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Chinese Drivers License

If you have a valid drivers licence from your home country with at least 60 days prior to expiration you can apply at the Xili Drivers Licence Office. You can't drive with international driver's licence here in China as they don't honor it as valid licence.

  1. you have to Notarize your licence in Shenzhen, they had couple of notary offices there, they will translate it into chinese.
  2. you have to go to the Xili Drivers Licence Office. There you will have an eye exam, after passing, then with your notarize document along with your drivers licence plus photos and passport copy you have to submit it at the 2nd floor office, they will give you schedule of the Chinese Driver's Exam. Normally it's every 15th and 30th of the month.
  3. the Chinese Driver's Exam, it's literally in Chinese. You'll be given exams in Chinese which does not really make sense since most of us do not understand Chinese. The way how to deal with this is that every examinee has to bring an English interpreter with valid English Certification. I suggest you post ad here as there are many Chinese here who can help you with the exam. Mine, I passed on the second try. Mind you that passing grade is 90 out of 100. They are handing book at the exam place for your interpreter to review, you can have a glance also so you'll know about road rules in China.
  4. after you pass the exam which you'll know the result straight away after you finish the exam, they will take digital photo to place in the drivers licence. Then 15 days after you can pick up the licence at the same office. There are nothing to pay in any of these procedures, however you will have to pay the interpreter and the notary public.
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Linda  - impressed!     | |2009-03-17 22:56:55
Very very impressed by your detailed information. I heard someone is writing a travelling book about SZ. She should interview you!! Enjoy your life here in SZ! Met vriendelijke groet, Linda
Fabien  - Temporaly drivers license   | |2009-08-07 10:03:34
As far as I understood, it is possible to have a 6 months driving license using our current one. It can be get in a about one week and without exam.
I just arrived in Shenzhen and I'm working on this process. I will confirm soon if it works.

Austin     | |2009-11-30 19:33:47
please keep me posted ifit works
Austin  - Any special visa?     | |2009-11-30 19:28:17
just wish to fine out if this service needs a special visa or not? can i get it with an L visa?
anon  - Chinese Driving License For Foreigners and Extend   | |2010-10-15 14:46:06
Here is a list of documents you to get a legal Chinese driving license :

1.a copy of the main passport page

2.a copy of the valid visa ( any visa type is ok ).

3.a copy of the both sides of the overseas driving license

4.a copy of the last entry stamp

5.8 one-inch color pictures with white background

6.Your chinese name and your height in centimeters
Ben_Zhaoqing  - own experience   | |2010-10-15 13:29:58
Hello there,
I'm new here and arrived here following my best friend google.
Anyway I got today my C1E driving licence, valid 6 yers, fully legal. Bellow the complicated document I needed (for pictures and documents copy you won't need my help):
- residence permit (1y validity)
- working permit
- french (sorry) driving licence for car and motorcycle
- translation in chinese of passport and driving licence by an official translation center that sur need an chinese name on it (I forgot the price) then certified by the right administration (200rmb/document)
- get your file approved and pay for the exam (35rmb/type of driving licence, for me it was 70rmb because both car and motorcycle driving licence)
- get the test in english (better study first)and get more than 90/100 (I got 94/100!)

The full process took me over 3 monthes because administration were not used to this procedure (Zhaoqing, Guangdong) and were reluctant to bother with it.

Thijs  - great info!   | |2010-10-15 14:47:39
Very good information, finally hear of a foreigner who actually went through the process. Happy driving and lots of good luck
Ben_zhaoqing  - accounting precision   | |2010-10-15 14:56:51
little update:
- translation cost of passport and driving licence: 500 RMB
- certification by notarial office: 400 RMB
- picture (with a small CD having my digital file picture): 30 RMB
- exam fee/administration fee: 150 RMB
total 1080 RMB
and also required hours in procedure to my assistant and me and a driver+car to go to the administration and exam center
tony  - address   | |2010-10-20 10:36:07
can you please tell me the address of of xili driver's license office.

also, did the eye exam test for colorblindless? that would be too bad!

Thank you !

Thijs     | |2010-10-22 22:32:49
Xili office address:

and their website:
Nicu  - english interpreter   | |2011-07-21 10:27:03
hi, i finished with all the documents about the driving licence and they schedule me for the exam, what i dont know is how to find an english interpretor, i realy need some suggestions, thank you, Nicu.
Andrew Zhang   | |2011-10-27 00:25:44
Actually it's very easy to pass the exam by yourself without interpreter... I have the question bank updated 2011 in english. Contact me if you need.

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