Where is it Hardest to Get Your Driver's License?

In general, it is much harder to get your driver's license in Europe than it is in the United States.

Getting a driver’s license in Europe is much harder than it is in the United States. The following describes the countries in which is it most difficult to obtain a driver's license, and outlines the required process of each.

10. Saudi Arabia

Although drivers in Saudi Arabia who are familiar with driving can get the license in a period less than two days, there are steps that must be followed to acquire driver’s license especially for people who are unfamiliar with driving. The first step is to be able to possess the documents for blood group and the eye test, a translation of the country license to Arabic, a resident permit, and passport size photo. Next is to pay for the resident permit through the internet, go to driving school, pay 10 riyals to a photocopy shop to get a file, get an eye test, take the first trial, attend classes, and take final exams. If successful in the exams, one would get a driver’s license.

9. South Africa

In South Africa, the first thing to do is to get a Learners License from the Driving License Testing Centers (DLTC). One would then proceed to obtain a Driver’s License by providing the Learners License, Identity Document, completing form DL1, paying the required fee, and presenting two ID photographs in black and white. Also, the candidate must pass the driving test through a K53 method and be given a temporary Driver’s License on success. The driver would receive a permanent license before the end of 6 months.

8. United Kingdom

There are three steps in obtaining a full driving license in the United Kingdom. The first step is to get a provisional driving license which requires one to be a resident of Great Britain, meet the minimum age (17 for cars and 16 for mopeds) and eye test requirement, have a valid UK passport, and pay a fee of £34.00. The next step involves a theory driving test consisting of the hazard perception part and the multiple choice test. The third phase is the practical driving test, which the candidate must pass before receiving a Driver’s License.

7. Finland

In Finland, one must first get a two-year provisional license after passing a two-part exam in summer and winter respectively. In cases whereby a driver already has a temporary license, the interim period would be period will be extended for a period not more than two years. After the two years, the driver must go through extensive classes involving nineteen theory lessons and the practical lesson of learning how to drive in icy and slippery conditions. It costs one $1,335 to $2,672 to complete the classes.

6. Singapore

In Singapore, drivers must be at least 18 years old to get a driver’s license, and the pass rate is 60% for the formal training program and 33% for the informal driving training. Candidates must pass two tests, a theory test and a practical driving test before receiving their driving license. The theory test has fifty questions with the postmark of 45 correctly answered questions. Besides, one must meet the cost of the program which is $143.

5. Japan

The first requirement to obtain a Japanese driver's license that candidates must meet is to provide proof of owning their cars and parking spaces. Then, the drivers must also produce their passports, zairyu (residency) card, official copies of juminhyo (certificate of residency), and previous licenses if they have. Drivers who are non-citizens of Japan should provide the official translation of their licenses to Japanese, alongside their valid license from their countries. The candidates should also pay a fee of $49 for enrollment in the driving program.

4. Germany

Candidates should have German Identification Document of passport, recent vision test document, proof of completion of a course in first aid, valid driving license from their home country, and pay a fee of $2000. The candidates must attend professional lessons as one of the steps in obtaining the license. Particularly, they should go for one-week theoretical classes before sitting for a written exam. On the first try of the exam, about 30% of the candidates fail, and they would need to sit for it again. After the exam, the candidate must do at least four driving tests before receiving the driving license.

3. France

In France, foreigners are eligible to drive in the country for one year provided that their licenses from the country of origin are valid, were issued before they moved to France, and the licenses are accompanied by the International Driving Permit. After the one year, the foreign license becomes invalid, and one must acquire another by following the acquisition procedure which involves taking driving theory tests in a registered driving school or a prefecture school. Also, the candidates must provide medical certificates for fitness to drive, residency permit, proof of identity, and two passport-sized photos.

2. Norway

Getting a driver’s license in Norway is a process that involves lengthy procedures. It includes several requirements for persons from different nationalities and various age groups. The steps to follow include registration as an applicant, buying the required theory book “The Road to Your Driving License,” enrolling for an essential traffic and driving course in the nearest driving school, and attending last training which consists of the practical test in any local traffic station. After passing the test, a candidate receives a temporary driver’s license which is valid for a maximum period of one month after which the driver receives a permanent license.

1. Quebec

The process of acquiring a driver's license in Quebec begins with an eye examination to ensure that the candidate does not have eye problems that would impair their driving. The minimum age requirement is 16 years old, but those who have attained the age of sixteen but are not yet eighteen years old must have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. Candidates must sign up for the driving training classes which are mandatory to provide practical experience of driving. The students must pass all parts of the program (Quebec GDL) and receive approval from the Association québécoise des transports (AQTr) before receiving the driving licenses.

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