By the Numbers: Driver’s License Requirements Around the World
The procedures vary wildly from country to country.
There's no universal standard for getting a driver's license, and testing procedures and driving requirements vary greatly from country to country. Want an idea of just how different they can be?
Number of tests a new driver in Mexico City had to pass to get a license until recently. Only a verbal declaration of driving ability was required.
Number of written questions people must answer in Egypt to get a license. After they demonstrate their ability to park and drive forward and backward through an oh-so-challenging S-shaped course, that is.
The number of years a license can be good for in Finland. To obtain it, though, you must take instruction on car maintenance and driving on slippery terrain. Instruction in nighttime driving is also mandatory because the sun sets as early as 3:15 p.m. in the winter.
Number of points on a new driver's license in Italy. If someone loses all his or her points by committing multiple offenses, such as speeding or using a cellphone, he or she must take another driving test.
Levels of driver's licenses permitted in North Korea, although private car ownership is not allowed. Licensed drivers—typically from wealthy families—often work for the government as chauffeurs.
Age at which a teen can first get a restricted driver's license in South Dakota that allows unsupervised driving from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a parent or guardian's permission.
Number of days you need to have a learner's permit in India before you can get a light motor vehicle license after a rudimentary driving test.
Speed limit in mph for new drivers in southern Australia, regardless of the posted limit. Also, new drivers under 25 cannot drive a vehicle that has eight or more cylinders, has been modified, or has forced induction. (Turbodiesels are an exception.)
Number of questions applicants in China must answer in 45 minutes. At least 90 must be correct, and the Ministry of Public Security provides no sample test to practice with, "as it is the intention of the Ministry that students must learn the traffic regulations and understand the intention of the rules rather than memorize answers to questions."
"Driving is a privilege, not an inalienable right. "
We heard our high school driving instructor say that once, but what do we make of places that deny the ability to drive to select groups? In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive. When Afghanistan issues licenses to women, which is extremely rare, men try to run them off the road. Culture and religion make female drivers scarce in Sudan and Morocco, and Russia, one of the first countries to ever issue driver's licenses, recently banned transgender individuals from driving.