I went to 成都公安交通车辆管理所/驾驶 (DMV in Chengdu) and found out that obtaining a driver's license requirement for foreigner (assuming that you have a driver's license of your country) has been changed somewhat.
1. Need to have your basic physical test form filled and verified by hospital staff.
2. residence verification form by local police station - called 境外人员住宿登记表- you probably have this if you have applied for the visa.
3. your visa should have more that 6 month from expiration.
4. Your original driver's license (your home country)- NEEDS TO BE translated in Chinese- BUT you can NOT do this on your own anymore. It has too be translated by a translation company. Guess needs one of those red circle Stamp to make it look official
5. your photo
6. application form
NOW, anyone who knows different, let me know.
AND, anyone who could recommend me any local translation company who will charge miminal amount, let me know, please.
I have, and know quite a few people who have a Chinese driving license. The requirements have been the same for quite awhile now. The only one you got wrong was no. 3. You need a residence permit, so need to be working or studying here legally. It doesn't matter when it expires. Mine was 2 months from expiry when I obtained my driving license. You will also need to take a theory test. It includes question on Chinese road law/fines/prison sentences/first aid/car mechanics/etiquette....
You can get your license translated for less than 100kuai at any of the travel/visa agencies opposite the American consulate. They will translate it and give the required stamp.
The most important thing is that you study for the theory test. Many of the answers are illogical and the questions in Chinglish. If you don't study then you will fail. Chengdu's DMV website has a mock test in English you can take. It is not complete though, so you will need to study the question/answer document too.
1. Hospital staff? Which hospitals? Should this be the nurses at the test centre? I remember doing mine on the day and it consisted solely of a colour blindness test and making sure my hands didn't shake when I held them out.
2. You really should legally have this unless you're staying at a hotel. You are supposed to register within 24 hours of arriving in Chengdu but despite all the signs and warnings lots of people don't do it until just before getting their visa renewed and most (but definitely not all) manage to get away with it without getting into too much trouble. Places vary but most of the police stations are pretty good at doing the registration and giving you giving you the form just with a quick look at your passport and visa and a photocopy for their records - but beware that in theory you could be asked for your rental contract, landlord's ID card, friend's hukou book or any other random bit of paper you haven't brought.
3. @bengb - I know a couple of people without residence permits who managed to get a license but did have several months left to run on their visa.
4. Needing an official translation was always the rule but they seemed to be turning a blind eye to this for a while. There are plenty of places that will give you an official translation though. The name has to be in Chinese characters for some reason so make sure they translate your name the same way you have it translated elsewhere unless you want a lot of trouble down the line.
@bengb At least the multiple chioce test is in English now though. I'd definitely second the actual studying part though since the pass mark is 90% and significantly less than 90% of the questions are common sense. I have a copy of the old English question database somewhere but I'm pretty sure it's been updated again since.
1. It should be a county level hospital, and for some reason can only be done in the mornings. I used one on Renmin Nan Lu in Tongzilin, opposite the Masters building. I believe they are supposed to check your eyes and balance. However all they did with me was ask if I wear glasses. There are no nurses at the test centre any more. You will need to take a photo with you too.
3. I hear they now have temporary licenses for people who don't have a residence permit. You can even pick one up at the Shanghai or Beijing airport. I'm not sure if this applies to Chengdu though.
4. Definitely make sure your Chinese name is the same in all your documentation. They check all the documents you submit thoroughly.
The size of photo you need for your license and health check are irregular and not the normal passport size. You can get the correct type by asking at your local id photo place.
1. That's interesting, although presumably the morning/afternoon thing would depend on which hospital you go to as much as anything else?
3. Those things that are only valid for a maximum of 3 months and you don't need to take a theory test? They've been around a couple of years in Beijing at least - I think as some kind of concession for the international car hire companies. Never heard of anyone getting one in Chengdu though.
