Chinese drivers licence for tourist
Replies: 49 - Last Post: Dec 2, 2012 10:18 PM Last Post By: Tokheim
Nov 6, 2012 8:29 AM
Nov 6, 2012 8:32 AM
16Thank you. In the meantime you all seem to think I am almost keen on the experiece ; ) ! I only wanted to express that I would not be repelled by the process.
@ Arioste: so you had chinese friends who helped you? My main concern is, that I would need somebody who can translate during the process...
I already read about Car rentals who rent to tourists- on the Hertz -site for example you can choose: "Self Drive". I make a request now
Nov 6, 2012 8:36 AM
17Just found this
Nov 6, 2012 10:22 AM
18The problem with the temporary license is there may not be much you can do with it. Read the following from a local Beijing expat online publication. Since the last posting on that thread, I believe there is no new information nor has anything changed:
The temporary license seems to be targeted at short-term business people who need to travel in a fairly small area in or around a particular city, in a rental car. It definitely was not intended for tourists that want to tool around China on their own. My understanding is that the temporary license is good for a city or perhaps region or province only, not China-wide.
But contact Hertz with the specifics and see what they say--particularly your passport and what Chinese visa (type, length) you will be arriving with. And ask about geographic restrictions.
That description/translation you provided in post #7 is not particularly relevant--that is geared to people who are driving their own vehicle across China and need a temporary license/entry permit as part of the bureaucratic red tape (import for the vehicle, permit and accompanying guide, etc.). Not your situation.
Nov 6, 2012 2:02 PM
19Driving license is another rather challenging issue I find.
Beijing T3 second floor is supposed to have a one-stop-shopping centre where one can obtain a temporary license (rental car only). I have not personally checked it out. I do echo ...
“… sometimes China does announce with great public fanfare some wonderful new better-than-sliced-bread thing, only to withdraw or never really implement it without any sort of notice.”
Short version of my experience:
I have done the procedures in both Beijing and Shanghai for the permanent license.
- Residency zhen requirement: Shanghai is much easier. Many hotels nearby are familiar with and would issue the appropriate zhen when you tell them you need it for driving license. Beijing hotels are not so familiar with what to issue, sometimes the hotels say they are electronically linked to PSB and therefore cannot issue you a zhen.
- Translation of foreign license: Shanghai requires translation to be done by one of the 2 outside service companies, good revenue generators. In Beijing, you just translate it yourself and fill it in the form.
- Medical check-up: Shanghai is done very fast on site (for example: as long as one can tell the tester that the printed animal head composed by green/red dots on a small piece of paper, then you pass the colour-blind test). Beijing farms out to some outside hospitals, with equally easy standard of tests, and one needs to run around quite a bit due to the remote locations.
- Mugshot: Shanghai has it as part of the package deal and is done onsite very fast. Beijing has it done onsite by another department that sometime involves lengthy waiting time (couldn’t find his camera in the wrong pocket of the wrong coat).
- test room: Shanghai, noisy and disruptive environment. Beijing has much better test room.
- Schedule of waiting time for test is at least 3 weeks for both. Beijing personnel offered a bit more flexibility in delaying of schedule (voluntarily later than 3 weeks)
- Procedure (up to scheduling of test appointment) took about 1-2 hours excluding the outside work for both Shanghai and Beijing.
- Street touts hassling outside the gates: the same for both cities.
Nov 6, 2012 5:25 PM
20it should be possible to acquire a chinese drivers licence for a tourist, for example at Beijing Airport or in Chengdu
Thanks, I need a good laugh in the morning.
Nov 6, 2012 5:54 PM
21#14 -- I had heard that they were eliminating the 90-day visa requirement in Hangzhou in 2012? In other words, you should be able to get a license even with a 30 day visa. Not sure when you applied, but might be ok now...
Nov 6, 2012 6:38 PM
Nov 6, 2012 9:34 PM
23the written test is computerized. you get a tome with 1000 questions to
study, 100 questions are randomly selected.
some locations offer the test in engRish, but beware the poor translations.
it seems the penalty for speeding on the freeway (according to the answer
key) is: "you will be executed."
Nov 6, 2012 10:36 PM
Nov 7, 2012 2:05 AM
25I just mailed to an agency in Beijing wich is related with the embassy who seem to have infos.
I tell you the results
Nov 15, 2012 12:56 AM
26I now have the promise of a German Institute in Beijing that it is possible to get the temporary drivers licence. They already helped an amount of tourists and the prermit was issued within one day.
I also mailed with "Hertz China", they also help to get the licence, in Shangai !
Hertz provides cars for these "temporary licence holders" .
Nevertheless, I would be glad to read from somebody who did it and who could tell a bit about his experience!
Nov 15, 2012 4:45 PM
Nov 16, 2012 7:51 PM
28Essentially it is nearly impossible for a tourist to get a local driver's license and assuming that you do nobody will rent you a car. I got my driver's license in Beijing and even then Hertz would not rent me a car until I had one year of driving experience in China.
What you may not know is that the rules of the road are somewhat different in China. For one thing, if you have an accident you need to negotiate on the spot with the other driver about settling the damages. If you do not speak mandarin or local dialect, then good luck. The next step if you cannot agree is to call the police. Assuming that you are not in Shanghai or Beijing, good luck finding a policeman who speaks english. And at the end, Chinese assume that foreigners are rich and will ask an outrageous amount of money for damages. And you need to pay on the spot.
Note that one of the difference between driving in China and, say Canada is that in Canada the alcohol limit to drive is .08. In China it is zero, no alcohol whatsoever.. Note that driving without a license will result in having the car seized.
Nov 16, 2012 11:28 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$155.60 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.12 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$138.49 per night