In the United States, all applicants for a driver license (and permit) must have driven a certain number of hours, which varies per state. In some states the number of required hours is very high, presumably to get people to actually hit a lower target that the state really wants. For example, if a state that wants a requirement of 30 hours but assumes people will only do half, then it might state a requirement of 60 hours. (I have no basis for saying that this is what goes on in the states' minds, but I am pretty sure that a lot of people don't do all the required hours.)

Is someone allowed according to halacha to only do half (or some other incomplete amount) of the required hours and report having done all of them? I've heard he might be.

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    Emes means the complete and entire truth. – Gershon Gold Jul 27 '12 at 17:18
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    This sounds illegal, dishonest and morally wrong. Even if it's permissible within a particular reading of halakha, it sounds detestable to me. – Charles Koppelman Jul 27 '12 at 18:06
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    @Dave, this case seems to be somewhat distinct from speeding, since it involves making a false statement and misrepresenting one's level of training. Speeding is a crime, but does not involve dishonesty. Also, there may be varying levels of universally-understood wiggle room. – Isaac Moses Jul 27 '12 at 18:23
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    @HodofHod, I did Drivers Ed in a classroom (for the full number of required hours), and I'm sure that I didn't gain much over breezing through the correspondence materials. The point there is to gain knowledge, not experience. However, there's no substitute for actual hours of practice behind the wheel (or in any skill). – Isaac Moses Jul 27 '12 at 18:33
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    Proposed edit 2: Title: "May one lie to endanger innocent people?" Body: "Lying may increase one's ability to obtain a document that certifies that one has the requisite experience to avoid endangering everyone around him whenever he operates a dangerous device. May one lie?" – Seth J Jul 27 '12 at 19:56

It seems to me that the only thing that really matters here is "dina d'malchusa dina," that Halachah mandates that Jews follow the law of the land. Since this law isn't forcing you to violate Halachah, Halachah mandates that you follow it.

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  • user1750, welcome to Mi Yodeya and thanks for your answer. You can improve it by editing in support for your claim that dina d'malchusa dina applies here. (It doesn't everywhere necessarily.) Also by editing in support for your implied claim that state law forbids lying in this case. I hope to see you around the site! (Oh, and you might wish to choose a personalized username.) – msh210 Jul 27 '12 at 19:24
  • I think there are additional considerations -- the danger (as pointed out by SethJ in comments), whether this fits into the narrow set of topics about which halacha may permit lying, false testimony (legal document)... – Monica Cellio Jul 27 '12 at 20:04
  • @user1750 thank you for your answer but do you know of any reason that this wouldnt be true (as i noted in a comment on the question) – MosheY Jul 27 '12 at 20:16
  • Why is Dina DeMalchutha the underlying issue? It's wrong (and Asur) to lie. – Seth J Jul 27 '12 at 20:27
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    See: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/12133/5 – Seth J Jul 27 '12 at 20:32

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