Editor’s Note: While not having a driver’s license in China isn’t necessarily inconvenient, it prevents you from having to sit on long train or bus rides listening to the sound of cracking sunflower seeds for hours on end. Apparently, Chinese licenses are even more useful due to the fact that they can be used in many different countries all over the world. Below is a list of some of those countries.
Just Where Can You Use a Chinese Driver’s License?
On February 21st, Chinese transportation authorities and and France’s Minister of the Interior signed an agreement mutually recognizing the validity of driver’s licenses from each country, and soon, Chinese drivers will be able to use their licenses in France and vice versa.
Getting a license in China is relatively cheap and although the test itself is hard, the license you’ll get at the end of it is worth it for many and is accepted in a surprising number of countries. So whether you’ve settled in China and just go home for the holidays, or you plan on just staying for a year or so, getting a Chinese driver’s license may be worth your while.
Currently, Chinese driver’s license holders in France require a their license and its translation to be able to drive. French residents in China can use the same two documents to apply for a temporary Chinese driver’s license and don’t have to take the Chinese driving test. Four different vehicles will be recognized by the agreement: large trucks, light buses, small sized cars (i.e. sedans) and motorcycles.
For Chinese license holders staying in France for over a year, they will be able to legally drive sedans and motorcycles with their license, a translation, passport, visa and residence permit. However, if you are diplomatic personell or an exchange student, as a Chinese license holder you will just need your license and an officially translated copy. You’ll only need your French license to be able to drive legally in the Middle Kingdom.
Most states in the Western portion of the U.S. accept Chinese driver’s licenses, but in some Eastern and Midwestern states, you need to have your lisence and related documents translated. The time for which the license is valid also varies state-by-state.
In Germany, a Chinese license is effective for six months, however you need a translated version ordered by German courts or a verified translation from authorities in the German embassy in China.
In the U.K. you can drive as long as you have your Chinese license and its translation.
You’ll be able to cruise worry free for six months in Canada as long as you follow the same rules as in Britain--license and translation must be with you.
6. New Zealand
If you have your Chinese license and its translated twin verified by the Bureau of Transportation you can drive in this gorgeous country for a full year.
Chinese licenses can be used for up to one year in Sweden. If one is not a permanent resident and you exceed the one year limit, you can ask your employer to apply for driving permission for you.
Your license will remain effective for up to three months in Portugal.
9. Where else?
North America: Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Costa Rica and a few others
South America: Tahiti, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Nicaragua and Uraguay
Europe: Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Australia, Iceland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Norway, Cyprus and Turkey
Africa: Egypt, Benin, Gambia, Guinea, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and some others
Asia: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Saipan
How do I get my Chinese license translated and notarized?
If your job requires you to travel frequently, they will usually know how to help you get a translated copy of your Chinese license. Otherwise, many professional translation companies will be able to officially translate such documents. You need to make absolutely sure it’s an official translation and then you can take it to be notarized if required by the laws of your destination.
While notarization can be done at any notary, your best bet is probably to go to your local embassy in China if they offer notarization services. Generally speaking for notarization you’ll need originals and copies of identifying documents and your license. However always call ahead to ensure that you have all the things you’ll need to make the process go as smoothly as possible, and also make sure that the notary can do English notarization.
What else do I need to know?
1. Translated copies must be accompanied by the original license to be valid.
2. The translated version should be stuck on the back of your valid Chinese driver’s license.
3. Under no circumstances can the translated copy be used in place of your original Chinese driver’s license.
Source: Pheonix News
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Keywords: Driving country Chinese Driver’s License
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And yet... China STILL refuses to acknowledge any other driver's license as valid!!! Typical hypocrisy! While this article might be handy for Chinese, it's a complete waste for expats. If we have a driver's license from most (all??) of the above mentioned countries then we already have that reciprocal privilege! And, if there isn't, then we can easily get an "International Driver's License" - which, again, China doesn't recognise!!! Perhaps it's time for those other countries to start requiring Chinese license holders to re-take their driving tests in their country (might save a LOT of lives, and accidents).
Mar 01, 2017 12:40 Report Abuse
According to the original Chinese infographic, if you come from one of the places where it says it must be translated by an approved body, otherwise it will be invalid. The article does not mention specifically whether if it is bi-lingual it must still be translated. I would contact the embassy to check.
Feb 28, 2017 15:12 Report Abuse