Chinese driver’s license

In order to be able to drive in China in the first place, we need of course a driver’s license. We both do have a Dutch one, but that’s not good enough for the Chinese. Neither is an international one. Getting a Chinese driver’s license though isn’t that difficult. It just requires a lot of chops, paperwork, a medical examination and a written test.

On a late afternoon in February 2013 we went to the Shanghai Vehicle Management Bureau and quickly went through all the necessary steps, requiring us to visit a couple of different buildings. All the paperwork and chops are done now. And we passed the medical exam. That consisted of I think six different tests, ranging from a hearing test, where we had to identify one beep in our left ear, had to undergo an eyepopping eye test, colorblindness test, blood pressure test and heart examination among others. It sounds serious business, but it isn’t at all. Within 15 minutes we were outside again. We passed all the tests.

复兴中路, where we live in Shanghai

复兴中路, where we live in Shanghai

Now it’s time to study, since we need to memorize about 1500 questions on China’s road traffic laws, traffic signs and driving techniques and etiquette. Anyone who has ever participated in Chinese traffic, knows how illogical and choatic traffic situations can be and some of the questions are a reflection of that feeling I guess. Like this one:

When running on an expressway, the driver should ____ if he has missed the exit.
A. Reverse to the original place
B. Continue to go ahead and find the next exit
C. Immediately stop
D. Make a U turn from where he is

Most of the questions are fairly straightforward though like this one:

When having a contradiction or dispute with other people, the driver should ______.
A. Let off his emotions when driving
B. Drive with emotions
C. Drive in a rage
D. Calm down before driving again

And some of the questions have a distinct Chinese character, like these ones:

The driver may drive a motorized vehicle __________________.
A. After drinking alcohol
B. When he suffers from a disease that impedes safe driving
C. When he is exhausted
D. After drinking tea


When driving, the driver may spit to the road or street out of the window.

We both feel confident we can pass the test on March 14th, when our exam is scheduled to take place and we hopefully receive our Chinese driver’s license. Next step will be buying our car to make the journey to The Netherlands next year.

Stay tuned!

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