop, and we went in, and he wrote my licence out on the spot.

The old cop shop building is still there, but it was closed as a cop shop decades ago. Nothing much has changed, the same wide driveway is still there, the only difference is, the street to the old cop shop is now bitumenised.

I worked out, I reckon I've done somewhere between 3.5M and 4M kilometres over the last 5 decades, worn out a very substantial number of vehicles, and I'm proud to say I've never rolled a vehicle, ever - and I've only ever had one prang.

When I was 18, I got distracted by lights to my right in thick fog, at 4:00AM, and I ran through a T-junction and hit the ditch on the other side, causing some serious front end damage to the old long-suffering EH ute.

I do wish I still had some of my classic Holdens, though. Probably the best was a yellow HJ Sandman ute (bought new, mid 1975), 253 V8, 4 speed, black upholstery, and all the Sandman extras, such as the GTS steering wheel, and full instrumentation.
Went like the clappers, and I did around 300,000 hard kms in it, until it was worn out - whereby I turned it into a shooting buggy. What would it be worth now, in good nick!? I hate to think.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 23:53

Friday, Jul 06, 2018 at 23:53
When I got my licence, I was a shy teenager living in district with a small country town, and had really only driven on rural roads. I asked to do the test early in the the morning, before the stock agent branch where I had just commenced my first job. Hardly anyone would be in town.

I had my first car, and small Vauxhall Viva, the cheapest new car I could get at the time.

There must have been about 20 questions on the written test. I was unsure of three difficult ones - so was the the police officer, and he had to look the answers up. Then a short drive without hill starts or reverse parking. I had been practising the latter for some weeks, parking between the tractor and the truck which Dad parked for me.

Only a few weeks later I was staying in town with my Aunt; Uncle also worked for the same agency but was not home Aunt took a phonecall from a customer who wanted my Uncle to go and leave a can of sheep dip out so he could pick it up when he came onto town during the evening. So I went to do the task. It was raining heavily, and being Friday night, the street outside the pub was parked out and our office was two doors from the pub. The rain fell heavier.

There was a short car space right outside the door, but I bungled my attempt to reverse park. I decided that I could drive through - bounce, up onto the footpath and under the shop verandah right outside the door. That worked. But I only had a key to the back door not front and to get to the back door meant climbing through a gap in a picket fence and around the back - in the rain. So knowing that the big door glass doors were locked, but the second on rarely bolted to the floor as it should have been, I went backwards hard into the centre of the doors, and they flew open.

However at this moment the police officer that gave me my licence walked out of the pub, took one look at my car, and me breaking open the doors - and walked very quickly in the other direction.

In the same small town a few decades prior, my mother got her driver's licence. It was really horse and cart times in a rural town, with only a few cars, one of which her father owned. She drive it to the police station and said she wanted to test for her licence. "How did you get here" her asked "I drove Dad's car" she replied. "Did you kill anybody" "No". She was issued here licence with no test.

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Reply By: Phil - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 01:05

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 01:05
1963 and 16 y.o. in a small country town in South Aust. Did the written test and nervously drove my fathers Vauxhall Velox, 1956 I think, around the town with the meanest, mountain of a man, police sargent I have ever seen, well that was the perspective of a 16 y. o. kid at the time. We negotiated the 3 or 4 stop signs in the town and sucessfully completed the reverse parking between 2 sticks on the side of the road, and the hand brake hill start, which consisted of placing a matchbox behind one of the rear wheels and not crushing it when moving off. He gave me my licence but told me to slow down and that he would be keeping an eye on me. I think he had a bit of a laugh with my father later on. Interestingly my mother got her licence just before the driving test came in, written only. She was granted a class A licence, which meant she could basicly drive anything. She never drove outside the town, never reversed parked or started off on a hill using the handbrake and never exceeded about 30 mph.
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Reply By: Member - hopbush - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 05:42

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 05:42
It was 1961 when I got mine....I was a jackaroo on a station near Mitchell QLD and the overseer accompanied me into the police station in Mitchell in one of the station Land Rovers. The only question I remember the sarge asking me as I drove around the block was what was I supposed to do at a stop sign......luckily I got that right and he issued the licence. A big moment in my life.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 08:16

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 08:16
And now at age 75 if you don't go to the GP and do the health check paperwork your license is not valid and at eighty years old make an appointment at the motor registry for an on road driving test --- you'll need more than a box of weetbix.
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 10:14

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 10:14
Pinko - Interestingly, W.A. has reduced the severity of driver testing for older folk, relying on their doctors to report anyone who should no longer be driving.

