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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Get your Motor Running! Head out on the (International) Highway!

Here is the problem with being a librarian: we have to verify everything. Last night, in a discussion of driving rules, a friend of mine mentioned that the Swiss require you to see a psychiatrist if you fail your driver's test three times. The psychiatrist determines if you are mentally stable enough to attempt the test for a fourth, and final, time. I thought to myself, "Oh, he's got to be kidding." Oh, ye of little faith! Not only do they require a visit to the psychistrist after three failed tests (which, admittedly, is a lot), there is also a mandatory 10-hour first aid course and an 8-hour "traffic-awareness" course you must complete.

I have to say that the first aid course makes sense, since if you're that bad of a driver, you're certain to get in a wreck at some point, right? Here are some other fun facts about international driving tests:

  • If you hold a Mississippi driver's license, you do not have to take the written part of the driver's exam in Germany, just the road test. Of course, if you hold an Alabama driver's license, you don't have to take either.

  • In Spain, you have three chances to pass the driving and written portions of the licensing test. On the written test, there are 40 questions, of which you can only miss three. After you fail one or both of the tests your maximum of three times, you must pay to get three more chances. The point that would drive me crazy (ha ha!) is the fact that you aren't told what you have missed. What's a perfectionist to do?!

  • To obtain a driver's license in Egypt, you not only have to submit copies of medical and eye exams, you also have to provide copies of educational degrees.

If you are planning a trip abroad any time soon and want to be able to zip around on your own, check out this information about the International Driving Permit available from AAA. You can also obtain this from the AATA. Some countries recognize an American driver's license, some require the additional IDP, and some just flat out won't let you drive in their country. Be sure to check the rules before you go!

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