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I don't know how about in the UK, but here in Poland (and I know, we have quite a few different kinds of papers) to merely take the exam you need to show some kind of ID. It sounds reasonable to me, just to make sure it's you passing the exam and not your professionally-driving friend.

Now, given that the wizarding community is hiding, I don't see how any of them could have any kind of 'official' identification and take part in any muggle affairs that require it, including taking a driving exam. Was this somehow dealt with in canon? Or any plausible explanation? The fact that it took him 19 years did allow for some preparations.


Edit: There are two reasons why I don't believe that he could've Confunded the examiner.

First, the exact quote about the exam:

“Parked all right, then?” Ron asked Harry. “I did. Hermione didn’t believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought I’d have to Confund the examiner.”

“No, I didn’t,” said Hermione, “I had complete faith in you.”

“As a matter of fact, I did Confund him,” Ron whispered to Harry, as together they lifted Albus’s trunk and owl onto the train. “I only forgot to look in the wing mirror, and let’s face it, I can use a Supersensory Charm for that.”

This clearly states the examiner was Confunded in the middle of the exam. The presentation of ID is likely the first thing to do, so it would be too late.

Second, the Confundus charm has some lasting effect on the victim - take for example Dawlish or how Cormac McLaggen behaved after he was Confunded by Hermione during the Quidditch tryouts. The examiner in that case would be in no condition to really assess one's driving skills (or in an emergency stop the car). And I find it hard to believe that altering the exam results in this way is something Hermione would allow as a primary plan.

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    Are wizards hiding themselves or are they hiding their magic? – Kyle Kanos Nov 7 '15 at 12:24
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    They could always do the "I've already showed you my ID" memory adjustment (à la "Those aren't the droids you're looking for"). – BMWurm Nov 7 '15 at 12:51
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    @BMWurm Good point! I've added that to my answer - hope you don't mind :-) – Rand al'Thor Nov 7 '15 at 13:11
  • @randal'thor Of course not :D – BMWurm Nov 7 '15 at 13:22
  • For what it's worth, in the U.S. you need either a government-issued photo ID or a notarized birth certificate. – Joe L. Nov 8 '15 at 4:33
18

In the UK, the ID documents needed to get a driving license are either a UK passport or some other document showing you have the right to be in the country.

Ron could easily have had a UK passport

Ron is a British citizen, having been (presumably) born in Britain, so there's no reason he shouldn't have a UK passport (see below for more details about this).

Now, given that the wizarding community is hiding

You seem to be misunderstanding here. Witches and wizards aren't hiding their existence from Muggles. As Hogsmeade is the only exclusively magical village in the country, most of them must live alongside Muggles, have Muggle neighbours, be accepted within the Muggle community, even while having to keep up some level of secrecy about their jobs, their interests, and their lives.

In the particular case of Ron, he was brought up in a family who obviously has little experience of anything to do with Muggle life (Mr Weasley collecting plugs, marvelling at the "fellytone", being confused by Muggle money, etc.), so he may not have been registered with the Muggle authorities as a British citizen at birth. However, being married to a Muggle-born witch, who will know (or know how to find out) the necessary procedure for getting a Muggle passport, he may well have got himself one in later life. Since he can presumably prove that he was born in the country, he should have no trouble being able to get one.

Alternatively, maybe wizards have passports too. Why are we thinking of them as "Muggle passports"? Remember that there is a Ministry of Magic, which has at least some contact with the Muggle government (the Minister for Magic's meetings with the Prime Minister). Perhaps witches and wizards register their children's birth with the Ministry of Magic, which then sorts matters out with the Muggle ministries so that the children can get British passports.

Or he could have used Confundus.

As BMWurm suggested in a comment on the OP, a wizard like Ron could easily cast a quick spell on the driving test examiner or whichever official is meant to check his passport, to make them think everything is in order with his documents even when he didn't really show them any documents.

