ESL Driver License Vocabulary


Abbreviation for the department of motor vehicles. This is the government office where one would go to apply for a driver license.

“You’ll have to go to the DMV to apply for your license.”

Learner’s Permit

A temporary permission to drive when you are in the process of learning to drive.

“At age 16, in this state, most kids get their learner’s permit so they can start driving.”

Expired driver’s license

A license that is not good anymore. Most states require you to renew your license every four years. if you don’t do this, after four years your license is expired.

“I can’t drive to school today. My license has expired and I forgot to renew it.”

Driver’s Ed

This is a class that people take to qualify to get a driver’s license. A lot of the class is done in a car with an instructor.

“If you want to drive the first step is to enroll in some sort of driver’s ed class.”

Defensive Driving

This is a class people take after getting a ticket. When you finish the class you can get your ticket dismissed. Some people take this class just to get a reduction in the amount paid in insurance premiums.

“Last year, when I got that ticket for speeding, I took a defensive driving class. It took the violation off my record.”


This is the term for being caught driving while drunk. In almost all cases the driver will lose his or her license and have to pay very expensive fines.

“Don’t drive if you are going to drink tonight. You can’t afford a DUI.”

Moving Violation

This is the term for any violation of the law while the car is moving.

“If they get you for a moving violation the fine is going to be a lot of money.”

Suspended License

A license that is not valid because of an unresolved issue like not paying a ticket.

“You can’t drive with a suspended license. If you get pulled over you will be in a lot of trouble.”

Renew Your License

A driver’s license only lasts for a few years. When the license has expired you have to go to the DMV and re apply for the license.

“In this state you have to renew your license every four years.”

Revoked Driver’s License

If a driver commits a certain crime, like a DUI or reckless driving, his license will be taken away for a period. The driver’s license is now considered “revoked” or temporarily taken away. This person will have to pay fines or take a driving course to get his license back in good standing.

“You shouldn’t drive with a revoked driver’s license. If the police stop you they will put you in jail.”


An offical term for a person who operates a vehicle of any kind.

“All motorists have to have a driver’s license.”

Driver’s license points

For every ticket or infraction you receive or commit while driving you receive a certain amount of points towards your license. This is a system that the state will use to track drivers. If you get a certain amount of points in a period of time you could lose your license.

“With that many points on your driver’s license you are going to lose it.”

Driving offense

If you break a traffic or driving law, and you get caught, it is called a driving offense.

“My brother had four driving offenses in one month!”

Driver’s license restrictions

These are conditions that a driver has to meet while using the license and driving the vehicle. The restrictions are listed on the back of the license for the police officer to see. Some example of common driver’s license restrictions are: corrective lenses (needs glasses while driving) and daylight driving only.

“My license has one restriction. I have to drive with corrective lenses.”

Exercises to Practice

  • Driver's License Vocabulary Reading Exercise
  • Driver's License Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks
  • Listening Activity for Driver's License Vocabulary
  • Driver's License Vocabulary Matching