Chinese drivers licence for tourist
Replies: 49 - Last Post: Dec 2, 2012 10:18 PM Last Post By: Tokheim
Dec 2, 2012 8:18 AM
Dec 2, 2012 9:41 AM
Dec 2, 2012 4:09 PM
47#45. Now there's something I didn't know: "Chinese can't get an international driver's license." But indeed it seems that China is not a member of the international convention that creates this treaty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Driving_Permit It does seem this is a question of China's choice, not "other countries restricting China."
I wonder what the back-story behind that is: could it be because Taiwan is a member, China won't join? (Although Hong Kong is a member, and Macau isn't a member but honors the international permits.) Or maybe the Chinese really don't want hordes of foreign tourists clogging their roads? (Seems far-fetched.....)
Anybody got any facts (as opposed to my dilatory speculations) as to WHY China doesn't just join the treaty?
Dec 2, 2012 7:34 PM
48It seems that there are a number of reciprocal agreements even though they are not part of the international treaty. For example, while they cannot drive in quebec (my home place) they can drive in California using their Chinese driver's license. I think that they can also drive in Australia.
The other thing is, even if you get a Chinese license you are not out of the woods. When I wanted to rent a car in Beijing (I have a Chinese driver's license), the car rental company only accepted domestic (Chinese) credit cards. So I had to use my girlfriend's credit card. The next time I thought I should be ok with Hertz as it is an international company, they required me to have one year of experience driving in China, which I did not have at the time.
Dec 2, 2012 10:18 PM
49It is indeed their intent to make obtaining a temporary drivers license so difficult and time consuming that you will give up. And you will indeed give up. I’ve held a license for 11 years because I work here long-term and I had good connections.
To make a long story short, they don’t want tourist driving. And the best advise I can give to you, a tourist visiting China for the first time, is don’t get behind the wheel of a car here.
You may have driven in 75 countries my friend, but never China. It takes a superb driver some time here to become accustomed to looking out for objects from 6 directions (that includes coming from above and underneath).
And what if you hit another car, bike, motorcyclist or pedestrian? That will be quite the mess and the local jurisdiction will restrict you from leaving.
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