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Why is the Chinese Driver’s License Important

Regardless of whether you possess an international driver’s license or any foreign driver’s license, it’s a requirement to have a Chinese driver’s license for you to drive in China. This is because foreign and international driver’s licenses are not recognized in China. Therefore foreigners who may want to drive cars in China are required to apply for the Chinese driver’s license. It is also compulsory for residents of Hongkong, Macau and Taiwan to apply for the China driver’s license for them to drive in the Chinese mainland. However, this application is only limited to people who have a valid residence permit in China.

Procedures to be followed by foreigners who may need to acquire a Chinese driver’s license.

I. Applications should be made to the motor vehicle administration.
Eligible applicants should possess a valid foreign driver’s license since international driver’s license holders will be disqualified.

II. Necessary Documentation
The following documents are mandatory for the application process.

  • Motor vehicle driving license application form.
  • Applicant’s original and duplicate identification credentials.
  • A Medical examination report issued by a county level hospital or a higher level hospital. However, individuals working with foreign embassies, consulates and international organizations and are in possession of a valid foreign driver’s license need not to meet this requirement.
  • Applicant’s original and a copy of the foreign driver’s license. This should be accompanied by a translation of the foreign license to a Chinese version.
  • Five 1-inch color photos with a white background

III. Test

(1) After an application is approved by the Motor Vehicle Administration, the applicant becomes a candidate for course 1 test. If the applicant intends to drive either of the following; large-size passenger vehicles, tractors, mid-size passenger vehicles, mid or large-size freight vehicles, he/she should appropriate time to take course 3 test.

(2) Both courses can be taken in a single test period. Incase of failure in either of the tests, they can be retaken but only once. Therefore the second attempt becomes the final one and after a subsequent fail the applicant should re-apply for the tests. However, an application for course 3 test becomes applicable after a period of 20 days. Note carefully that the successful test(s) portray the applicant’s current status during the valid period of the 'Driving Test Permit’.

(3)An applicant who behaves in a manner as to suggest fraudulent or inappropriate behavior will be disqualified for the tests and all his previous results nullified.

IV. License issue

Upon completion of all the tests satisfactorily, the Motor Vehicle Administration will issue the driver's license to the applicant within five working days.

V. The Motor Vehicle Administration shall apply the principle of diplomatic reciprocity and issue the employees of foreign embassies, consulates and international organizations with the driver’s license within five days upon acceptance.