4. And once produced the name on your license is pretty official given that a Chinese license makes a very good substitute for a Chinese ID card (checking into cheap hotels no questions asked is wonderful!). If you have a different name later on a bank account, utility bill or whatever things can start to get complicated quickly...
1. I would assume you could get one done in the afternoon somewhere. Both hospitals I checked said only on weekday mornings.
3. I read that the temporary license has a very basic theory test. What side of the road do you drive on, what is the speed limit etc.
3. Not sure. My recollection was that they gave you information about the basic traffic rules with the temporary license that you were supposed to read before driving but that you didn't actually get tested on it. All a bit academic though unless anyone can get one in Chengdu. It would actually be pretty handy from time to time if tourist visitors could get a driving license, particularly if the paperwork could be done before arrival or was very trivial. It always feels pretty dumb driving solo long distances with a car full of other drivers who can't legally drive.
My current license expires in a few months. When I go to renew it I'll try and find out about temporary licenses. Will let you know if anything comes of it.
I heard there is a study guide for the driving exam, and that they have it in English now. Any idea where we can get one of those?
I converted the HUGE .doc I used to a reasonably sized .pdf and uploaded it to a file sharing site: http://www.mediafire.com/?jc3ablmrrafwbl6
There is also a mock test available on-line. You need to use Internet Explorer. Make sure Minicar is selected then hit the big red button: http://www.cdcgs.cn/Exam/SelectType.aspx?language=en
Is the test still that idiotic?
The following are some old questions
2. The driver of a motor vehicle:
A. can eat some food, but cannot smoke while driving.
B. is not permitted to make or receive mobile-phone calls while driving.
C. is still permitted to drive after drinking a little beer.
3. Before a vehicle is stopped completely:
A. the vehicle door can be opened.
B. opening the door and getting in/out of the vehicle are not permitted.
C. getting in/out of the vehicle will be permitted
5. When the vehicle's gas tank is on fire, can be adopted to put out the fire.
A. covering the fire with cotton-padded clothes
B. dousing with water
C. using a carbon-dioxide fire extinguisher
6. Can the driver be barefooted or shirtless while driving?
A. No, he can't.
B. At night, he can.
C. When its vehicle is running on highway he can.
7. Encountering a blind pedestrian(s) while driving on the road, a driver:
A. should observe the pedestrian's motion and not blow the horn
B. should blow the horn and try to get them out of the way.
C. should accelerate and pass.
8. In summer, when a driver drives a vehicle he can _______.
A. wear a pair of slippers
B. not wear slippers since it's unsafe and impolite to wear them
C. wear any shoes, including slippers
9. When other drivers are driving in the wrong direction, a driver should:
A. not tell them.
B. have nothing to do with them and make no comment.
C. tell them immediately and explain patiently.
True or false
For broken bones with bone exposed, do not attempt to put them back, but rather wrap them with surgical dressing.
True or false
When the severely burnt person is thirsty, he can drink some salty water to supplement the water lost.
True or false
Motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians, passengers and institutions must obey "The Law
Is it possible to get a license for a motorbike?
@Paulie - Yes, it's the same procedure as applying for a license to drive a car. Not many people do it though as registering a motorbike to ride inside the 2nd ring road is very expensive. I hear it's ~15,000RMB.
It's not easy!
Anyone can recommend Driving License Service company in Chengdu?
I don't read chinese.
Anyone can advice if I have a Shanghai driver's license due to expire middle this year, can I convert it to Chengdu's license? Or, can I renew the Shanghai license in Chengdu?
@coolman I have the same problem except mine's only from Deyang. Transfering the licence to Chengdu is no problem except I'll need to go to Deyang to do some of the paperwork unfortunately.
Dude come on, I have no license what so ever. My is a class 1 so i am licensed to drive anything and everything. You dont need a license, i drive around like a maniac all the time further yet i drive my race bike up and down the ring roads at night cops say how cool it is, the only thing they said was keep out of downtown, I rent cars with my license i have now maybe its because of the class also when pulled over i tell them its international, they believe me. I am going to get my license to, someone else said you have to register. I did that but then moved and did not register again this can be a problem but remember in Chengdu the max fine is 500yuan so my advice keep ur privacy and if you move keep that to urself.
