China Expats
Advice & Resources for Foreigners Living in China
Chinese Driving Licence :-

Basically there are 2 versions - Easy and Scary:


Easy Version:
If you live in the right part of China, and have some money - simply use a local Agency such as Guangdong Expats ( to do this for you, and everything can be done very simply by courier:

1. Takes about 2-weeks
2. Costs around Y2, 000
3. You need your National Driving Licence from home Country
4. For Brit's - The old style Paper only version is still ok!
4.a. New style Brit licence, you need to submit both parts
5. Copies of everything official that's related: Passport, Visa, Latest Entry Stamp, Your Driving Licence (Both sides)
6. 8 (Eight) passport type photo's!
7. You name in Chinese characters (?)
8. Your height

Scary Version:
- Take a Chinese Driving Test at your local centre
- You will need to read and explain road signs in Mandarin
- You will also have to pass practical and theory exams in Mandarin
- You will also need to explain in depth certain aspects of Chinese driving Theory (No comment)
- Pay a lot of money = pass or fail

Note. You will also need your passport or Temporary Certificate of Residence + a current visa

Full details of Scary Version:

Required documents:
1.Passport with valid Chinese visa
2.Valid Residense Permit

* A permit for over one year is required for a permanent driver’s license.
* A permit of over three months, but under a year, is required for a temporary driver’s license.

3.Your current driver’s license is also required to be translated into Chinese before applying for a Chinese driver’s license.

* Bring someone with you who can write Chinese
* Take photographs at the center
* Collect a standard application form and complete the form in Chinese script
* Have a medical examination
* Have your foreign driver's license translated into Chinese at an authorized translation service center
* Take the papers needed (pictures, passport, foreign driver's license, and Chinese translated license) back to a reception counter
* Make arrangements to take the written test

If you are over 18 and have a valid driver's license from another country then you will most likely only need to complete a written (computerized) test to obtain a 6 year Chinese driver's license for a minimal fee

If all of these steps are followed without incident, you may receive your Chinese driver's license within 5 days after passing the test and paying the fees.

Contact Us ( for a suitable Chinese Name:
We have options for; Mandarin, Cantonese, and Shanghainese readily available via personal contacts
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only