If you want to take the road in China, your international driving license will be of no use to you. Foreigners from all countries who wish to drive in China must apply for a Chinese driving license. This is because China has not signed the convention that allows it to use the International Driving Permit. Also, Chinese driving licenses are only valid in mainland China. Residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan must also request one to drive on mainland China. Let’s take a look at the situation.

Chinese Driving License for Foreigners

Obtaining a Provisional Chinese driving license for Foreign tourists:

Foreign Tourists who wish to drive in China for a short period can obtain a provisional Chinese driving license for up to three months without having to take an exam. Usually, you can get it from the traffic police department in the city where you are. In Beijing and possibly other major cities, you can get it directly from the airport.

Documents to be provided:

  • National driving license (from your home country)
  • Translation of the foreign driver’s license into Chinese (consult the embassy for details on where this can be done).
  • International driving license.
  • Three color photos with a white background.
  • Completed application form.
  • A hotel reservation for at least one day

Obtaining a Provisional driving license for Overlander with their own vehicles

We will be there with all the necessary documents to obtain your temporary driving license so that you can travel freely through China. You won’t have to worry about anything. All the steps will be done before hand by Tibetmoto. Your only concern will be that you thoroughly enjoy this unique Overland experience in China. Booking your Overland tour with Tibetmoto is to guarantee you the peace and tranquility of a trip without any unpleasant surprises.

Obtain a Chinese driving license (for foreigners with a Chinese residence permit)

In this case, you can obtain a Chinese driver’s license (valid for 6 years) by taking a written exam. The process and examination take place in the traffic police department in the city where you live, and you may need an appointment in advance. Written exams can be taken in English or Chinese. However, in some small towns, you may have to do them in Chinese (sometimes they may allow you to bring a translator). On the other hand, in some of the country’s major cities, you can even find exams in languages such as Spanish, French, German or Arabic. The exam consists of answering a 100-question MCQ; it takes around 45 minutes and you pass it if you get more than 90% of correct answers. If you do not succeed, you can repeat it on the same day, and if you do not pass the second time, you must wait at least 20 days to try it again.

 Documents to be provided for Chinese Driving License:

  • Passport and residence permit or Chinese visa with at least three months validity (original and photocopy).
  •  Registration of the temporary residence registration obtained at the local police station (original and photocopy).
  • Driving license from your country of origin (original and photocopy).
  • Certified and notarized translation of the driving license from the country of origin into the Chinese language (In many places, such as Beijing, it is sufficient to provide a translation signed by a Chinese national and to bring a copy of his or her identity card).
  • Medical certificate (complete health check-up carried out in a city hospital)
  • Three to five color photos with a white background.

Getting a Chinese driving license for the first time

If you are over 18 years old and do not have a driver’s license from your home country, you can still get a driver’s license in China. To do this, you will need to pass four exams:

  • Written exam on laws and traffic (100 questions).
  • Parking test and basic driving skills on a track.
  • Written test on good driving habits (50 questions).
  • Road test.

Documents to be provided:

  • Passport and residence permit with at least 3 months validity (original and photocopy).
  • Temporary residence file obtained at the local police station (original and photocopy).
  • Medical certificate
  • Three to five color photos with a white background.