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BY COLUMNISTS

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The Tentacle


Up The Age For Driving Privileges

April 5, 2002

In response to Ronald Wolf's article 'States Need to Raise the Age for a Driver's License'. (March 25) I couldn't agree more! In the UK the driving age is 17. The driving hours required before you can take a test far exceeds the hours here in America.

Another thing the DMV & MVA should examine is the way they pass out licenses to foreigners without requiring that they take a driving test!

When I was 18 yrs old I came into this country with a paper international drivers license obtained from my home country of UK. How did I obtain it? I simply requested one and it was mailed to me. This allowed me to drive in any country (without any knowledge of the road laws).

After a few months in USA I went to a DMV in Williamsburg, VA, and asked for an American Drivers License. The DMV told me 'because I held an international drivers license all I would need to do is take a written test', I took it - barely passed and then collected my new license.

Back then, I was young and didn't think twice about the procedures, but now I look back on it and think I'm lucky to be alive! I had no clue about the American driving laws, fluked through a test and then became a potential hazard to other drivers and I probably wasn't the only clueless foreigner on the road!

DMV and MVA should really look into the way foreigners easily obtain US licenses. Was I a slip up in the system, or is this common practice?

Nicola George, Sacramento, CA


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