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Getting a Chinese Drivers License

Getting a Chinese Drivers License

Old Aug 27, 19, 6:07 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by Deltus View Post
It's certainly written in poor English, which I understand to be a highlight of the real test... Anyone know what a "safety pillow" is? I'm assuming either an airbag or a headrest, but it's not obvious...

And the actual reason I'm bumping this thread... Where should I go in Beijing to get a translation of my UK driving licence?
Right. Studying for this is painful. Sometimes you just have to memorize. I remember with the study guide that sometimes I could not understand the question and, looking at the right answer (multiple choice), I still could not figure out what they were talking about.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:03 pm
  #92  
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
Right. Studying for this is painful. Sometimes you just have to memorize. I remember with the study guide that sometimes I could not understand the question and, looking at the right answer (multiple choice), I still could not figure out what they were talking about.
Yep, exactly my experience as well. Even with applying some serious logic, I failed with an 89 on my first attempt. It's nearly impossible to get some of the questions correct due to the bad translations, and ambiguity.

Memorization is key. The app I used had pretty much word-for-word the questions and answers, so there were no surprises when I took it again. 6 hours of studying netted me 99/100.
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Old Aug 29, 19, 12:37 am
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by Deltus View Post
It's certainly written in poor English, which I understand to be a highlight of the real test... Anyone know what a "safety pillow" is? I'm assuming either an airbag or a headrest, but it's not obvious...

And the actual reason I'm bumping this thread... Where should I go in Beijing to get a translation of my UK driving licence?
Unless things have changed, you don't need an "official" (i.e. chopped) translation. I seem to recall my student translated my license and it was fine...

The biggest farcical nature of the DL given that it is a form of ID is the name issue. Only standard 3 character Chinese names allowed. Of course, my wife and I didn't have Chinese names. On the day, at the testing centre, I just phoned a departmental secretary who made up a couple of names for us, and that was that...so our DL names have no official relationship to any other valid documentation. This became an issue when we need to renew our DLs after 7 years. We couldn't provide an ID to confirm that we were the people on our driving licences: this was especially a hassle for the eye check. It didn't help that my wife had completely changed her hairstyle (luckily, I hadn't!). Eventually, with some cajouling, it all got signed off and the rest of the renewal was pretty straightforward.

tb
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Old Aug 29, 19, 4:14 pm
  #94  
 
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I just got my license. Failed the first test and passed the second test on the same day. Questions are nonsensical and you just need to memorize them. As I left the testing facility two Chinese drivers exiting the same testing location ran through a stop sign and almost hit me in the crosswalk. The whole thing is a joke but you need to play the game to get the license.

Now Iím wondering which company will rent a car to me or whether or not I should buy a car.
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Old Aug 29, 19, 4:20 pm
  #95  
 
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
I just got my license. Failed the first test and passed the second test on the same day. Questions are nonsensical and you just need to memorize them. As I left the testing facility two Chinese drivers exiting the same testing location ran through a stop sign and almost hit me in the crosswalk. The whole thing is a joke but you need to play the game to get the license.

Now Iím wondering which company will rent a car to me or whether or not I should buy a car.
I didn't think the process was a joke. There are some very useful questions on there, most of them having to do with road signage.
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Old Aug 29, 19, 9:17 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
I just got my license. Failed the first test and passed the second test on the same day. Questions are nonsensical and you just need to memorize them. As I left the testing facility two Chinese drivers exiting the same testing location ran through a stop sign and almost hit me in the crosswalk. The whole thing is a joke but you need to play the game to get the license.

Now Iím wondering which company will rent a car to me or whether or not I should buy a car.
I just rented a car from 一嗨租车 and everything worked fairly well. Had to give them 3000RMB deposit, but I was able to use a US credit card for that and pay the rental fee with WeChat. I would strongly recommend not getting any traffic violations though...that was quite a pain to get taken care of.

On that note, can anyone tell me what I actually did? My girlfriend had to take the blame for it and didn't bother asking to see the picture. I'm guessing I crossed a solid white line or something?
路机动车违反禁止标线指示的
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Old Aug 30, 19, 5:32 am
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
... As I left the testing facility two Chinese drivers exiting the same testing location ran through a stop sign and almost hit me in the crosswalk. The whole thing is a joke but you need to play the game to get the license.
These two guys may just get a ticket. In some cities they are now enforcing the pedestrian priority at pedestrian crossings very strictly. Nearly all my Chinese friends got a ticket and quickly changed their driving habits.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
These two guys may just get a ticket. In some cities they are now enforcing the pedestrian priority at pedestrian crossings very strictly. Nearly all my Chinese friends got a ticket and quickly changed their driving habits.
Are LEOs actually issuing tickets or is it being done via camera?
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Old Aug 30, 19, 11:02 am
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Are LEOs actually issuing tickets or is it being done via camera?
All done by camera. You very rarely see a police officer giving a ticket. Also this way, they pretty much catch everybody.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 12:07 pm
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
All done by camera. You very rarely see a police officer giving a ticket. Also this way, they pretty much catch everybody.
Yeah I have never seen an officer pull anyone over for speeding. But doing it with cameras is complete BS. There's no way to figure out who's driving if you don't have officers on the scene, and assuming they do get the right person, what witness shows up in court if you contest the ticket?

Thanks for the warning though.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 12:29 pm
  #101  
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Yeah I have never seen an officer pull anyone over for speeding. But doing it with cameras is complete BS. There's no way to figure out who's driving if you don't have officers on the scene, and assuming they do get the right person, what witness shows up in court if you contest the ticket?

