Driver's licenses in Japan and other countries

We researched about the differences between driver’s licenses in Japan and other countries. The reason why we wanted to know about driver’s licenses is that we both have our driver’s licenses. We were also curious about driver’s licenses because they were difficult to get and we heard that people from some other countries can get their driver’s licenses far easier than in Japan. This is because they do not need to take an examination or practice driving. We have also heard that the beginner’s stickers in other countries differ from Japan. When we heard this, we were so surprised. It is because of these reasons that we wanted to know the differences between driver’s licenses around the world.
We took a survey about driving schools and driver’s licenses. We asked about driving schools. You can see the answers from questions 1 to 7 in Table1 below.

1. At what age can you get a car Driver’s license?
15-16 years old 17-18 years old over19 years old
2. In your country, do you have to go to driving school in order to get your driver’s license?
3. What do you learn?
Traffic rules how to drive CPR training other
4. How much does it cost?($US)
Free less than $1,000 $1,000-1,500 $1,500-2,000 $2,000-2,500 more than $2,500
5. How long does it take until you graduate from the driving school?
Less than 1 month 1-2 months 2-3 months 3-6 months more than 6 months
6. In your country, do you have a temporary driver’s license in order to practice driving?
7. Do you need to take an official writing examination or a driving examination in order to get a driver’s license?
Writing examination Driving examination

Table 1 The Results of Driving school

We posted our survey on Survey Monkey .com and we received answers from five people. We will now discuss each question individually. In this figure, there are some different answers for question 1 from the French survey participants. The first person got a driver’s license over the age of 19, but the other two people from France got it when they were 17 or 18 years old. We investigated that there are 22 regions in France so we assume that the age that people are able get their driver’s license depends on the region they live in. In this figure, there are not many big differences between other survey participants. Perhaps most people can get their driver’s license after they graduate from high school.

In the second question, a person from Argentina answered that they do not need to go to a driving school in order to get their license. We thought that was impossible so we searched the internet, but we could not find any Argentine driving schools. We heard from my teacher that people from some countries do not need to go to driving school. Through the survey, we have confirmed that fact. In the third question, all the answers were the same except for Argentina because they do not need to go to a driving school.

You can see the biggest difference between Japan and other counties in the fourth question. The driver’s license fee is the most expensive in Japan. It is almost twice as expensive as the other countries. In our opinion, the price has some correlation to the temporary driver’s license. Please look at question 6. In Japan, there is a temporary driver’s license system. This is a qualification in order to get your driver’s license. This seems to be unique to Japan. There are two steps to get a license in Japan so Japanese people have to pay more money than people from other countries.

In the fifth question, we expect that the time period to get a driver’s license depends on the person. We think that some people can learn to drive quickly but others may need more time before they are ready to take their driving test. In question 7, we found that all people must take a written exam and driving test to get their driver’s license.

Next, you can see the question 8 answers in the figure below.
8. What information appears on your driver’s license?
Table 2 Driver’s license Information

In Question 8, we determined that Japanese licenses have the most extensive list of information on the card. There was some information on the licenses however that was unique to each country. For example, on the Korean card, there is a personal identification number for each person in addition to the usual driver’s license number. This personal ID number is used for medical and employment purposes. In Argentina, the licenses have the driver’s marital status printed on the card which we did not see on any other countries’ license. In Japan, the driver’s record of traffic violations is included on the back of the license. If the driver has any driving violations, they will be listed on the card. This is to enable police to check your driving history faster than using the police computer in their car.

We were able to get pictures of driver’s licenses from France and Korea. The French one is printed on pink paper. Obviously, the French tend to deal with photographs rudely since we noticed they sometimes staple through the forehead of the driver’s picture. The Korean license is made from plastic just like a Japanese license. The Korean license also has a longer period of validity compared to Japanese licenses. Japanese people have to renew every three to five years while Koreans only have to renew every seven to eight years.
Below, you can see examples of French, Korean and Japanese licenses.

French License:

Photo 1 French Driver’s License

Photo 1

Photo 2 Korean Driver’s License

Photo is not available

Photo 3 Japanese Driver’s License

Photo is not available

9. Do you have a beginner’s license sticker in your country? If you have one what does it look like??

Table 3 Beginner’s License Sticker Results

People from France must put an A mark sticker on their car for two years. This is twice as long as the Japanese beginner’s sticker. In Japan, we have to put a fresh leaves on our car for only one year. People are probably good drivers when they take their sticker off after two years in France In Japan, if you put a beginner’s sticker on your car, other drivers will take care when the drive near you. In Argentina, there is no beginner’s sticker to display when you are a beginner driver.

In conclusion, we researched about the differences between driver’s license in Japan and other countries. Through the research, we found that there are many kinds of driver’s licenses. The process to get a driver’s license and to graduate from driving school depends on which country people are from. The biggest point that surprised me was that there is no driving school in Argentina. I wonder how they can drive a car without going to driving school. ( Asami )

There are as many different driver’s licenses as there are countries. I wanted to know about other countries’ driver’s licenses when we gave a presentation in our Business English class so I was happy to research this information. When I go overseas next time, I want to take my driver’s license with me which I will be able to use in the country. I realized that driving schools and driving rules in Japan are much stricter than in other countries. ( Aya )

We hope this report is useful for you. Thank you for reading.

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