Getting a Driver’s License: Tips for Hitting the Road

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Who doesn’t love the freedom of the open road! From taking the test to different driving rules, a driver’s license can be useful all over the world.

Benefits of a Driver’s License

There was a time when getting a driver’s license was a matter of necessity. Yet, now we’re living in a time where you might not need a car at all. With the utility of public transit and other means of transportation, many people never bother getting a license.

Whether or not you decide to purchase a car, a license can be a useful tool. There’s a time you may need to drive in a foreign country, and being without a license can be a limitation. But even if you aren’t planning an overseas trip in the near future, having a driver’s license can give you more transportation options at home.

Doing a driving test license
Driver’s License Requirements

There are several requirements for getting a driver’s license, and they vary from state to state. While the age limits might vary from state to state, they all require both a written and road test. In the state of Virginia, for example, you must take a written test, a vision test, show government-issued I.D., pay a license fee, and complete a driving course before being issued a license.

For the written test, pick up a driver’s handbook at your local DMV and read through it. You’ll want to make sure you’ve reviewed it before taking the test and be alert for possible trick questions!  If you don’t pass the first test, you’ll have to wait a few days before trying again.

After the written test, you’ll have a learner’s permit for a few months to years, depending on your state requirements where you can only drive with a licensed adult. During this time, you will need to pass a road test run by a certified driving school or instructor in order to obtain your license when the times comes.

Most states require those who are old enough to get a learner’s permit for several months to a year before they’re allowed behind the wheel. New teenage drivers might also have restrictions on how many passengers they’re allowed to transport. They might also have curfew restrictions.

Getting a Driver's LicenseIs a Driver’s License Necessary?

Despite the freedom driving can bring, many people are less interested in having a driver’s license.

According to a University of Michigan study, 24.5% of 16-year-olds had a license in 2014 compared to 46.2% in 1983. A lack of interest, available public transit, or the higher cost of a vehicle could all contribute to this trend.

Today there are a lot of different transportation methods so you might not need a car. Students may once have driven to school, but available transit options mean many people aren’t as worried about their driver’s license status.

Public services like the bus, metro, and train might be a more economical choice. Or if you live in a busy city, even getting occasional rides from Uber or Lyft might be a good alternative to car ownership.

Others opt for more eco-friendly modes of transportation. Many people walk, cycle, or use bike shares that provide exercise and accessibility. They also leave a smaller environmental footprint. With the expensive cost of ownership, sharing the family car or taking alternate travel can be the way to go.

road trip open road

Road Rules Around the World

Requirements for acquiring your license vary throughout the world.

The United Kingdom has similar driving requirements to those in the U.S. You have to get a provisional license or learner’s permit, an eye test, a passport, and pay a fee. Then, you take a written and road driving test.

In Finland, one must pass a summer and winter exam to get a provisional license. When two years have passed, theory lessons and on-the-road lessons must be completed to pass the test. But, it’s worth being aware that not every place is so stringent!

In Mexico, you can pass a driving test with just a verbal statement of driving ability. People in Egypt just need to answer 10 written questions and being able to drive forward and backward.

With improved public transit and rideshare options, owning a car isn’t always a necessity. But, there are still many benefits to getting your license. Let us know in our comments section if you’re going through the process, or use FamilyApp to discuss with your family members. It might take hard work and commitment but completing your driver’s license test can be the pathway to the open road.

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