Thanks for the warning though.
I have a Chinese friend --who I've lost touch with-- that got into the photo radar business early on (around 2001). He inked contracts at the provincial level in three provinces that gave HIM the lion's share of citation revenues in exchange for providing the cameras/software at no upfront cost to the police stations. I was shocked that he was able to pull it off, but if you have the right connections, and know how to "take care of them", anything goes, I guess.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I have a Chinese friend --who I've lost touch with-- that got into the photo radar business early on (around 2001). He inked contracts at the provincial level in three provinces that gave HIM the lion's share of citation revenues in exchange for providing the cameras/software at no upfront cost to the police stations. I was shocked that he was able to pull it off, but if you have the right connections, and know how to "take care of them", anything goes, I guess.
Which 3 provinces? This sounds like a situation ripe for a lawsuit, and corruption on the level of Chicago/Redflex. In that case, Redflex ended up being exposed as having bribed city officials into being allowed to set up the cameras, and the city hall manager who took the bribes got 10 years in federal prison for his role. The Redflex CEO at the time the contract was signed, as well as the consultant, got shorter terms in exchange for their testimony exposing the scandal. https://www.chicagotribune.com/inves...206-story.html

What it did not do, sadly, is get massive numbers of the tickets that were issued by those cameras that would not have even been there if not for the bribes refunded, because those drivers did technically break the law (although many of the intersections the cameras were installed at never had many crashes in the first place and the number of rear-end accidents at those intersections went up after the cameras were installed). Unless of course those people fought those tickets individually, as I always do. I've gotten 7 tickets in my lifetime, fought every single one of them, and won 6 of the 7 cases. 3 of the 6 cases I got tossed in court were tossed on some sort of technicality (officer didn't put last 4 digits of VIN on the ticket pursuant to California Vehicle Code, signs not compliant with the California MUTCD, cited improper local ordinance). I hope I never get a ticket in China because the most annoying thing ever would be having to fly back to go to court -- and having to take my wife along as the translator since I'm not proficient in the local language. And on top of that, in California, I can do the research required for my case in around 5-10 hours, whereas this would probably take days due to the language issue.

Last edited by STS-134; Aug 30, 19 at 4:01 pm
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Old Aug 30, 19, 5:09 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Yeah I have never seen an officer pull anyone over for speeding. But doing it with cameras is complete BS. There's no way to figure out who's driving if you don't have officers on the scene, and assuming they do get the right person, what witness shows up in court if you contest the ticket?

Thanks for the warning though.
The fine goes to the owner of the car, not the driver. If the owner is not driving, up to him to try to collect from whoever was driving the rented or borrowed car.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 5:53 pm
  #104  
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Which 3 provinces? This sounds like a situation ripe for a lawsuit, and corruption on the level of Chicago/Redflex.
I'm not going to name the 3 provinces on a public forum for a multitude of reasons, but I will say that the gravy train did come to an end eventually (without any serious fallout for the parties involved, though).
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Old Aug 31, 19, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
The fine goes to the owner of the car, not the driver. If the owner is not driving, up to him to try to collect from whoever was driving the rented or borrowed car.
What about points on the license? If they go to the owner, then the owner would have standing to challenge the ticket. But how would the driver (if it wasn't the owner) challenge the ticket if it's unclear who was actually driving the vehicle? What I know is that running a red light or speeding under 150% of PSL, for example, is 6 points, and if you get 12 points in a 12 month period, your license gets revoked (as far as I understand it, this is a revocation, not a suspension). That's kind of crazy, since in California, each moving violation is 1 point (generally, except for some serious ones which are 2 points). But you'd need to rack up 4 points in 12 months, 6 in 24 months, or 8 in 36 months before your license gets suspended. So if I get any ticket, I'm challenging it no matter what, because even mundane stuff is basically equivalent to 2 points in California, and one more violation means I'd have to go through the whole process of getting a new license over again. In most cases, I've found that the people who issue the tickets or put up signs are pretty sloppy, and half the time I can find something in there where they didn't cross their t's or dot their i's and I can get it dismissed. Last one was a BS parking ticket in Santa Cruz where the City put up a sign sideways (parallel to traffic) on a parking meter, which conflicted with what was written on the meter itself ("operates 8 am to 8 pm every day except for <select holidays named>"). Not only was this secondary sign not compliant with the MUTCD in both colors and text, it was mounted way too low (signs are required to be a minimum of 7 feet above the ground), and mounted in the wrong orientation (signs should always be facing the direction of traffic) on top of that. Easy dismissal.

By the way, one person (not on FT as far as I know) told me that there was a camera at the exit of a major company's parking lot in Shenzhen or Guangzhou that was issuing tickets to people turning left legally (like, the camera was literally malfunctioning, and issuing tickets to people it shouldn't have been). So these cameras apparently can and do screw things up. And this apparently continued for months because no one took responsibility to fix the damn thing.

Also it seems like this opens things up to corruption if the vehicle owner can identify anyone as the driver and have the points put on his or her record instead the owner's. As in "Hey, I'm leaving China, and won't be coming back for 13 months. Got any traffic tickets? If you pay me the amount of the fine + 1000 RMB, you may identify me as the driver and I'll take the points, because they'll be gone by the time I get back here".

Last edited by STS-134; Aug 31, 19 at 6:45 pm
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