Age: The first major difference between getting a driver's license in the USA versus Germany is the age that you can get it. Germans are shocked when they hear that some U.S. states allow people as young as 14 to drive. She doesn't think Germans understand how empty these states are. Believe us, there is nothing you can run into in South Dakota! Most states do not let teenagers get their driver's permit until 15 or 16 years old. Others, like Wyoming, Kansas, and Iowa, allow permits for 14 year old. Most of these states, however, do not allow teenagers to receive a restricted or full license until they are 15 or 16 years old. The exception to this is South Dakota. If you take driver's education you can receive your license at 14 and 3 months, if not, you have to wait until 14 and 6 months. Not sure if that is scary or awesome!
The latest age you can first get your permit is 16 (e.g., New York and New Jersey) and everyone who passes all the necessary tests can have at least a restricted license at 17. The latest age to receive an unrestricted license in any state is 18 (e.g., Massachusetts, New Hampshire). She grew up in California and received her permit at 15 and 6 months, her restricted license at 16 and her full license at 16 and 6 months.
He, on the other hand, grew up in Germany where you can start driving at 17 with parental supervision and 18 without. If the license is received at 17, it is after taking both the written and driving test, just like a 18 year old would. Then, for the next year, the licensed driver can only drive with a parent in the car. This option was not even available when he was younger.
Cost: Getting a driver's license is never cheap but there is cost and then there is COST. Getting a driver's license in Germany is a big expense and can easily cost over 1000 euros. A major reason for this is because you must take a class, participate in a large number of behind the wheel driving classes which are expensive, and then even rent the car (and you driving instructor) for the day of your examination. In the USA you can save money by skipping the class (although this often means you have to be a bit older to get you license) or you can take driver's education as a class in high school --> free! Additionally, because you can practice driving with your parents, you do not need to pay for many hours of driving with a driving school (she took only six hours when she got her license) and you use your own car for the examination, meaning that you do not need to rent the car from the driving school (or the instructor).
An additional difference is that in Germany you receive a special license if you take your test in an automatic car which says that you cannot drive manual cars in Germany. In the USA, it does not matter what type of car you take you test in, all licenses are the same. This is probably because a large percentage of cars in America are automatic and it is unlikely that someone who did not learn on a manual car would ever need to drive one.
|Hey, it is Ed McMahon's license! (www.julienslive.com)|
We will save the differences in driving in the USA and Germany another time!