@Meekael - You contradict yourself. First you say you have "no license what so ever", then you say you have a "class 1" license and are "licensed to drive anything and everything". Which is it?
Not having a license is fine until you crash, or someone crashes in to you. No Chinese license means no insurance. No insurance means deportation and possibly jail time in addition to covering all the costs yourself. Advising people to drive around unlicensed and thus uninsured is rather irresponsible.
You also need to check your facts about driving without a license. You can be fined up to 2000RMB and be detained for up to 15 days. If a friend lets you drive their car then their license can be revoked. The police officers you have met previously might have let you off. Things are changing though and they might not be so lenient in the future.
It happens every single day to me, I know it's a theoretical question, since the answer is the survival of the fittest and does the smaller, weaker has to break and watch out regardless.
However I'm on bike/scooter going straight just before crossing the junction. The car left to me wants to turn right.
Does the car have to let me pass (like in Europe and other other places in the world)?
If they are turning right through a red light, and your light is on green then yes, the car is definitely supposed to let you cross.
If they're turning right, but the light ahead is green (or a junction with no light) then, whilst they're obviously not allowed to drive over you if you get there first, are they allowed to cut you off by turning right immedietely in front of you? I'm not sure but I think for pedestrians the rules technically allow it whilst for bikes I have no idea (for other cars you'd have to give way). Like you say though, survival of the biggest (which is why I drive a tank!). There's certainly a lot of turnings off the second ring road which you'd never make without edging into the stream of bikes in the bike lane.
Then again if it's a government car then rules don't matter
No no, at the time of the post i have a international Class 1 license.Thats the highest form of license you can acquire. I now have a Chinese license, I have Guanxi from working here so long and i paid 1000 yuan for someone else to take the test and convert the license while keeping my old one, also my friend had a fake license from Thailand he bought it for 50 $ and the translated it and gave him 1. I did not take nay test after reading a few questions its ridiculous but now i can roar up and down the streets not worried about the cops, but Consulting for the gov has its pros for sure. Ever since i signed my contract with the gov here i have had no problems in anything. But as many have stated you must have a current license in your home country if not the process is bad and takes a while, i can assist on getting you a license if you want i will post my email. 1000 yuan is my fee. I have don't 30 peoples licenses to date so with no complaints
Stop scaring people into thinking they cant drive here. I get pulled over when i stop all the time, flash my government business card and i off. Plus 9/10 cop cant tell the difference between a real or fake license but your right i have been hit 5 times not my fault but we exchanged #'s and they paid me for the damage.
Do you even have a license? just curious? The gov now wants all foreigners to have licenses, being that over 8000 expats live in CD 8000 time their fees is a lot of paper. It not about safety in any way its about communist money, i am curious how Anyone could not have a license anyway, China is not the place to learn how to drive, Last year i drove from Bangkok to Dali on my old bike with Indian plates no problem. As long as people stop ratting out foreigners for driving its no problem but if you want to abide by the law then i would say yes get a real license. You will never get arrested here unless your drunk, stick with a motorbike or scooter, i am buying a car in October i am shipping over my X5 SUV from Stuttgart.
Good luck, don't let this bog scare you off because so many are jealous they don't have a license drive away bra.
@Meekael - Cool story bro, hope they make a movie about it!
Yeah good story Mike i met you at Dave's can you get me a F or Z Visa and i need a bike i know you get this to your blackberry if not to late lets me up tomorrow bro, thanks man you the bomb diggy.
