A transit police officer directs traffic at a Mexico City crosswalk. A transit police officer directs traffic at a Mexico City crosswalk.

Mexico the easiest country in the world to obtain a driver’s license

In Mexico City there is no examination process, just a fee

Mexico is by far the easiest country in the world to get a driver’s license and hit the road, according to a ranking published by the driving education platform Zutobi.

The country scored 8.48 out of 10 for the ease with which citizens can legally get behind the wheel. Aspiring drivers are helped by incredibly loose regulation, Zutobi explains: “… in a large portion of the country, you do not legally have to take a practical test to get a license, just a theory test and moreover, prior to 2018 there was no test at all. Another reason is that you can legally drive at 15 in Mexico which is younger than the majority of countries (who will not let you drive before 18).”

The granting of licenses is regulated at the state level, and so requirements can vary widely. Nonetheless, it is generally a simple procedure, according to the news website Alcaldes de México.

It reports that the general process to gain a license requires an official identification, proof of address, the payment of fees, and in some cases a theoretical exam. Some states go as far as to demand proof of a driver’s competence in a practical exam. However, in Mexico City, one of the cities with the highest density of traffic in the world, there is no examination process.

Gaining official permission is also cheap. In Morelos, the process can cost as little as 686 pesos (about US $34) for a five-year license. In Mexico City, 871 pesos (about $44) does the trick for a three-year license, without any demands of knowledge, experience or proficiency.

The top 15 countries where it is easiest to get a driver's license
The top 15 countries where it is easiest to get a driver’s license. Zutobi

The second easiest country to gain a license is Qatar, where it is still significantly harder than in Mexico. According to the ranking, the nation on the Arabian peninsula scored a more modest 7.39/10.

Other countries that offer little obstruction to learners are Latvia, the United States and Canada. The most difficult countries to get qualified are Croatia, Brazil, Hungary, Bahrain and Montenegro.

Croatia, Zutobi informs “… is the toughest country to get behind the wheel due to their expensive and stringent driving tests that require a minimum amount of learning and monitoring to pass. Average Croatian driving lessons cover about 85 hours on average, and it is a legal requirement to have these lessons before you can even take a test. Croats also have to produce multiple medical clearances and spend around £930 to pass their test and obtain their license.”

The ranking was compiled based on seven indices: the age one can drive, the cost of an exam, whether a theory test is required, whether a practical test is required, whether an eye exam is required, whether a medical exam is required and the hours of mandatory lessons demanded.

With reports from Zutobi, Alcaldes de México and Imagen Radio

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