Learning to drive is often daunting, but if you feel the need for speed and you want to get behind the wheel as fast as possible, it is probably time to get your own driver’s license. It sounds really easy, but in order to get one, you need to be informed about all the relevant laws and requirements.
Driver’s licenses are issued by individual states, districts, or territories, by following the rules of the specific area. For example, in Canada, everything is governed on a province-to-province basis and, most commonly, you can start learning at the age of 16.
Although regulations vary, the essentials include the age limit, special needs, and the type of vehicle an individual chooses to drive. However, all of these crucial points will determine the type of license your must have to start driving freely.
Standard License Types
Every driver’s license has its own class (A, B, C, or Class 1, 2, etc.) which determines what type of vehicle can be used in driving and the type of authorization you are given with the particular license. There are several license classes for most countries among which these common types include:
Commercial license (Class 1-4)
Starting with the Class number 1, this allows you to drive semi-trailer trucks and other 1-5 classes of motor vehicles or their combination. However, motorcycles are not allowed with this license.
Class 2 includes driving buses, whether for school or another activity; you are allowed to drive any vehicle approved in Class 4 and 5. Moreover, Class 3 is for driving trucks with more than two axles like the large tow trucks or garbage trucks, but not a bus with passengers in it. There are no limits concerning the towing of another vehicle, and you can drive any means of transportation listed in Class 5. Accordingly, this license allows you to drive a mobile truck crane as well.
Before passing on to Class 4, there is something that needs to be mentioned first. This Class is divided into:
- Unrestricted: Busses and special activity vehicles with the capacity of sitting 25 persons (including the driver). Furthermore, this is a licence for taxi drivers, limousines, ambulance, and any vehicle from Class 5.
- Restricted: Taxi, limousine, and special needs drivers mentioned above are limited to driving 10 people in total, including themselves. The payment is included for services such as Uber or Lyft. Of course, any vehicle from Class 5 can be also used with this license.
Driver’s license (Class 5 or 7)
For driving cars, trucks, vans, construction vehicles, motorhomes, and utility vehicles. Also, this category includes riding all-terrain vehicles at a limited speed. It provides towing trailers of up to 4,600 kg or other means of transportation, as well as riding 3-wheeled vehicles but not 3-wheeled motorcycles or motorcycle/sidecar combinations.
Motorcycle licence (Class 6 or 8)
This gives you a permission to ride motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles and cycles.
Obligatory Fees & Additional Requirements
Mandatory costs and details differ as they depend on the state. Every issued license has a certain time period of use and its validation ranges from 4 to 8 years. Additionally, some states charge separate fees, while others require one payment that covers all license costs. The range of prices varies from low, medium to high-fee areas, where the costs are slightly over $100. You can go to your DMV to find out the costs of your driver’s license or look up the information online.
Still, there is one more condition to expect before taking the official driver’s tests. All commercial driver’s license classes are required to submit a medical report before scheduling the written and road test. A doctor will obtain your medical history and check out your blood pressure, vision, and assess your mental and physical fitness, and determine whether you are able to drive safely.
Be Prepared to Pass the Test
No matter if this is your first test or not, your nerves can get the best of you when it’s time to prove your knowledge and skill levels. To avoid stress and ensure that you pass with flying colors the first time, trust your instinct, eliminate mistakes, and focus on the following points:
- Study – Although you might think you know it all, set aside a few hours a day for learning or going over what you have learned so far.
- Find tests online – There are plenty of online driving test you can use to correctly prepare.
- Get familiar with the area of your test center – Another way to ensure that you pass the driving test is to have someone drive you around the roads you may be tested on.
- Keep your perspective – The usual mistakes that cause people to fail seem minor, but they endanger the environment. So, stay focused and be aware of your surroundings.
This is all the basic information you need to get a driver’s license. Look for the regulations in your state and get all the necessary forms to apply for a license. Don’t forget to dress well for the picture and to rest the night before taking the test. Good luck!