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Driving in China
Apr 9, 2006 07:14
  • INMEDIC
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I would like to know if anyone can tell me if a tourist is able to drive a vehicle in China? While my wife and I were in a taxi I noticed a car rental sign in Shanghai. Would I need a special driving permit and be allowed to drive out of the city? City traffic in Shanghai is terrible and I would not want to try and drive around the city but I would like to know if I would be allowed to drive out of the city. If there is someone who knows I would appreciate it.
Thanks
Apr 9, 2006 07:55
#1  
  • JABAROOTOO
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Hi,
You are supposed to have a Chinese Drivers licence to drive in China. You can probably rent a car 'no questions asked' but it helps if you can read characters too.

Apr 9, 2006 11:59
#2  
  • ROGERINCA
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Hi Terry, This will be a very easy issue for you to address. The company I use for my Visa service, [Passports Plus] in Houston, has a lot of good info (accurate) info on their website passports plus.com, regarding an 'International Driver License'. China is one of the many countries that does recognize the IDL. The only other issue is insurance, which is available through the agency which rents you the car.

The fee is $60 for two week processing, and $100 for express (three day) processing, and this includes express mail service to you.

You will fill out a short application, and send a photo copy of your Indiana State driver license and a 2”x 2” standard passport photo, that’s it....no test involved.

The International Driving Permit that Passports Plus will procure is good for [five] years from date of issue. While there is no test required, the following conditions must be met in order to obtain an International Driving Permit:

You must be at least 18 years of age or older to apply.
The permit is recognized by the countries listed as a document, along with your travel visa, identifying you as a properly licensed visitor/resident of the country.
You must sign the International Driving Permit.
You must carry your valid USA/State Driver's License along with your International Driver Permit, as well as your passport/visa.

You can download/fill out the application on-line at there website. Click on the IDL icon.

:) :)
Apr 10, 2006 00:45
#3  
  • ROGERINCA
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Interesting information ?? I will phone Passports Plus in Houston, Texas, in my morning and initiate an inquiry into the errors in the information provided on their web-site and attempt to have them make corrections to their obviously erroneous information. Maybe they will refund my money for my IDL ?? I guess it was a good thing I was not stopped by the ‘Highway Patrol’ in Guangzhou, this past December, as I zipped around in my borrowed GM-Shanghai Buick; that would have been really embarrassing !!! LOL :) :)

And thank you Warren, for helping to keep Roger and Terry from being fined and having our nice rental cars towed and impounded, for driving while unlicensed, when we visit Guangzhou in June !!! LOL

And as Pinetree would most certainly say…..”So very funny” !!!


The following is from the authoritative web-site of the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document that provides important information from your driver's license in eleven different languages, including English. This document came into existence by virtue of a treaty signed in 1949 by the United States and other foreign countries. As an official document, the IDP is recognized in over 150 countries today.

The United Nations recently provided official notification to the US State Department indicating that the treaty presently applicable to Hong Kong continues to apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the name given to the territory by China. [Such notification should not be misconstrued to mean that China now recognizes IDPs, as the People's Republic of China has never become a party to the treaty.]


Apr 10, 2006 01:01
#4  
  • ROGERINCA
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I’ll walk before I would ever be caught riding on an “electric bicycle’ !!!! :) :)
Apr 10, 2006 01:29
#5  
  • RITA
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That's right, you should ask before you buy or rent an electric bicycle, in some provinces/ cities, riding electric bicycle on the road is illegal.
Apr 10, 2006 05:39
#6  
  • JABAROOTOO
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You will also need to produce you national licence, have it translated and notorized in China.

I have heard that the 'written test' is not easy to read(understand) and you may get some assistance from the staff in answering correctly all the questions.

But it is certainly doable. I guess it depends which city you will apply for it too.
Apr 10, 2006 06:26
#7  
  • INMEDIC
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Hi,
Thanks for the information.

later dude
Apr 10, 2006 08:22
#8  
  • APAULT
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I have an international Drivers Permit and I can confirm that it is NOT valid in China. You must obtain a local licence. Each Province administers driver's licences in its own way. Some have special provision for foreigners. But come and check out the driving before you decide you want to drive here... at the very least you should not drive before you have seen the 'system'. The basic rule of the road is that everyone has right ow way and everyone else must move out of the way. You should also consider that he first part of a car that wears out is the horn!
Jul 21, 2008 17:59
#9  
GUESTNYC I have been drivng in China but not yet caught. I try to get a driving license in Shanghai they need two years visa permit before you can optain a Chinese Driving License. Let me tell you, the traffic in NYC and in Shanghai is not much different. The only different is once awhile you see peoples pop out from someway that will give you a heart attack. So most of the time you need to place you hand on the horn position waiting for someone to pop out. Other than that is quite normal. Drive safely. Good luck.
Nov 9, 2008 22:29
#10  
GUEST73690 I suggest you visit www.China-Driving.com to know about "driving your own vehicle" or "Driving chinese vehicule " in China, you find there explication and detailled informations.

Good luck for yout driving experience.
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