The W.A. Govt stated that the reduction in the severity of the driving and medical test was because older people were under-represented in the crash statistics, thus proving that most of them rely on long experience to be cautious - and most self-regulate their driving, such as no longer driving at night because of less-acute vision.

The secret of course, is to never visit your doctor! That way, the authorities will never find out, you're a complete danger on the road! [;-)

The missus and I got a surprise a few years ago, when old Rafe Snader drove himself down to an appointment to see the Missus for Bowen therapy.
She always gets peoples personal details, and she was astounded to find out he was 99!

Here he is at 105 - still driving! - and he bought himself a new Mazda at age 95, because the salesman promised he'd get 15 years of trouble-free motoring from it!

Rafe Snader at 105

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: gke - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 08:20

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 08:20
In 1958 I was on a farm 23 miles from town and at 16 was given a restricted motorbike licence for under 100 cc so I could ride a 50cc 'screaming demon' to and from high school for grades 11 and 12.

When it was time to get a car licence the local sarge said
Have you been driving around the farm for years? Yes.
Can you drive as well as you ride? Yes.

He then wrote out a licence.
I finally had a driving test at age 25 to get an overseas licence.
I'm proud and lucky to have never received a traffic or parking ticket much to my mates' disgust.
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 13:55

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 13:55
My ex wife had an interesting experience. She had been driving my Mini around for a while and one night this local copper, about 7 foot tall, tapped on the sliding side window and said. She can drive well enough now come up to the station and I'll give her a licence.
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Reply By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 16:56

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 at 16:56
1974 a week before school finished. Smithy the cop said lets go for a drive, no questions. I drove around the block to the biggest TR intersection where he started talking to a mate on the sidewalk. Then instructed me to go back to the cop shop where as he wrote out my license. I asked could I get a truck, tractor and bike also? He looked up said to dad "has he been driving the gear at work?" and dad said yes and proceeded to give me all the licenses I had asked for. Easy.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Jul 08, 2018 at 09:59

Sunday, Jul 08, 2018 at 09:59
53 yrs ago for me.
I had put off booking in for a test because my dad wouldn't get the hand brake fixed in his EJ Holden. Was on my second L plate (expired in 6 months back then) and was finally able to book in for a practical test, so I have been driving for some 10 months.
Went to the Police Station at Port Adelaide and the officer placed the parking stands on the back floor. Off we went and he directed me along St. Vincent Street, over the Jervois Bridge and on down to Semaphore. Did a loop and back over the Birkenhead Bridge and back on to St. Vincent Street. When we neared the Black Diamond corner I asked the Officer, "where to now". He said "we're done Mate, back to the Station", so I hung a left and parked.
The whole route must have taken 15 minutes maximum but I must have impressed the Officer and he was happy with my driving ability.


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Reply By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 07:09

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 07:09
Mine was about 40 years ago. I had trouble reverse parking and the understanding officer patted me on the knee and said that I could work on that when I got my license which he then issued to me. Try that these days and the poor bloke would be in jail. Toni
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Reply By: Ozi M - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 09:42

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 09:42
My first effort was 50 years ago in a city, as I did not have a car I had to use the driving schools car.

Halfway through the test we got a puncture, the examiner waved down another driving school car to get a lift back to the Motor Registry.

As he left I asked about my license to which he replied "you never finished your test".

I got on the radio, told the office the car keys were on top of the rear tyre and walked 4klm to work.
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