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The Weirdest Driver’s Exams Around the World

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Tough and strange driving test facts from different countries

Years may have passed since you took your driver’s exam, but you probably remember it fairly vividly and share memories of it with your family or friends now and then. Through such conversations, you’ve no doubt learned that everyone had different exam experiences, and that’s especially true around the world. Each country has its own set of laws, theories, and practices for determining a qualified driver, and some of them are particularly weird.

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Fun Facts About Different Countries’ Driving Tests

A number of countries require unusual items or pieces of information to be provided when applying for a license, such as blood type (Ecuador), penicillin allergies (Guatemala), a gynecological exam (Liechtenstein, until 2002), or a photo of themselves in the national dress (Bhutan). Other countries’ driving exams involve more passengers than customary, such as a policeman (Libya), other applicants (Libya), or a car full of people taking notes (Greece). Toys are also used in some driver’s exams or education. Sierra Leone sells a board game to teach highway laws, while Kenya utilizes toy cars to test applicants on their driving theory knowledge.

Up until recently, a handful of countries didn’t even require an exam; licenses could just be purchased.

Here are some of the other more astonishing facts:

  • China: China’s driving tests are notoriously bizarre and complicated. The written exam consists of 100 questions from a database of 1,400. Only 45 minutes are given to complete the exam, and a 90% score is required to pass. The weirdest thing taught on the exam over the years? That in an imminent collision, the driver should release the steering wheel and lay sideways across the front seats.
  • Japan: The country requires visitors to take the Japanese driver’s exam to get the clearance to drive there, and may people fail on their first or second attempts. It takes place in a closed course and involves a slew of unique rules, like cutting off two-wheeled vehicles, reversing the vehicle if you scrape the curb, and overall physical fitness.
  • Ghana: The country’s driving code encourages some questionable behavior behind the wheel, such as retaliating to others’ infractions by honking the horn and flashing the lights. Surely that won’t trigger road rage.
  • North Korea: There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in North Korea, including on its driving exam. To get the highest possible grade, an applicant must be able to assemble a functioning vehicle.

Now you probably feel like your own driving test wasn’t that bad, eh?

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Sources: Barrington Freight, Jalopnik