Applying For A Chinese Driver's License

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Applying For A Chinese Driver's License Reviews

WarrenRodwell WarrenRo…
50 reviews
Oct 30, 2007
The International Convention on Driving Licences was signed

in September 1949. China did not become a republic until 1st

October 1949. This is the main reason why an international

driving licence cannot be used in China.

However, if you are over 18 and have a valid driving licence

from another country then it is quite likely you will only basically

need to do a written (computerized) test to obtain a 6 year China

driving licence for a fairly minimal fee.

How To Apply For A

China Driver's Licence

I'll outline what I did in Chengdu - January 2007. Of

course, you should go to the driver licensing centre

in the city which you are in.

No practical driving test is required if you are over 18

and have a valid foreign driver's license. Don't know

if an International License would count though.

* Take someone with you that can write Chinese

* Chengdu licensing centre opens around 8.30am

* Take plenty of passport pix (8 is a safe number)

* Take your foreign driving licence & passport

* Go to one of the reception counters

* Collect a standard application form

* Complete the form in Chinese script

* Have medical examination which consists of reading one or

two lines on an eye-chart with either eye covered alternately.

* Take the papers back to a reception counter

* Submit form with payment over counter

* Pay the prescribed fee

FEE: Y10 + Y280 = Y290 TOTAL

Y10 is for the actual 6 year China licence. The other Y280 is

to sit the written test TWICE in case you don't score 90% or

greater the first time. No partial refund if you pass first time.

* Wait in queue (seats provided) to enter exam room

* Show ticket / receipt etc & be shown to a computer

* Select which language you want to do the test in

* There are nine languages to choose from (including

English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese)

The test consists of 100 randomly selected questions from

the driving handbook which has about 700 questions in total.

They are mostly multiple choice or TRUE / FALSE.

Computerized test time limit: 45 minutes

* Hit the "check score" icon on computer

* 90% or over ( Hao! Hao!)

* Less than 90% :

Get a new number & do again within the next ten days.

* Once you pass, take your papers back to a counter for

processing. The license can be issued within ten minutes

or so, depending on their workload.


* Licenses are written & issued in Chinese script

* Most of the questions are common sense.

* BUT it is advisable to bone up on them first

* All going well, you'll be finished before noon.



Expatriate writer Warren Rodwell has been in China since 2002, and teaches university postgraduates in Chengdu. Many of his feature stories, reviews & photographs have been published online or in hardcopy media form. Warren also narrates documentaries & administers various websites as part of his efforts to internationally promote western China and other diverse cultures.

CrazyLisa says:
Wow that sounds like quite the process.
Posted on: Oct 30, 2007
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