Countries differ in many ways: currencies, languages, and politics are some of the most obvious. But for tourists traveling to new nations, or people relocating to a new area, one of the most important factors to consider is the driving license requirements in each area.
UK’s Driving License Requirements
In the United Kingdom, the minimum driving age for operating a car is 17, while 16-year-olds may be licensed to drive mopeds. There is no upper limit for older drivers.
The Driving Test
In Great Britain and Northern Ireland, drivers will be required to pass a 3-part driving test. In Great Britain, the theoretical section has a pass rate of approximately 51.6% and the practical section has a pass rate of 43%.
- Theoretical: Multiple-choice and Hazard Perception
The theoretical section is comprised of two parts. The first is a 50-question multiple choice test, which lasts 57 minutes, and is completed on a touch-screen computer system. To pass, 43 of the 50 questions must be answered correctly. In the hazard perception section, prospective drivers watch 14 short clips filmed from the perspective of a driver. When they observe a hazard developing, they click a mouse or touch the screen to indicate their understanding.
- Practical: Supervised Driving Examination
The practical test may be driven in a car with either a manual or an automatic transmission. However, if the test is passed in an automatic car, the license will be issues only for an automatic car. In the test, an examiner accompanies the candidate along public roads. The test typically lasts about 40 minutes and will test concepts like controlled stops, maneuvers, and general driving.
Other Interesting Notes
- Drivers are not legally required to carry their license when driving; however, police officers may require drivers to show a license within a week at a police station.
- The UK uses a cumulative points system to track endorsements.
- Licenses in Englad, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are printed only in English; while drivers in Wales receive licenses in both English and Welsh.
Video: How to apply for a provisional driving license in the UK
Australia’s Driving License Requirements
The minimum driving age in Australia varies by state/territory:
|Northern Territory||16 years + 6 months|
|Australian Capital Territory||17 years|
|New South Wales||16 years|
|All other states||17 years|
The Driving Test
Australia’s version of the driving test is comprised of 4 parts: 3 computer based driving theory tests and one road driving test. To pass the first stage, the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT), , learners are required to answer at least 12 DKT questions correctly among the 15 general knowledge questions and at least 29 correctly among the 30 road safety questions. Topics covered include:
- General Knowledge
- Road Safety
- Alcohol and Drugs
- Fatigue and Defensive Driving
- Negligent Driving
- Seat Belts / Restraints
- Speed Limits
- Traffic Lights
- Traffic Signs
Once prospective drivers pass the DKT, they are given a learner’s driver’s license, which will be valid for 5 years. Then, driers need to pass the road test to be given a Provisional driving license (P1), which will be valid for 18 months. Then comes the Hazard Perception Test and a P2 license, valid for 30 months. Finally, the Driver Qualification Test results in a full driver’s license.
Germany’s Driving License Requirements
In Germany, a driver needs to be 16 years old to obtain a license for a motorcycle and 17 years old for a car.
The Driving Test
Germany’s driving test has two prerequisites: completing driving school and passing an eye exam. Then, there are 2 parts to the driving test: theory and practical.
Like in Australia, if a student completes the practical test on an automatic car, the resulting license will be limited only to automatic transmissions. In 2011, only 28% of people passed the driving test in Germany.
For a license to drive a car in Israel, applicants must be at least 16 years plus 9 months old.
The Driving Test
Like in Germany and most of Europe, to take a driving test in Israel, applicants must have an eye exam. In addition, they need to have a medical checkupThen, they can take the 30-question, multiple-choice theoretical test. To pass, they must get 26 correct. Applicants must take at least 28 driving lessons at a certified driving school before taking the practical road test.
Once a driver passes both the theoretical and the practical test and receives a license, the new driver must hang a “New Driver” sign on the vehicle they are driving for the first 2 years.
Driving License Requirements throughout the World
When visiting or moving to any foreign country (and sometimes even when moving to different states/territories with the same country), it is a good idea to learn about the driving license requirements in the region so you can be prepared for your trip or move.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.