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How to Get Driver License in China As a Foreigner?

Driver License in China
Driver License in China

The process of obtaining a driver's license in China for foreigners typically involves similar steps to those for Chinese citizens. However, the specific requirements and processes may vary by city or province. Here's a general overview:


  • Foreigners usually need to have a valid residence permit in China to be eligible for a driver's license.

2.Medical Checkup:

  • Foreigners are typically required to undergo a medical examination to ensure they are physically fit to drive.

3.Written Theory Test:

  • Like Chinese citizens, foreigners are generally required to take a written theory test to assess their knowledge of traffic rules, road signs, and other regulations. They are 科目一 "Subject 1" or "Part 1 and 科目四 Subject 4" or "Part 4." You can choose to take the text either in Chinese or English.

Subject 1 (科目一)

Here are key points about the test:

  1. Content: The written theory test covers a range of topics, including traffic regulations, road signs, driving etiquette, and other rules related to operating a motor vehicle.

  2. Language: The test is typically available in multiple languages, including Mandarin and often English. This is to accommodate both Chinese citizens and foreigners applying for a driver's license in China.

  3. Study Materials: Candidates usually have access to study materials, including textbooks and online resources, to prepare for the written theory test.

  4. Format: The test is usually in a multiple-choice format, where you select the correct answer from a set of options.

  5. Passing Score: To pass the Subject 1 test, candidates must achieve a minimum passing score. The passing score may vary by region.

  6. Preparation: It is recommended to study the relevant materials thoroughly before taking the test. There are often practice exams available to help candidates familiarize themselves with the format and content.

After successfully passing the Subject 1 test, candidates can proceed to the next steps in the driver's license examination process, which typically include practical driving training (科目二) and the practical road test (科目二).

Subject 4 (科目四)

  1. Content: Subject 4 assesses your understanding of traffic laws, regulations, and safe driving practices. It often involves scenarios and situations that test your ability to make correct decisions.

  2. Simulated Scenarios: The test may use simulated scenarios, videos, or interactive formats to present various driving situations. Candidates are then required to respond appropriately based on their knowledge of traffic rules.

  3. Decision-Making Skills: Subject 4 is designed to evaluate your decision-making skills, especially in challenging or complex traffic situations.

  4. Computer-Based Test: The test is typically administered on a computer, and candidates may interact with the content using a keyboard or mouse.

  5. Passing Score: Like the other subjects, Subject 4 has a passing score that candidates must achieve to successfully complete the driver's license examination process.

  6. Preparation: Candidates are advised to review traffic laws, regulations, and safe driving practices thoroughly before taking the Subject 4 test. Study materials and practice exams may be available to help candidates prepare.

It's important to note that the details of the driver's license examination process, including Subject 4, can vary by province or municipality in China. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, I recommend checking with the local traffic management bureau or the relevant licensing authority in the specific region where you are applying for a driver's license. They can provide detailed information on the examination process in your specific location.

4. Practical Driving Training:

  • After passing the written theory test, you are required to undergo practical driving training. This training includes a set number of hours behind the wheel, during which you practice your driving skills under the guidance of an instructor. The practical road test evaluates your ability to apply the rules and handle a vehicle in real traffic situations. Foreigners may need to complete a certain number of hours of practical driving training. The specific requirements can vary.

5. Practical Road Test:

  • After completing the necessary training, foreigners are required to take a practical road test to demonstrate their driving skills in real traffic situations.They are 科目二 "Subject 2" or "Part 2 and 科目三 Subject 3" or "Part 3."

Subject 2 科目二 (Kēmù èr)  . The practical skills test or road test.

  1. In the context of obtaining a driver's license in China, "科目二" (Kēmù èr) refers to Subject 2. Subject 2 involves the practical skills test, also known as the road test. This part of the examination assesses your ability to apply the rules of the road and operate a vehicle in real-world driving conditions.

Subject 3 科目三 (Kēmù èr sān) : The comprehensive skills test.

