Author Topic: How driving licenses work in your country?  (Read 4801 times)

conso1727

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This is a world-wide community, and since I'm studying for my driving license I'm curious to learn how driving license work in other countries.
Here, in Italy, as all the other UE countries, I think, for the B license, the one who allows you to drive the most of the common cars, you have first to take the therory exam, compose of 40 true/false question. If there are less than 4 wrong, you pass and obtain the "pink sheet" which let you drive with the driving school car or with somebody who had a driving license for over 10 years for learning purposes.
After that you take the practise exam, on which you have to do some compulsory maneuvers (parking, braking depending on the siutation, starting the car on a slope etc) and a bit of driving in various environments (urban, not urban and highway).
One you pass the exam and get the drivng license it doesn't ends, though. For three years you are classified as "novice driver" and you still have limitations on the top speed you can reach, and the power of cars you can drive.

The driving licenses in Italy work with a point based system. You have 20 points and every infraction you lose some, depending on the gravity. When the points are gone, you have to do the exams again. You can gain them back by driving without infractions for some time, and requesting the return of the points.

I'm pretty curious to know how drivng licenses work in non-european countries, write about them!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:39:58 PM by conso1727 »

Victor Cortez

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I'm curious too. Being Italian myself and generally thinking very little of our system, I'd like to know if other countries do better.

Serenya

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Even though Finland is a part of the EU, we have fairly different system here than there in Italy. I don't know if they have radically changed after I got my license in 2007, but that's how it was back then and I've only heard there's more lessons and such things nowadays:

First of all, we don't have any points system - and for me they sound pretty ridiculous actually... o.O
Secondly, we don't have to pass any exams before the studying is over.
We can drive any car falling into the B-category, even a Veyron or Agera if we get one, after getting the B-license.
If someone other than a driving teacher will teach you to drive, this person needs to go and pass the same final tests the student does at the end of the school.
There's a two-year period of self-practicing after getting the first (temporary) license. We get our "full" license after completing the "second stage", which is pretty similar to the slippery or winter practice in the first stage.
There's also a night driving "challenge" which we need to pass in the first stage.

Everything else is then just that same urban, non-urban and highway driving, with some parking, hill-start etc. practicing.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 09:04:14 PM by Serenya »
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Mopower

Here in the US, at least when I got my license 6 years ago, it went like this... First of all, I have a D class license which is for light trucks (pickup trucks) and automobiles. To obtain this, I had to take a course that helped me study for the... I think it was 50 or 60 question permit test. Could've been more? I think if you got anymore than 10% wrong you had to retake the test. Then I got my permit fro 1/2 a year in which I had to complete something like 100 hours of driving (not positive) And 10 of those hours had to be driven at night with a person of age who has a license and has a signature that says they are allowed to observe me. Though, I used to drive to work taking the backroads by myself before I had my license, and I drove quite a bit before I even got my permit to help my uncle on the farm...

Anyway, once it had been 6 months I was allowed to schedule my driver's license where I had to go to a city to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have an examiner observe me drive and we were marked points based on our driving skills out of 100. 5 points off and you failed.

 I had to drive in heavy snow haha, luckily they were more lenient because of that I think ;) Hard to parallel park when the curb is not visible xD

After I got my license, there was a 6 month or a year probation period where I'm only allowed so many passengers, and there is a curfew on how late you can drive. If you make it through this without any violations, you get your permanent full time license.

And since my dad came with me and we were driving my grandma's subaru outback, he whipped shitties in the Kohl's parking lot afterwards. Was a good day.

Keep in mind, this is Wisconsin, every state has different laws for traffic and licensing. I also got my B class Commercial Driver's permit. (Allows me to drive single units that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.) Though I haven't been practicing, so I'll probably have to renew it soon if I want to go for my license in the future.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 09:11:09 PM by Mopower »

deadmoroz14

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Well, in Russia everything is a lot easier (B category)
You just have to spend something about 2 month to obtain "full" driving license
First 3 or 4 weeks there is only theory. Then driving lessons being added. Only 1 lesson (2 hours) on closed territory to learn basics of car driving (how to start/stop, steering, etc). Since that you are ready to drive in city with your instructor (~ 50 hours of driving).

Exam consists of 3 parts:
1. Theoretical (20 questions, only 2 mistakes allowed)
2. Driving course (slope, parallel parking and 3-point turn)
3. City driving (just 5-6 turns and then park a car)

That's all. Now you have driving license. Currently, there are no limitations for noobs, but our government wants add them (like driving slower 70 kmh, no access to autobahns, no driving in night and so on)
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Anarchy_Blues

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Things are similar here, but they are about to change.

