What My Driver’s License Means To Me: An Ode to the Gift of Driving

Saudi Arabi Women Drive

A Girls Guide To Cars | What My Driver'S License Means To Me: An Ode To The Gift Of Driving - Img 20180305 120633

Teia Collier enjoying the details in the 2018 Nissan Rogue. Photo: Teia Collier

My driver’s license is a passport to freedom and to explore this gift of life.

To my Saudi Arabian Sisters, welcome to the club of women drivers around the world.  We have been waiting for you and are so glad that you are here.

Our drivers licenses are a right of passage, a ticket to freedom, the means to set our own journey, earn our own income, become our own women.

Today marks the first day that women in Saudi Arabia can exercise the right to drive and we celebrate you. Here, we note our journey to becoming a driver. We welcome your stories, too.

READ MORE: What’s Your First Car Story?

Lexus Is 200T Compact Luxury Sedan

We stopped at the beach in Newport to catch the sunset. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Driver’s License is More than a Tiny Slip of Plastic with your Name and Address

It is a permission granter. It is recognition that you are of age to make adult decisions, have the skillset, technical training, knowledge of right and wrong and the mental faculties to wield the power of a vehicle that also carries the power of life and death. It is external recognition of who you are, where you come from and captures a snapshot of a moment in time.

READ MORE: 5 Ways To Be  Mindful Driver

Connecting A Bluetooth Phone Means You Can Use Siri, Alexa, Google Or Whomever Comes Next. Your Kids, Like My 3 Boys, Will Love Using It Too.
Our kids look forward to the day they can drive! Photo: Maria Smith

My Driver’s License is a Passport to Freedom

It is permission to explore, permission to take charge of my own life and ownership of my own destiny. It means that I can wake up in the morning and go anywhere I want. It is a passport to rise up, take hold of an adventure and see where it takes me. It is a license to make my own money, chart my own path and take whomever I want along for the ride.  It means that as a single mom, I can provide for my family and experience the best of life’s adventures – unrestricted by transportation or location. It means that I can go almost anywhere in the world and have the same rights and privileges that I know here.

Driving The Land Rover Discovery Luxury Diesel Suv
She might not be paying attention now, but soon, she’ll be in the driver’s seat. Photo by Shannon Entin.

So Much of Life Happens in Cars

We make memories, go on journeys and celebrate the gift of living in our cars. I drive my children across town like a taxi driver, from sports to classes to functions, and it is my pleasure and privilege. I go to work and I travel because I can. This little license that fits in the palm of my hand means that I can take my education and go where opportunity takes me. If I so choose, I can change the world and go wherever I need to, want to or am needed. It means quite literally that the world is mine for taking and that I am free to do so.

READ MORE: 5 Things You Need To Know When The Car Breaks Down

What a Drivers License Means to A Girls Guide to Cars Writers

Teia Collier: I got my driver’s license at sixteen, and it has been by my side for nearly every adventure since. My high school parking lot still sits right next to a car dealership. Every day going in and getting out at school, I looked longingly at the shiny cars and pristine trucks standing on display and watched happy people leaving with cars to love and carry them from adventure to adventure.

I learned how to drive at the driving school about two miles from my home.  I worked at Little Caesar’s Pizza to earn half of the money for my class. 60 hours at minimum wage made going to Driver’s Education class taste sweeter.  I remember sitting in that classroom watching slides about driving safely and how to park a car while laughing with my friends feeling slightly terrified and yet, very cool.

Later when our instructor thought we were ready, we took those lessons onto I-635 in a cherry red Ford Mustang. It was a gorgeous car. The sound, the feel of the engine, the scent of the leather, there was nothing like it. It was exhilarating and life-affirming.

Adeina Anderson: Getting my drivers license meant freedom to me. I could go anywhere, anytime I wanted and I have been traveling the country ever since. The first day I drove was one of the best days of my life, I had been driving boats and tractors since I was 10, but something about driving a car was more then special. I felt like I could conquer the world.

Erica Mueller: When you’re one of 8 kids and everyone always has somewhere to be, your opportunities to be driven to and from activities is limited.  😀 Getting my driver’s license meant I could finally spend time with my friends outside of church/school, go to sports events, and get an outside job!

Niccole Mucci: I started driving at 20 years old and it was the greatest feeling ever. No one taught me how to drive, I just had a friend lend me her beat up car and I drove that around for a while! I learned quickly and never looked back!

Scotty Reiss: I couldn’t wait to get my license when I turned 16. But that was only part of it. I needed a car, too. I was allowed to drive my parents cars, but only with permission and never very far. I got a job at the Red Lobster in my town so I could start to save for a car. Once I had my own wheels, my ambitions were limitless. I soon went off to college two states away and after I graduated, I drove toNew York City to start my career and adult life. My driver’s license inspired my ambitions and future and I’m forever grateful.

A Girls Guide To Cars | What My Driver'S License Means To Me: An Ode To The Gift Of Driving - License

Teia Collier is a mother of three, educator, social journalist, advocate for women’s and children’s issues and lover of... More about Teia Collier