Matt yeah get msgs fast but i am in bed i can get you the Visa but need the passport and CV/photo then consultation. AS for he DL mine was expensive don't get pulled over anymore and since i crashed and had brain surgery i am selling my monster 750 cc. But i can help the rest you can get my number from many people cant post it on here sorry to many mouth puce hater thinking i am a scammer when i don't get paid until you get a Visa. STUF or come chat. Good luck i will help ya guy.
Talking to yourself again, Meekael? It may have escaped your notice, but this is a thread about driving licenses, not visas. You are clearly mentally retarded having your "friend" Matty 2006 post about obtaining a F or Z visa while his advert about visa consultancy is still in the classifieds section...
"I just started working for a German business man and have taken over his business with my girlfriend while he recovers from surgery"
Isn't that you? The German business man who is recovering from surgery ;-)
I am thinking of getting a motorbike, but a few questions arises.
1) How much do they range?
2) What correct license do i need to ride them?
I have a valid US motor vehicle license not sure if i need a motorbike license. I know i can swap my US motor license easily, but in the states there needs to be a motorbike license, is that the case in Chengdu? I would hate to go get a motorbike license (in the states), then transfer it when i get in Chengdu.
Any help would be nice!
I have a few bikes for sale let me know, you do need a license but its not a big stay under 250cc and out of 2nd-1st ring road.
Prices range for 125cc-250— dirt bike 4000-8000prices go up for racer style bikes from 8000- 60,000 new i have a 2002 Honda race bike for sale at 19,000 yuan due to surgery.
There is no clear cut answer from the research im doing on this subject. Some sources say I can transfer my license over to China, but does that license entail that i can drive motorcycles?
Or should i put it like this this; can my motor vehicle license get me a motorcycle license? Or should i get a US motorcycle license, which can be transferred to Chinese motorcycle license?
I visit Chengdu several times each year and have been able to get provisional driving permits (valid during my 2 or threee week stays) by the following means;
1) Have drivers licence translated and stamped at "certified" translation company (100rmb)
2) 4 passport photos
3) Police registration form (and a copy) - don't let them keep the original form.
4) copies of the vehicle registration and insurance papers for the car I drive (company car)
5) Application form - in Chinese (i get help)
6) health certification (50rmb) - there is a small hospital within blocks of the DMV you can get this at - one of the "fixers" at the DMV will take you there (20rmb)
The last time I did this, the capitan at the counter remembered me and set the validiy for the term of my K visa and so I used for an additional visit.
if you are stopped (I have been several times) you need
A. The China permit, your police registration, your original licence, the papers for the car. I've never had issue after showing the papers.
@coolman I finally got my out of town license renewed. Had I not travelled back to Deyang I'd have needed to take both the theory and road test again in Chengdu (despite not having to take the road test the first time round!). A bit of travel but all done for 30 RMB (20 RMB for the 1 minute health [they still have a nurse at the centre in Deyang, but definitely not Chengdu] plus 10 RMB for the 10 minutes of paperwork). I don't have to worry about it again for another 10 years now by which time I'm sure the rules will have changed again.
@nwsw88, @bengb Sounds like a lot more effort than getting a permanent Chinese license! Mine is now valid for a lot longer than my passport let alone visa. I did check out of curiousity while I was doing mine — you don't need a residence permit to get a permanent license, but do need 'a couple of months' left on your visa (though since my residence permit expires in a couple of weeks that apparently didn't apply to me?!)
@nwsw88 What are you doing to keep getting stopped? I've driven well over 100,000km in China and have been stopped only a handful of times.
@hunter101 If the translation of your license states a motorcycle entitlement then you might be able to convince them to give you both entitlements in China at the same time. You can also have a motorcycle entitlement added to your car licence in China fairly easilly but will need to take the theory test again (as to why - I have no idea!)
@Dragon Expeditions I am currently now in Chengdu. But the thought of flying back to Shanghai to renew my license is quite a hassel. I am now stuck in between, whether to spend the money make a trip to Shanghai or just take the theory test here? Also will face the problem that I am not a resident here (my VISA is for 60days only). Will that be a problem? I have a rental contract with the landlord under my name. Will that help me in obtaining 境外人员住宿登记表? But I am not on work VISA. Please advice. Thanks in advance.
