|Expatriate Life in China: How to Get Driver’s License|
To drive or not to drive? That is the question for many expatriates living in China. Most visitors find they have enough trouble surviving Chinese traffic without actually taking the wheel. If you don’t want to give up the convenience of driving by yourself in mainland China, the information below will be quite helpful.
Before starting, you have to know about the following information first.
- You cannot drive with an International Driver's Permit (IDP) in mainland China, nor with permits obtained in Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan.
- This article is based on the laws of the province of Beijing, and as usually is the case in China, the requirements may vary slightly depending on the city in which they apply.
- Written exams can be done in English or Chinese. Nonetheless, in some small cities, you may be forced to do them in Chinese (sometimes they may authorize you to bring a translator). On the other hand, in some of the main cities of the country, you may even find exams in other languages (such as Spanish, French, German or Arabic).
How to get temporary driver’s license
If you have a driving license issued by your home country, you can apply for a temporary driving license and drive in China without having to take related tests, according to a clause in a regulation issued by the Ministry of Public Security.
National driver’s license.
How to get permanent driver’s license
If you will stay for a relatively long time in China, you can consider obtaining an official driving license in China.
Get Chinese driver’s license with your driver’s license obtained from home country
If you have a residency permit and a driver’s license from another country, you can get a Chinese driver’s license (valid for 6 years) just by passing a written exam. The process and the exam take place in the traffic police department (chē guǎn suǒ 车管所) in the city you live in and you may need a prior appointment. The exam consists of answering 100 multiple choice questions, lasts 45 minutes, and you pass by getting more than 90% of answers right. If you don’t pass, you can repeat it at that time, and if you don’t pass the second time, you have to wait at least 20 days to take it again.
Passport and resident permit with at least three months of validity (original and photocopy).
Getting a driver’s license for the first time
If you are over 18 years of age, you have a temporary or permanent residency permit and you don’t have a driver’s license from another country, you can still get a driver’s license in China. To do this, you’ll have to pass four exams:
- Written exam on laws and traffic regulations and basic concepts on vehicles (100 questions)
- Parking and basic driving skills test on a track
- Written exam on correct driving habits (50 questions)
- Road test
Each exam can be taken twice. If you fail, you’ll have to pay the fee again and wait at least 20 days.
To get your license, you’ll have to sign up for a driving school. There are some driving schools which specialize in foreigners or which accept foreigners. There are even some which allow you to bring along a translator. It normally takes 2 to 3 months and 3,000 to 8,000 Yuan (fees, theory classes and on-road practice) depending on the driving school and the city.
Passport and residency permit with at least 3 months of validity (original and photocopy).
With the information above, you are well prepared to get Chinese driver’s license now. Please enjoy your stay in China.
Suggestions for expatriates who choose public transportation in China:
|Last Updated on Sunday, 20 December 2015 21:23|
|Housing & Finance|
|Work & Business|
|Shopping & Leisure|
|Communication & Others|