Colorado and Japan Reach Licensing Deal, Because Why Not?
Per a press release from the Colorado DMV, dated April 24, 2023, the state has come to terms with the country of Japan on a deal to simplify the process of getting a driver's license. Yes, you have read that correctly: the Centennial State and the nation of Japan have agreed to make it simple to get a driver's license when you move from one to the other. Well, alright then.
Don't get me wrong: as someone who has had to get a new driver's license a lot in my life, due in no small part to a radio career that has taken me all over this great nation, I can sympathize with the desire to make that process as painless as possible. However, is migration to and from Japan really that important to Colorado? I mean, does this happen so often that we needed to, effectively, put together a treaty?
Not that there's any good reason not to do it, though. Honestly, being able to migrate to Japan and get my driver's license without having to take the written test does appeal to me. That's mostly because I can't read or write in Japanese, which would presumably make it impossible to take the test anyway, but I'm still mostly behind the concept here.
The press release also points out that Japan is actually Colorado's 6th largest trading partner, which I did not know. If that's the case, you'd have to assume there are a lot of shipping companies with drivers that they'd like to be able to license for local deliveries, right? Once you add in the business aspect of this story, it starts to make more sense why this was a priority.
All that being said; I have never been to Japan, so I'm not entirely sure how different their rules of the road would be from ours. Is it really wise to take away a requirement that forces people to learn them? There are other requirements that must be met as well, and it will take time for the full effects of this deal to be felt. I just hope the time in-between isn't filled with confused, but licensed drivers running into each other and causing an international incident.