@coolman. The 境外人员住宿登记表 is easy. Just go to your nearest large police station and ask. They may send you elsewhere since you need to go to the correct station for the place you live but when you get there most places are pretty used to dealing with them. You should already have one and so they might tell you off for registering late but they don't seem to actually fine people all that often. It also seems to vary from place to place what evidence you need, but take the rental agreement anyway, they may or may not ask for it.
Apparently you have to take both theory and practical tests if you're moving a license from elsewhere (which doesn't really make sense since you don't have to take it the first time...) presumably you could just claim you'd never had one before though.
Whether you can get a (permanent) license with a 60 day visa seems unclear. I was told a work visa wasn't a hard requirement but other people in this thread don't seem to be reporting the same thing. The only way to find out is probably to try it and see, it may just depend how generous they are feeling when you turn up. At least it's very easy to get the the office now with the train in operation.
I was able to get a driver's license almost two years ago and just thought that my experience will be useful to some of you out there. However, things may have changed ever since.
If you have an active driver's license (DL) from another country other than China, then all you need is to pass a theoretical exam which can be taken in English to obtain your DL in China. You must score a 90 or above out of 100 questions they pick out of a bank of 1,300 questions. You can obtain a copy of this studying material by bringing a jump drive to the "Traffic Control Department of the Public Security Organ, which I will just refer to as the DMV from now on, and they will copy it onto your disk. The DMV is located in Xipu district, about a 25 minute drive towards northwest from Southwest Jiaotong University, and yes, this is the only place available in all Chengdu to get your Sichuan DL. Actually, it is about a 5 minute cab ride away from the new Southwest Jiaotong University branch in Xipu. If you wish, you can email me and I can try to email you the 80 MB file since it has 300 some odd pages.
The following materials will be needed; three 1-inch photos; application form; your original passport; your original DL; a copy of your passport's front page; a copy of your visa; a copy of the front and back of your DL from your home country; and a translation of your DL to Chinese AND notarized by a company or school (meaning, that you have to get one of those stamps that has a red star in the center from a company that is willing to vouch for you and have it stamped on your translated DL document only). Be mentally prepared to make a second or third trip given that most governmental institutions are highly inefficient. The service clerks were great though, very helping with nice attitudes.
The cost was 280 yuan (2 years ago), which included a free medical exam where they check your height, vision, color blindness and blood pressure and two chances to pass the theoretical test. If you fail it twice, you can pay 140 yuan to get two more chances again, and you can keep trying. I highly recommend that you go to the DMV around 8 am or 1:30 pm so you can sign up to take the exam right after you have turned in the application form and taken the medical exam (which took me no more than 10 minutes). The reason is that they only have 5 computers for the examination and if you show up around 10 am or 3:30 pm then chances are that the proctor will tell you to come back the next shift. They may have added more computers by now thou.
The name appearing on your Chinese DL cannot be in English, so if you do not yet have a Chinese name, then you should think of one already because you have to have a Chinese name on your DL. Your Chinese name does not have to sound like your non-Chinese name; however, it cannot exceed 3 characters! For example, you cannot name yourself Santa Claus because you will have needed 5 characters (圣诞老公公)!
@fyen18 - your experience is broadly similar to mine. As @1andonly points our though you now need to do your medical before going to the DMV. There are plenty of clinics that will do it in the city though.
You can also now get the fast train to Xipu from Chengdu which is pretty convenient because it stops just outside the DMV. Otherwise busses run from Chadianzi amongst other places.
It amuses me that the names on driving licenses cannot be in English, but on car registration papers they can (or have to be?). I'm calling BS on the 3 character limit though — I know at least one Chinese person with a four character name and the name on my driving licence is 6 characters long (8 if you count the '·' character between the pairs of Chinese characters)
PS — calling yourself 圣诞老公公 reminds me of the most common name found on Irish driving licenses — "Prawo Jazdy" which means 'Driving License' in Polish!
