Date registered: March 28, 2013
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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.