Chinese Vocabulary for Getting a Driver’s License in China Posted by Ayana on Feb 22, 2021 in Vocabulary
Driving any motor vehicle (机动车 jī dòng chē) in China requires a driving license.
In formal documents, a driver’s license will appear as 驾驶执照 (jià shǐ zhí zhào), or 驾驶证 (jià shǐ zhèng). Both terms include the verb 驾驶 (jià shǐ) which means to drive, to pilot. The common term used in spoken language is shorter and includes an abbreviation of this verb: 驾照 jià zhào.
The main verb indicating a possession of a driving license is 有 (yǒu, to have). For example:
Wǒ hái méi yǒu jià zhào.
I don’t have a driver’s license yet.
Wǒ bù zhī dào tā yǒu méi yǒu jià zhào, tā zài nà biān dōu shì qí mǎ de.
I don’t know if he has a driver’s license, they ride horses there.
Nǐ yǒu jià zhào ma? Guò qù yǒu, kě shì bèi diào xiāo le.
Do you have a driving license? I had, but it was revoked.
Xiǎng kāi chē, xiān ná zhèng, ná jià zhào. Dàn shì, kāi chē nián líng yǒu xiàn zhì. Gè guó duì shēn qǐng jià shǐ zhí zhào de zuì dī nián líng yǒu bù tóng de biāo zhǔn. Yào qǔ dé jià shǐ zhí zhào, xū yào fú hé zuì dī nián líng.
If you want to drive, get a license first, get a driver’s license. However, there are restrictions on driving age. Each country has different standards for the minimum age to apply for a driving license. To obtain a driver’s license, you need to meet the minimum age.
The age minimum in China of applying for a driving license is 18. If you already celebrated your 18th birthday and you wish to obtain a driver’s license (获得驾照 huò dé jià zhào) you should first sign up for a driving school (报名驾校 bào míng jià xiào). There are many driving schools, and varied options to choose from (驾校的选择多种多样, jià xiào de xuǎn zé duō zhǒng duō yàng). The driving school guides its students through the four exams process. It costs thousands of RMB (starting from 3,000 Yuan) and takes a couple of months to get the license.
The first exam is a written exam. 科目一 (kē mù yī, subject one), also known as the theory test (理论考试 lǐ lùn kǎo shì), is a theoretical examination on laws and traffic regulations, road safety laws and basic concepts on vehicles. It consists of 100 questions. To pass the exam one needs to get at least a 90 score. Click here for free online practice of questions from the theory test.
The subject two examination (科目二考试, kē mù èr kǎo shì), also called the small road test (小路考, xiǎo lù kǎo), includes basic driving maneuvers. It covers reverse perpendicular parking, parallel parking, hill start, S turns, and angle turns. The test takes place in an open field, and not on a real traffic road, leaving road safety and traffic laws aside. Watch a small road test for example in the next video:
The subject three examination (科目三考试, kē mù sān kǎo shì), also called the big road test (大路考, dà lù kǎo), takes place on a real road.
Subject four (科目四 kē mù sì) is another theoretical test.
Kǎo wán hòu, jiù néng ná dào jiàzhàole.
After you finish the exams you can get your driving license.
According to China’s traffic laws, everyone must keep their driver’s license with him or her when driving. The common verb to use for carrying a driver license is 带 (dài, to carry, to take). 携带 (xié dài, to carry, to take along) can also be used. For example:
Àn zhào Zhōngguó de jiāo tōng fǎ guī, kāi chē shì xū yào suí shēn xié dài jià shǐ zhèng de.
According to China’s traffic laws, carrying a driver’s license is required when driving.
Wō, wǒ wàng le bǎ jià zhào dài zài shēn shang.
Oh, I forgot to bring my driver’s license with me.
Yǒu shí hòu wǒ men nán miǎn huì wàng jì dài jià shǐ zhèng.
Sometimes we inevitably forget our driver’s license.
Nǐ dài le nǐ de lín shí jià zhào ma? Méi yǒu, wǒ méi zhǎo dào.
Did you bring your temporary driver’s license? No, I didn’t find it.
Drive safe, every one!
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