@invisible (June 1, 2011) - According to multiple choice questions in the test: "126.96.36.199 When the green traffic light is on and allows the vehicles to pass, the turning vehicles are not allowed to obstruct the flow of the straight-going vehicles and pedestrians." But, like you say, this is purely theoretical.
Hey fyen18, I been living here in Chengdu for a little then a year. I have always wanted to get my drivers license so I am going to take you advice. Thanks!
This website provides practice tests, a quiz, and a revision section for each topic in the driving test.
Is it possible to convert a UK provisional motorcycle license into a full Chinese one?
Thanks for all of the useful information!
I'm trying to get my license in Chengdu and I still have a few questions:
Thanks in advance, and if anyone is planning to go anytime soon maybe we can go together!
1) Is the address below? I found a bunch of offices in PiXian so wanted to make sure I was taking the cab to the right address.
Chengdu City Public Security Bureau Traffic Administration Bureau Office of Vehicle Management
2) What are the offices' operating hours? Are they open on weekends?
3) My US DL is going to expire soon... will this be a problem or should I renew back in the States first?
1. It's right opposite the railway station. That address is the right general area, but it won't be enough for a taxi to find it. 车管所 (Vehicle Management Office) is the key bit that's missing.
2. I wouldn't expect they're open weekends. Office hours only I think.
3. I do actually know one guy who succeeded in getting a Chinese license with an out of date Canadian license (and then never actually drove in China, just used the license solely purpose of exchanging it for an Australian license!). I suspect official policy somewhere would want it to be in date. If it hasn't actually expired yet I expect it should be fine though.
Quick question - is is possible to get the license same-day? Or is it mailed to the address on the form?
You get it the same day.
ps @xtine - not ignoring you, will get back to email soon.
haha.....no worries at all me friend. Thank you for the feedback. Definitely hope to get together before I leave! Enjoy your weekend! :)
Does anyone have a link to a pdf or such like for the test questions? I tried one that was in the forum but it wouldn't open in Adobe.
Does anyone have a link to a pdf or such like for the test questions? I tried one that was in the forum but it wouldn't open in Adobe.
Word doc: http://www.gzjd.gov.cn/jiaotong/images/pic/%C6%FB%B3%B5%D3%A2%D3%EF.rar
Hi nickw, that link downloads a .rar file, which then does nothing! Thanks anyway, a friend has a copy they're going send me.
You need to unzip the RAR and extra the word doc from inside it. It's working for me.
Ok, for me it's a bit weird. Once if finishes downloading it automatically opens my VLC media player, and I can't see a file anywhere! Must be my computer setup. Anyway thanks for your reply, and as I mentioned I have a copy now anyway.
Ok, did things differently this time, and it worked. Thanks once again.
I can recommend a local translation agency, they located quite in the center of the city 青龙街27号铂金商务领馆2-17-1319, call 028-86283116 they can help
wow. just saw the answer now. thanks for the reply.
Is it just me or does it seem a good share of all accidents could be avoided if the cars/trucks/buses would stop and look before taking a right turn
To answer the earlier question of whether an expired license can still be used, it worked for me. One of the clerks working there whom I tried to fraternize said that basically if your license is not expired for over 6 months, then it "should be" okay. Now if you still don't know that all rules here in China can be "bent" then you haven't been here long enough or you haven't entrenched yourself deep enough into the system. If needed, just put on your best sobbing face and be very nice.
Now I need to rant a little.
This is what they should teach in driving schools here in China, specially Chengdu.
1) Know what is a blind spot!!! You are supposed to turn your head toward the blind spot every time you make a turn or change a lane instead of just cutting in front of others!!!