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    Well, the fact that wizards are hiding their existence is of doubt. They really have to hide magic, that's true. And they have to live alongside the Muggles and have Muggle neighbours. The don't have to interact with them - simply 'I know someone lives there, I see them sometimes, but they're a bit weird'. And you don't need ID for being neighbour. I haven't seen an ID of any of my neighbours and I don't even know names of many (city, block of flats). And only example of interaction with neighbours I recall is Mrs Figg. – Torinthiel Nov 7 '15 at 13:40
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    As for the passports - that seems a somewhat plausible possibility. 'Official' contacts are limited to MoM -> PM (not even the other way round), but as they've managed to put Kingsley in a high-profile job with little difficulty it's possible they've managed to put a liason at a passport office as well. – Torinthiel Nov 7 '15 at 13:43
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    “But that murder was in the newspapers,” said the Prime Minister, momentarily diverted from his anger. “Our newspapers. Amelia Bones… it just said she was a middle-aged woman who lived alone. It was a — a nasty killing, wasn’t it? It’s had rather a lot of publicity. The police are baffled, you see.” (From "The Other Minister"; HBP) While some wizards choose to remain "invisible", it's only wizarding that's officially hidden. – Stan Rogers Nov 7 '15 at 20:28
  • @StanRogers Yes; good catch. Another example is the reporting of Sirius Black on the loose in the Muggle papers in PoA. – Rand al'Thor Nov 7 '15 at 20:51
  • If they use Confundus on the examiner then why take the test at all? They could just use it on any policeman who stops them or just enchant the car so that policemen do not stop them. The whole idea of the scene is that the wizards are more open to the muggle society and are getting more and more integrated into it. – vap78 Nov 7 '15 at 21:04
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A few possibilities spring to mind:

  1. Ron could have confunded the examiner to skip the identity requirements.

    In fact, we know that he Confunded the examiner because he admitted to doing so! When the test is discussed in the epilogue:

    “Parked all right, then?” Ron asked Harry. “I did. Hermione didn’t believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought I’d have to Confund the examiner.”

    “No, I didn’t,” said Hermione, “I had complete faith in you.”

    “As a matter of fact, I did Confund him,” Ron whispered to Harry, as together they lifted Albus’s trunk and owl onto the train. “I only forgot to look in the wing mirror, and let’s face it, I can use a Supersensory Charm for that.”

    It’s quite possible that he also Confunded the examiner to get past the identification requirements.

    I still have all the paperwork from my UK driving tests, and I can’t see anything specifically noting which identification I took the exam. My ID was checked right at the start, so I assume the examiner wouldn’t have done the test if he was unhappy with it.

  2. Ron may actually have the correct paperwork.

    Remember that he’s married to Hermione, who is (1) well-versed in Muggle culture, and (2) very smart. It’s quite possible she was able to help him get the correct paperwork – this surely can’t be the first time a wizard has needed a passport or similar.

    Quoting from the UK driving test requirements:

    You must bring:

    • your theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you’re not exempt from taking the theory test
    • your driving licence

    The driving theory test is a prerequisite for driving in the UK. I don’t know what he did about that, but I can imagine Hermione forcing him to take it – wizard or not, driving without knowing what road signs mean can be very dangerous and conspicuous.

    The license would be a provisional driving license; this is required for learner drivers, and comes with certain restrictions. (It is also an acceptable form of ID in many places.)

    I can’t remember what happened after my test, but I think sometimes you have to give up the provisional license if you pass. If so, Confunding wouldn’t be an option – the examiner will notice when he can’t find it later.

    Getting a provisional license would be a bit tricky – I’m not sure what he’d do about the passport, card payment or previous addresses – but the Ministry have a department called The Muggle Liaison Office. I can imagine one of their roles is to falsify paperwork for such situations.

  • This exact quote seems to support the idea that he had to Confound the examiner only to pass. Not to merely take that exam. But that's just me reading between the lines here. The Muggle Liason Office - where was it mentioned? Because that's appears exactly what I was looking for. – Torinthiel Nov 7 '15 at 13:47
  • @Torinthiel Your reading of the quote is correct, but I think the fact that he Confunded the examiner lends a bit of weight to that theory. The Muggle Liaison Office is only mentioned twice – once in the opening chapter of Half-Blood Prince, and once in Pottermore. We’re never given a full remit, so I’m guessing at its intended purpose. – alexwlchan Nov 7 '15 at 13:58
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    There's also 'muggle relations' indicated in a leaflet in OotP, chapter 'Career Advice'. – Torinthiel Nov 7 '15 at 21:21
  • Sorry Alex, looks like I outscored you for once! :-) – Rand al'Thor Nov 11 '15 at 3:06
  • In the movie Fantastic Beast did not Newt Scamander go through U. S. Customs using a Muggle British Passport? – dean1957 Sep 15 '17 at 23:51

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