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20 of the world’s most obscure driving licence factsBack


DVLA staff are testing a new driving licence app this month ahead of a possible roll-out to motorists next year.

According to reports, the technology is undergoing “private staff testing” this month.

The digital version will not replace plastic licences, but can still be used as ID.

The UK has one of the strictest driving tests in the world and one of the best road safety records, but things are a lot different in other countries.

Trusted Dealers has put together 20 of the world’s most obscure driving licence facts:


1. Karl Benz, inventor of the modern car, had to receive written permission from the authorities to operate his car on public roads in 1888 after residents complained about the noise and smell of his motorwagen – in effect this was the first driving licence.

2. Until 2002, women in Lithuania had to undergo a gynaecological examination before they could get a driving licence.

3. Part of the Japanese driving test involves checking for cats underneath your car. You can fail your test for not bending down low enough.

4. Hungarian drivers need to complete a first aid course before they can get their driving licence.

5. In China, examiners may ask candidates what they would need to if their car happens to plunge into water.

6. In some US states, you can legally drive a car by yourself from the age of 14.

7. The practical test in Pakistan involves driving through a short series of cones. The pass rate is around 80 per cent.

8. In 2016, Britain’s oldest motorist was a man of 111, while the oldest woman was 108. The 111-year-old would have been learning to drive back in 1922.

9. The Spanish Highway Code is three times longer than in its UK counterpart yet Spain has one of Europe’s worst figures for deaths on their roads. Learners share the car with other candidates, taking turns driving for an examiner

10. In Brazil, drivers must pass a psychological exam before obtaining a licence. They also learn special driving techniques that could help them escape from potentially life-threatening situations on the road.

11. The world’s first speeding ticket was issued in 1902 in Kent – a time when most cars struggled to hit 45mph.

12. Recent legislation introduced in Russia excludes transsexual and transgender citizens, exhibitionists and voyeurs, fetishists, pathological gamblers and compulsive thieves from holding driving licences.

13. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, didn’t have a driving licence until he was 56.

14. In Finland, drivers must complete two years of training before they can get their licence, and performing a skid is part of the test.

15. Drivers in Italy start with 20 points on their licence and only lose them for bad driving.

16. It is forbidden to smoke while driving in North Korea, in case you fail to smell a problem with the car.

17. Japanese drivers over the age of 75 have to display a special sign in the back of their car.

18. Steve Jobs never had a licence plate on his cars due to a loophole in Californian state law.

19. Western African nation Niger has the highest minimum driving age in the world. No one can drive a car until they’ve passed their 23rd birthday.

20. Britain’s oldest driving instructor died last month at the age of 97. Laura Thomas, from Pembroke Dock, West Wales, got more than 1,000 pupils through the test over 78 years.

Posted by Beth Rose on 11/09/2017