2) When leaving your parked spot on the side of the road, look at your side view mirror to see if there is a car coming your direction at >30 mph before pulling out in front of me!@
3) If you are in a traffic jam and you are about to enter an intersection but the light is still green, DO NOT block the intersection!! This is one of the major reasons (apart from all the construction) why traffic is horrible in Chengdu.
4) Don't use your high beams when you are behind me! Even your low beams don't help you that much to see the road at night, its use is to indicate to others that you are there. When driving at night, turn off your lights for a second and you''ll realize that you'll still be able to see.
Okay that feels better.
I want to apply as we'll,is there any local AGEN who can organize everything for driving school,license,all in with very good n cheap price.If yes,I will called you immediately.
Please reply me ASAP
Well, got my licence today - so thought i'd update this thread with my experience (this is all as of 16th January 2013).
Things you will need for the test:
Original driving licence, translation of licence with stamp from company, medical check form, at least 3 photos (must be the smaller 1 inch photo - NOT passport size), passport/visa (with photo copies).
When you arrive, you need to fill out a form with a Chinese name - and you will have to sign this name several times (so brush up on your Chinese character writing). They now have bi-lingual staff on hand to help you out if your Chinese isn't strong.
I used the iPhone app 'China Drive' to revise for the test beforehand, it has a database of 1,300 questions, and this was pretty useful. However, from what I experienced on the day, the questions seem to have changed. From the test I took, at least 1/3 were ones I'd come across before in the app, 1/3 were similar but reworded slightly (even more Chinglish), and then 1/3 of the questions i'd never come across before.
There seems to be more questions based on penalty points (i.e. is a certain violation worth 2, 3, 6 or 12 points), and there are also some new questions popping up about traffic cameras. I also got pretty slammed with questions about the traffic police hand signals - which I still don't fully understand. Oh, and there were quite a few more questions about lights on the dashboard of the car - in relation to silly things like aircon (which of course is very useful to know!?! Haha).
Finally, the price I had to pay was 110RMB. That was just for a single test (not sure if you have to pay more for a re-sit if you fail the first attempt). But from what I'd heard from other people, this is almost half the price from before. I arrived around 9:45am and got through quite quickly, not much waiting around at all.
By the way, this was all at the test centre out in Xipu (http://j.map.baidu.com/pdMhh).
drewonfire plz help me out
can you tell me where you got DL translated? also medical exam. i heard some qustions are change and some are really different. is that like that.
what do you think. thank you
Well, I got my driving licence translated in a small shop opposite the American consulate. There are a few different places there that help Chinese people apply for visas, etc. I went along with a Chinese friend, and he just popped his head in a few of those shops and asked. Cost me 90RMB to get it done, but I've heard some people get it done for less.
I live out in the East of Chengdu, so for the medical I went to the "Number 6 Hospital" near Jianshe Lu. (成都市成华区建设南街16号) Its really quick and doesn't involve doing much - and it only costs about 18RMB.
As I said in the post above, from the 'China Drive' app and the Word file located on this forum (with about 1300 questions), only 1/3 of the questions on my test were actually the same. The rest were either rewordings of questions i'd come across before, and some were brand new (especially about dashboard lights and traffic cameras).
But even with the new questions, its not that much more difficult. If you're in a rush, just revise the old questions and go give it a go (thats what I did and I still passed first time). Or, if you want to play it safe, then just wait for the new questions to appear online. I did ask the staff if I could have a full list of the new questions (after I finished my test), they said they didn't have a full list available yet - but would have it ready "soon".
Thanks drewonfire for the update! Congrats on getting your license!
Fairly similar experience to drewonfire regarding getting my license.
Had the translation done at Learned Translation (http://www.byfy.net), and having a Finnish license, they charged a bit more than usual 100 for it. Sent a scan to them by e-mail and went to pick up the translation a few hours later (they didn't want to see the original document...). So much for 'authorized translations'. Anyways, nice translation with stamp.
