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Much have been written on E2 about issuing a driver's license in different parts of the world, the requirements for it and the process itself. I hope that this node will become a home for all those poor scattered write-ups.

Location: Israel.

In Israel, any person at the age of 17 or older can be issued a driver's license. In contrast to many other places in the world, in Israel you are required to learn how to drive with a teacher who was trained for it and is associated with one of the driving schools across the country. The minimum number of driving lessons required before taking the driving exam now stands at 28. You are allowed to take the driving exam only after you have passed the written exam. The written exam consists of 30 questions with 4 options to each; you may have up to 4 wrong answers to pass the exam. After you have passed the written exam and have taken 28 driving lessons, if your driving teacher agrees that you are in fact ready, you may decide it is time to take the driving exam.

If you fail the driving exam, are you required to take several more driving lessons and wait a period of 15 days (many teachers will have you wait 2 months).

Statistically, only 5% actually pass their first driving exam, most people nail it on the second or third try, some require up to 6 exams, and others may need even more to do it right.

In the first two months after you have passed the driving exam, you may not drive alone and you are required to be accompanied by another driver who has a valid driver's license for the past 5 years.

You are considered a new driver in the first two years and are required to have a little yellow 'New Driver' sign attached to your rear window. You are also a young driver until the age of 24, resulting in increased insurance payments.

The driver's license is one of the 3 identification documents in Israel, the others are a social id card and a passport.

An Israeli driver's license is valid in dozens of other countries, too many to name.

State of Indiana, United States of America

Following on my work permit writeup, I once again expose possible bugs in Indiana law.

I turned 23 on October 1, 2003. I do not plan to learn to drive a car any time within the next two years because I've read horror stories about $4,000 per year auto insurance on a $4,000 car for a young male driver. Still, I was reading the Indiana Driver's Manual (http://www.in.gov/bmv/driverlicense/manual/DMV.pdf) one night and discovered a couple, erm, inconsistencies.

A bootstrap problem of practice driving

The current Indiana driver license law has a bootstrap problem which is resolved only through a grandfather clause.

Indiana law: According to the Indiana Driver's Manual, an individual holding a learner permit may not practice driving unless there is a licensed driver in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. If the holder of the learner permit is not yet 18, this licensed driver must be the learner permit holder's parent or legal guardian. Therefore, it appears that if no licensed drivers are present in an area, then no person holding a learner permit may practice driving in that area.

Indiana law: According to the Indiana Driver's Manual, an individual may not become a licensed driver without passing a road skills test given either by the BMV or by a state-approved driver education course. I'm assuming that a person who has not practiced driving would fail a road skills test.

Indiana law: A person who fails a road skills test may not take another road skills test for fourteen days. Therefore, it would be impractical to use a road skills test as a way to practice driving in the absence of licensed drivers. Therefore, a hypothetical remote area in Indiana without existing licensed drivers cannot produce a new licensed driver. Therefore, licensed drivers exist today only because some people practiced driving before Indiana began to require driver licenses and were grandfathered into the system.

A second bootstrap problem of vehicle registration

The current Indiana driver license law has a second bootstrap problem which is also resolved only through a grandfather clause.

Indiana law: According to the Indiana Driver's Manual, an individual who has practiced driving may not become a licensed driver without passing a road skills test using a vehicle that has been registered. Therefore, an area in Indiana without existing registered vehicles cannot produce a new licensed driver.

Indiana law: A vehicle must be insured before it can be registered. Based on quotes I've seen at auto insurance companies' web sites, they seem to sell insurance only to already licensed drivers. Therefore, it takes a licensed driver to own the registered vehicle that produces another licensed driver. Apparently, auto insurance was not mandatory many years ago.

Getting to the BMV after moving

The current Indiana driver license law has what could be a problem for residents who have recently moved house within Indiana.

Indiana law: IC 9-24-13-4 requires a person whose address has changed to immediately file a change of address in person at a BMV or face suspension of license. But if a license is suspended for reasons of a recent change of address, how would a person who depends on an automobile transport himself to the BMV? Not all communities in Indiana have a usable city bus system or other public transportation.

Noddy couldn't work

Noddy, of Enid Blyton's 'Noddy' books and the 'Noddy in Toyland' TV series, is a little wooden boy who drives a taxicab. In appearance, he could almost be mistaken for some artists' renditions of Pinocchio. (Enid Blyton Ltd denies any resemblance.) If a portal appeared between Noddy's native Toyland and a fictional replica of the State of Indiana, even disregarding identification issues, Noddy would probably not be able to work in such an Indiana.

Indiana law: According to the Indiana Driver's Manual, only an individual holding a public passenger chauffeur (PPC) license may carry passengers for hire, and an individual employed by a taxicab company may not become a licensed PPC until age 18.

Indiana law: However, a person holding a foreign driver license and an international driving permit, but the Driver's Manual does not make clear whether or not an international PPC license holder can drive a taxi in Indiana.

In the TV series, Noddy looks and sounds much younger than Toyland's equivalent of an 18-year-old human male would. Specifically, his voice sounds like the voice of a boy who has not gone through puberty. Therefore, a fictional Indiana that obeyed the real Indiana's laws would not let Noddy drive a taxicab.

Not that this is a bad thing. That said, I'm boycotting Enid Blyton Ltd for an entirely different reason: the company's policy, stated in an unpublished e-mail message, is that unofficial fan sites infringe its copyrights.

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