Moving to a new country means reorganizing the entire life. Not only does the move involve a new job, home, circle of friends – an expat also needs to consider on how they plan to move around.
China presents foreigners with multiple opportunities in terms of transportation. There’s the public transportation (including a modern metro network), taxis, local car hailing app Didi and for the ones trying to keep fit, bike sharing apps are also present. However, having a Chinese driving license will give you the ultimate freedom for getting around. There is no denying that the possibility getting around China on your own terms is indeed lucrative.
Curious on what it takes to get a driving license in China? Follow our simple, tried-and-tested guide below! As usually is the case in China, the requirements may vary slightly depending on the city in which you apply.
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If you already own a driving license from back home and a temporary residency permit in China, things will be simple. Based on your existing license, it is possible to take a written driver’s test of 100 questions. Upon successful passing, you will be eligible for a driver’s license. To do so, follow these steps below!
Also, important to note – an international driving license is not valid in China. Same applies for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau licenses. Only official Chinese licenses can be used all over the mainland.
Never had a driver’s license back home, but feel like now would be a great time to get one done? Living in China is not an obstacle in this case. It will be a lengthier (and pricier!) process, but it is certainly possible. Basic prerequisites for this would be: over 18 years of age and have a temporary or permanent residency permit in China.
You will need to sign up for a driving school, which will help you with all the procedures. Prices will vary, and so will teachers and their language of instruction. Not all schools accept foreign passport-holders, so do your research to find a school that caters best to your needs and expectations. Expect to pay a few thousand RMB for the courses, starting from about 5000 RMB and up. The whole process would take approx. two three months.
These are basic steps for getting your driver’s license in China. It will take some time, paperwork and studying, but don’t let this discourage you from going through the process. Many foreigners have successfully passed the tests and gotten their licenses and claim the process to be simpler as it initially seemed!
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