Took the the health check at #1 People's Hospital (same place where Parkway Health is). You'll needs somebody to go with you there if you don't speak rather fluent Chinese. Eyesight test (5.0 row on the wall, recognizing a number from red/green pattern), another doctor checked - how it appeared, at least - that I have two functioning hands, 5 fingers on each and feet move: in practice: sat on a chair, he looked at my hands and feet and that's it. Then queuing about 40 minutes to have the report printed out w/digital photo taken - the girl running the show had never done a report for foreign license before, so she got help from senior staff member. Remember to have a document showing your registered address with you (original or copy of your residence registration), original license -even there, and naturally passport w/residence permit. All in all, about an hour.
At DMV, same applies. If your Chinese is not rather good, have somebody with you. Filling in the form, going to counter to have all papers checked (translation, photocopies of passport/residence permit and license, police registration form, health check report, original license, passport), being sent to department manager (in another building, of course) to approve your foreign license for transfer - he was rather amused about my license photo dating 20 years back.
Back to same counter in main service hall with captain's approval & signature, choosing a Chinese name (didn't have to sign that myself to documents, even), paying the registration/exam fee of 110 RMB and again back to other building to wait for the test slot for 20 minutes or so.
The 2013 new questions -believe or not- are somewhat of an improvement compared to the old test. No more tens of "which document you need to take with you to government office X to perform Y", but exceedingly more 'traffic situation' pictures, from which you must determine whether it's OK for your or another car to run red lights. See http://jiaogui.zd87.com/km1-1.html as an example. That site has just about all the new questions that appeared in the test - not in English, though, and Google Translate does pretty horrible job. Anyways, studied for the exam reading the old material plus the Subject 1 test from the aforementioned website (with horrible translations).
In the test (Wednesday, just after lunchtime) there were two other persons in the test room of six seats. There appeared to be more test rooms for busier days. A few questions were from the old material still, but the majority were from the new set. Result: 96/100. Out of the missed four, 3 were due to some rather cryptic Chinglish on the test and one was a good old-fashioned error. At leisurely pace, the test took 20 minutes out of allotted 45. The test supervisor printed the result form and back to main service hall again.
Handed over all documents + test result sheet, went to lobby to stare at the info screen telling when your license is ready, which took about 15 minutes. Done.
Well that didn't work for me. I got stuck with the captain. My visum is issued in Beijing and I am a resident (registered with the police) of Chengdu. That means I can' t take the exam here (my residence permit is not issued in Chengdu) and I can't take the exam in Beijing (as I am no Beijing resident). The first issue could be resolved in future with the relaxed visa extending regulations. The latter issue can only be resolved by spending a lot of money (fly to Beijing, rent an appartment, register and then take the test). And hoping I am not stupid enough to fail the test after these investments.
Any news about an English version of the new questions?
don't tell me you're getting a car now
well, i want to get a license... are you against people buying cars?
i'm not, but i remember you being vocal about it.:)
can anyone tell me how much should spend to get a motorcycle Driving licence, where should I go and the procedures for that ?
The best place for motorcyle license info in Chinese is http://www.mychinamoto.com/forums/showthread.php?1877-Getting-a-Chinese-Motorcycle-License/
The test is not much different to the new driving test questions which are here http://www.chinese-driving-test.com/
Foreigner fined RMB1,100 in Chengdu for driving without motorbike license plate.
The reported 21 year old man is Indian and even "injured" a traffic cop when trying to escape. he wasn't detained because he had to attend school.
I passed my test first time today.
I found this website very helpful to practice....... http://www.chinese-driving-test.com/test/
My first attempt at the practice test I scored 75% after about 10 to 15 attempts I started to hit above 90% regularly and found the real test pretty easy, scored 92%
There is an agency that is helping to foreigners to get a driving license. All you need are infos photo and some money.
@GeorgeC kudos man! and thanks for the link! ... where did you take the test? do you have a number?
@StuffMan ... do you have a number?
@Redwithrage, Any leads on procuring a temporary driving License?