What is a driver license?
In China and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, a Driver’s license is issued by the traffic administrative department of the public security organ. It permits the holder of the driver’s license to drive the vehicle type for which the license has been granted.
Chinese driver license and road traffic safety law
The Chinese laws regarding road safety, vehicle registration, driver license, role of government agencies, etc are laid down in “Law of the People's Republic of China on Road Traffic Safety” (Chinese: 中华人民共和国道路交通安全法). This law came into effect in 2005. Section 2 (Motor Vehicle Drivers) covers the rules related to driver’s license. The Chinese motor vehicle driving license (simplified Chinese: 机动车驾驶证, pinyin: Jīdòngchē Jiàshǐzhèng) is the driver’s license that is issued by the traffic administrative department of the public security bureau of the People's Republic of China. Residents of the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau have to get their licenses from their respective traffic authorities.
The minimum age in China for getting a driving license for a car is 18 years. The minimum age for getting a driving license for large buses is 26 years. To apply for a driver’s license, the applicant should approach the traffic administrative department of the Hukou area where they reside.
The Chinese driver license number is the same as the “Resident Identification Card" (RIC). The 18 digit number consists of 6 digit Address code (example: 210282 for Pulandian city), 8 digit date of birth in YYYYMMDD format, 3 digit order code (men are assigned even numbers and women odd numbers) and last 1 digit checksum that confirms the validity of the identification number. Only personnel in active duty with the Chinese armed services may have their driver’s license number different from their RIC. Prior to October, 2004, the RIC and driver’s license numbers were 15 digits. New driver licenses are printed by special printers as an anti-fraud measure.
China also has a system of keeping accumulative scores for vehicle drivers who violate road safety laws. In China, traffic moves on the right hand side of the road. Unfortunately, one person is killed every five minutes due to road traffic related injuries.
Visitors to China cannot use their International Driver’s License because the International Convention on Driving Licenses was ratified in September 1949, whereas China became a republic in October 1949. Visitors have to apply for either a temporary or permanent Chinese driver’s license.
Content of a Chinese driver’s license
A typical Chinese driver’s license has the License Number, Full Name of the license holder, license holder’s gender, nationality, address, date of birth, date of issue of the license, date the license is valid from (usually the issue date), how long the license is valid (6 years, 10 years, long term), license class (15 different classes), serial number (12 digit), photograph, license issuing authority (Traffic Police Brigade, Public Security Bureau) and seal of issuing authority.
Chinese driver’s license – License Classes
Driver’s license holder can only drive the class of vehicle for which the license has been allocated. The 15 different license classes are as follows:
A1 - Large Passenger Bus and A3, B1, B2
A2 - Towing Vehicle and B1, B2, M
A3 - City Public Transport Bus and C1
B1 - Medium Passenger Bus and C1, M
B2 - Large Goods Truck and C1, M
C1 - Car and C2, C3
C2 - Automatic Transmission Car
C3 - Low-speed Goods Vehicle and C4
C4 - Three-wheel Motor Vehicle
D - Three-wheel Motorbike and E
E - Two-wheel Motorbike and F
F - Light Motorcycle
M - Motorized Bicycle
N - Trolleybus
P – Tram, Railroad car
Driver's license certified translation required by the United States Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
In the United States, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the state level government agency that oversees driver licenses and vehicle registration. The translation team at The Certified Translation translates Chinese driver’s licenses into English in the format that is required by the DMV. Our translators certify that the Chinese to English translation of the driver’s license is both complete and accurate. Our translators will also certify that they are competent to translate from Chinese (and other regional Chinese languages) to English.
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