Driving around the world

September 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Back in 1910 Germany was the first country to mandate the licensing of all drivers on an national case. It created a system of tests and driver’s education requirements which became a template for the licensing laws of other countries.

Since then, the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a driving license has varied widely across the world.

South Africa

In South Africa to be given a license you have to be 18 and able to pass a written or computer-based test. In order to obtain your full license you have to pass a road test.

In the past all a person had to do to pass a driving test is drive six meters forward and six meters back. At present, a person has to answer eight out of ten questions correctly and then pass a forward and reverse S-track test and be able to demonstrate their parking skills.


The minimum age to drive a vehicle is 18 or 16 to drive a motorcycle. People that are aged more than 50 years have to undergo strict medical tests so that they can be given a driver’s license. Moreover, the validity of a license is five years and therefore needs to be renewed every five years.


Licenses in Pakistan contain your digital photo, signature, blood group information, date of birth, emergency contact, fingerprint impression and the name of your parents.

A driver’s license in Pakistan


All driving licenses in Europe follow the European Union format for driving licenses. This common format allows all licenses to be understood irrespective of language differences.

A Spanish driving license which follows the European Union format

Costa Rica

One has to pass three tests in Costa Rica to be given a driving license: practical driving tesr, theoretical driving and a medical test which examines your eyesight, blood pressure and verifies the presence of other diseases and behaviors of the driver. The license must be renewed every two years and then every five years after that.


A person can attain a driving permit at the age of 15 but they need to have an adult with them at all times while they are driving. When they turn 18 they are allowed to have a full license.


The minimum age for a driving license is 18, you have to pass a road test, computer test and a vision test.

United States

By the age of 16 you can obtain a license and drive unsupervised but you have to pass the requisite tests.








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  1. Hi guys,

    Great job on the blog, some interesting stuff there.
    What do you guys think of our speed limits in Australia? I read an article from 2010 http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/140kmh-safer-in-australia-safety-expert-20101011-16fer.html where a German safety expert believes we should increase our speed limits in highways to fight fatigue and that roads should be better managed to “introduce a European-style system where slow-moving traffic – including trucks – was confined to the left lane on freeways, freeing up the right lane for high-speed traffic.”

    Some people I know agree with this but then again the introduction of speed limits in NT in 2008 due to all the casualties can be an argument against that.

  2. Thanks for the feedback and for letting us know about this thought provoking article.
    I read the article and I think the German safety expert makes some valid points. Specifically, when he says that trucks should drive at 80 km/h or 90 km/h and that they should drive on the left lane on freeways as you mentioned.
    Just today there has been a horrific accident in Central Queensland where five people were killed due to a head-on-crash between a truck and a four-wheel-drive on the Bruce highway: http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/brisbane-residents-among-dead-in-horrific-crash-20121001-26u68.html
    I think this demonstrates that something needs to be done so that drivers have that added protection when they are driving on dangerous stretches of road such as freeways.
    I also agree with you that changing speed limits may not be the quick fix that we are looking for.
    Perhaps we need to first look into the specific needs of each state in Australia and then work from there. Food for thought.

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