Subject 3, the comprehensive skills test, usually involves a more advanced evaluation of your driving abilities and may include tasks such as Light Test, in the Chinese driver's license examination. The light test assesses your ability to use the vehicle's lights correctly in various driving conditions, such as low visibility or nighttime driving. It is a crucial part of evaluating your overall competence in handling a vehicle under different circumstances. Parking Skills: Advanced parking maneuvers, such as parallel parking and angle parking, may be assessed. Complex Traffic Scenarios: The test may involve navigating through challenging traffic situations, such as intersections with heavy traffic, roundabouts, and pedestrian crossings. Emergency Situations: Candidates might be evaluated on their ability to respond to emergency situations, such as sudden braking or evasive maneuvers.Highway Driving: Candidates may be required to demonstrate their ability to drive on highways, including merging, changing lanes, and exiting.


  • Foreigners typically need to provide certain documentation, including their valid passport, residence permit, and other required identification.

7.Language of the Test:

  • In some locations, the tests (especially the written theory test) may be available in multiple languages, including English.

It's important to note that the process and requirements may vary by city or province in China. Therefore, it's advisable to check with the local traffic management bureau or the relevant authority in the specific city or province where you plan to obtain your driver's license. They can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on the application process for foreigners.

Can i drive in China if i have a driver license in my home country already ?

Driver license in China

China does recognize international driving permits (IDP) issued by certain countries, allowing you to drive in China for a limited period. However, the recognition of foreign driver's licenses and the use of international driving permits can vary by region, and there may be specific regulations or restrictions in place.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • International Driving Permit (IDP):

  • If you plan to drive in China, it's advisable to obtain an International Driving Permit before arriving. An IDP serves as a translation of your home country's driver's license into multiple languages and may facilitate communication with local authorities.

  • Duration of Validity:

  • The IDP is typically valid for one year from the date of issue, but the duration may vary based on your home country's regulations.

  • Regional Variations:

  • Recognizing foreign driver's licenses and the use of IDPs can vary by province or municipality in China. Some regions may have specific rules or restrictions, and enforcement practices can differ.

  • Residency Requirements:

  • In some areas, foreigners may need to have a valid residence permit in China to drive legally. Check with local authorities to confirm residency requirements.

  • Translation of Documents:

  • Along with the IDP, it's often recommended to carry a notarized Chinese translation of your home country's driver's license. This can help in situations where there may be questions about the validity of your license.

  • Updates and Changes:

  • Regulations can change. Always check with the local traffic management bureau or relevant authorities in the specific region where you plan to drive for the most current information.

Keep in mind that these guidelines are general, and there may be variations in the application of rules depending on your specific location in China. It's crucial to verify the current regulations with the local authorities to ensure compliance with local traffic laws.

How much is it cost for the training fee to get a driver license as a foreigner?

The training fees for obtaining a driver's license in China for foreigners can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the driving school, and the specific type of license you are applying for (e.g., private car license, motorcycle license).

Here are some general points to consider:

  • Location: Training fees can vary by province or municipality in China. Larger cities or more developed regions may have higher training fees compared to smaller cities or less developed areas.

  • Type of License: The cost may differ based on the type of license you are applying for. For example, the fees for a private car license may be different from those for a motorcycle license.

  • Instructor Fees: Some driving schools may charge additional fees for instructor-led training sessions, both in the classroom for the theory test and on the road for practical driving lessons.

  • Training Materials: You may need to purchase or provide your own training materials, such as study books or online resources, which could add to the overall cost.

  • Number of Driving Lessons: The number of required driving lessons can impact the total cost. Some schools have a set number of mandatory hours of practical training.

  • Additional Services: Some driving schools may offer additional services, such as practice exams, mock tests, or extra support, which could be subject to additional fees.

It's essential to contact local driving schools or the traffic management bureau in the specific region where you plan to obtain your driver's license for the most accurate and up-to-date information on training fees. They can provide details on the cost structure, any additional requirements, and the overall process for obtaining a driver's license as a foreigner in that particular location. Keep in mind that fees and requirements can vary, and it's crucial to obtain information relevant to your specific circumstances.

New Words to Learn :

驾照jià zhào :Driver License

考试kǎo shì :Test

开车kāi chē : to drive

司机 sī jī : Driver

高速公路gāo sù gōng lù : Highway

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