Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Driving license


Recommended Posts

Hi All,


Is it advisable to take international driving license from home country before coming to china? 


or can i drive two wheeler in china using my Indian driving license??


Thanks in advance!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

China hasn't joined the United Nations' Convention on Road Traffic, therefore, both taking international driving license from home and using your Indian driving license driving in china are not workable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately China doesn't allow international or foreign drivers licenses. However, obtaining a Chinese license may not be too difficult.

I don't know about Indian driving licenses, but you can transfer Australian and Hong Kong drivers licenses to Chinese drivers licenses relatively simply by just doing a computerised multi-choice test in "special" English. (Or so it was for me a few years back)

If you have difficulties converting your Indian license you could always convert to a Hong Kong license (in HK) then convert that to a Chinese license.

Hong Kong Apply for a Full Driving Licence by Direct Issue without Test


Sorry, I don't have the time to look up the rules for Indian to Mainland China laws at the moment, and they tend to vary from place to place and over time a bit much.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I looked into it too and concluded I couldn't be bothered especially with the chaotic driving, easier to just hire a driver. 
Although if your Indian, you will be much better place to handle chaotic driving than us Europeans haha.


This might help. I'd be suspicious of this website though as says you don't need to even take a test, don't need to have a residents permit etc Personally I think its a scam 

Link to post
Share on other sites

That site...

You can apply yourself for your chinese driver's license if you are over 18, if you have a Working Visa, if you have a permanent resident (at least 1 year permit), if you take the medical examination, if you translate and notary all the required documents and paperworks, if you are willing to wait up to 6 month or even 1 year for the appoiment for your driving and/or writting test, etc, etc... but still it won't guarante you will pass and get your chinese driving licence.

Mine took 1 week, a short term 1-3 month tourist visa, the local police registration and less than 200RMB total. The week was mainly waiting for the exam period. Some locations (SZ?) don't necessarily require the exam, but if you fail you get a free second chance that afternoon or the next week depending on your score. I didn't require any translations, however my license was from HK so it has Chinese already, they needed nothing else. The medical was a quick look at an eye chart and just the basic height, weight and whatever they felt after just a quick look at me.

They're just trying to scare you, it's really quite simple with some basic Chinese and the right documents.

[have to go, back soon and write more]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Matty! Few questions though which probably will be useful for the OP too

  1. was the exam in English?
  2. Do you actually need to do a driving test?
  3. Do they take your old licence away
  4. Did you have an easy route because you had a HK licence. 
Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem Johnny

1) by just doing a computerised multi-choice test in "special" English.

Yes, it's in English, but the English is a little bad.

2) by just doing a computerised multi-choice test

Nope, no driving test, just a computerised multiple-choice test.

3) No, you get to keep your old licence, they just need photocopies of everything.

4) No, in fact it was a little more difficult (by about 3 minutes probably). They would have preferred my Australian license it seemed, but it was really no trouble either way. If in Shenzhen a HK licence may mean you don't even require the computerised test.

My only real concern would be that I don't know whether the Chinese government accepts Indian drivers licences.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...