Currently, you have to pass a theory exam (26 questions, no more than 4 wrong) and afterwards a city circuit which might be more or less a circuit (my stepmother only had to drive a few meters, this is some old bullshit).

But apparently they are now making the practical examination more complicated. The city examination will be split in two: day-time driving and night-time driving, and on top of that, they're adding maneuver tests on the driving pad.

Won't solve anything. This country being full of idiot drivers is due to the lack of police patrols, not improper driving school examination.

Windhund

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In Germany you have a theoretical exam and a practical one, like in every EU country.
To attempt the theoretical exam, you need to visit education lessons on driving in general, and special lessons for class B (Car). It doesn't matter if you revisit one lesson and miss the other, as long as you have 12 lessons. To practise for the test, you get a book with tests and a software on pc. The test itself contains 30 questions with 10 questions specifically for class B. You are allowed to have 10 error points. The value of error points reaches from 1 to 5.
To attempt the practical exam, you need to do 3 special trips, each of them 4 times. These are night drives, highway drives and  interurban drives. In the normal lessons you learn to drive a car properly, the rules of right of way, and to park. The number of normal lessons vary for every student. The better you drive, the faster you will get to your practical exam. By the way, you're only allowed to drive the driving school's car with the teacher. The practical exam usually lasts form 30 to 45 minutes and contains a minimum of three driving manouvers, such as: parking, driving a one way street, highway driving, driving through a traffic-calmed section and executing an emergency brake. At the end of the test, the inspector asks you questions about the car. After that you're done and have your driver's license!

P.S. Just passed mine 4 days ago ;)

Jason

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In the UK you can learn to drive from the age of 17. You apply to the DVLA (the authority that manages licences and registration of vehicles) to get a provisional licence which is a green card. This entitles you to learn to drive and also, with a small additional test, ride a moped (16 year olds it's maximum of 50cc, 17 year olds up to 125cc before additional motorcylce tests).


Provisional Licence which you can get from the age of 16 in the UK

There are two parts to the test, of which you do seperately. The first is a theory test. You answer 50 questions which have 4 possible answers. I can't remember on the number (maybe 45?) but you have to get so many right here. You also do what they call "Hazard Perception" where you watch a video from a drivers perspective and everytime you see a hazard you tap the screen. For example, a child appears between some parked cars up ahead. The longer you delay, the less points you get for that hazard. This also has a minimal score. If you pass both of these theory tests you are allowed to complete your practical test.

The practical test is where an official examiner gets in the car with you and you spend about an hour doing various things. There are two parts to this. It's only recently changed, but now you get told to drive to x location. You have to use the most appropriate route (and hope you know where you're going lol) and drive following the highway code. You're scored on how you drive (steering, acceleration etc) as well as how you check your mirrors, how you change lane etc. Once you done that you have to complete two manoeuvres. There's a few you can do, but you only have to do two which are randomly selected. They could be "Emergency Stop", "Reverse around a corner", "Turn in the road", "Parallel Park". I can't think of any others but you only do two. Again you are marked on here.

You're scored on minors and majors. If you forget to indicate into a junction, one minor. If you get a few minors for the same thing you automatically fail and I think there's an overall limit on how many you can get. You can also get a 'major' score which is instant fail - this is like pulling out on someone, almost running someone over.. anything dangerous basically.

If you pass this then you get a certificate allowing you to drive straight away on a full licence. They take your 'green' provisional card away and then in the post you get a pink "Full" (or Substantive as it's properly known).


A full UK Driving Licence, also known as a pink licence or substantive licence. Note that this entitles you to drive in EU countries also.

While you have either of these licences you can accumulate points for traffic offences (known as 'Endorsments'). This could be for speeding, running red light, driving dangerously, having a vehicle defect.. there's loads. Within your first 2 years of having your full licence you have 6 points limit on your licence. If you get 6 points you become a disqualified driver and can no longer drive without reapplying for your licence (which means doing another test). After 2 years of driving your limit goes up to 12 points.
For something like speeding you get 3 points, same with vehicle defects (ie a bald tyre with no tread on it, 3 points per tyre). More serious things like causing injury by dangerous driving can see 9-12 points. Drink driving is also a bad one.
You can also receive a driving ban which means you cannot drive at all during the duration of the ban. You may be able to drive when you come off your ban or you may have to retake your test. It depends if you become disqualified completely or if its just a short time ban (usually 45 days).

Hope that makes sense? I work for the police in the UK so the parts about endorsements I know quite a bit about. Feel free to throw questions my way!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 02:37:45 PM by Jason »