I also understand that the driving license examination is much more easy in the USA, according to various posts that appeared on this board.
At 18 you can get a normal drivers license, there is no learners permit or anything like that, you can however acquire a license for driving tractors at 16.
To answer clairobscur’s question:
You have to pass two examinations one theoretial that consists of 25 pictures with two to four multiple choice questions each, if you fail any question on a picture, you fail the whole picture. You need atleast 20 pictures correct to pass.
The practical examination consists of a few questions about the car (like how to check your suspension and lights) and about 35 minutes of driving around with a police officer that has been licensed to conduct examinations.
Before you’re allowed all this you need to follow a class and have:
26 lessons of 45 minutes to prepare you for the theoretical examination.
16 lessons of 45 minutes of driving education to prepare you for the practical examination.
4 lessons of 45 minutes on a closed circuit where you learn to drive the car (shift gear etc. examinations must be done in a car with manual shift).
4 lessons of 45 minutes on another closed circuit where you learn evading techniques, emergency braking, driving on wet surfaces and so on.
The cost of all this starts from about 1130 USD and up.