Applying and converting Driver License in Xiamen

Updated: 20 Feb 2009
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Foreigners can get a driver’s license in China! But, not all foreigners in China can get a temporary driver license.


So, who should apply for a driver license in China?


Foreigners from any country who want to drive in China must apply for a driver license. International driver licenses are not recognized.


Only China licenses are valid in the Chinese mainland. Residents from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan also need to apply for a driver license to drive in the Chinese mainland.


What are the requirements?


Licenses must be applied for in the city in which your residence permit or temporary residence permit is registered. Once obtained, you can then apply (if you have no other driver license at all) or convert your current driver license issued in your home country. Once converted, the driver license is valid across the Chinese mainland.


The information for this article was collected from municipal authorities Xiamen.


The procedures of getting a driving licence in Xiamen:


1. Apply for a residence permit at the Xiamen Bureau of Entry and Exit of the Ministry of Public Security (Immigration Office).

Address: NO. 64, Zhenhai Road, Siming District

Tel: 0592 - 2022329 / 2262203

Bus: 3, 8, 12, 18, 19, 27, 32, 51, 59, 86, 96, 99, 410, 417, 517, 518, 526, 533, 616, 809, get off at Di Yi Yi Yuan (No. 1 Hospital) Bus Stop

Working hours: 8:10am - 11:40am, 2:40pm - 5:15pm


2. Have your residence permit, driving license and passport translated into Chinese, you can have it translated in any qualified translator company.


3. Go to the driving examination centre for registration, as well as taking written exam (in multiple choices) (past papers are available, see WOX), passport size photos and doing health check.


Address: No. 390, Fanghu Road, Huli District

Tel: 0592-5736713

Bus: 7, 13, 42, 91, 94, 513, 519, 528, 810, get off at Che Guan Suo Bus Stop

Working hours: 8:00 - 12:00 & 14:30 - 17:30


4. Register a date of the written test with the examination centre. There are about 100 multiple choice questions on the test.


5. Once you have got through the written test, your current driver license issued in your home country is then converted. If you don’t have a valid driver license at all, you need to sit for the driving test. There are many professional driving schools in Xiamen. WOX will publish this in another article.


6. Examination material. There are past examination materials which are more than 300 in A4 pages, there are about 1 thousand questions, printed both in Chinese and English. The test questions are all selected from these past papers.


To obtain a photocopy of these papers, contact Apple Travel at 0592-5074177 or



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Comments Area ( Total Comments: 9 )
BlackMen Commented on 18 Dec 2017
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otto Commented on 01 Nov 2012
@ seanmsinclair

It's the "harmless" health check: eyes (short-sight test and color test) and they will ask to scan yr finger-print together with the photo.

the blood test they do later when they stop you after drunk driving.
seanmsinclair Commented on 01 Nov 2012
Does the "health check" involve getting blood drawn or just an eye examination? :^/ Details please.
otto Commented on 29 Oct 2012
seems like this page has not been updated for 3 years. Meanwhile there are online tests available in English as well as convenient smart-phone apps.

Not any translation office is qualified. The authority only accepts certain companies.

Not everyone can get a Chinese license. Foreigners need a visa with a minimum stay of 90 days.

What I paid: translation 140 RMB, health-check 12 RMB, photos 25 RMB, test 80 RMB and the license itself 10 RMB
martianxxx2003 Commented on 08 Aug 2012
Oh indeed their are so very special...... special in need of retraining of all chinese drivers, special frequent accidents in chinese roads.... there so special that they didn't want to walk so they use their special cars and the special thing is traffic jam.
dutchboy62 Commented on 27 May 2012
what is the big deal people. You all are guests in this country. Lets abide by the rules.

Lets be thankful that we can travel and live in this great country.

AngryRobot32 Commented on 18 Apr 2012
Yeah! And what about well traveled robots? I'm already programmed to drive for 9 planets in three seperate galaxies, including planetary flight and starships. I just know that when I go to the Chinese DMV they'll take one look at me and give me a hard time. I mean come on! I can see into the infra-red and ultra-violet spectrum and I just KNOW they'll make me take a vision test! All for this dinky country on the third rock from the sun. If they would just take my endorsements already!
nanchang Commented on 15 Feb 2012
It is still utter BS that China is the only country worldwide where the International Driving License does not work ...

On what ground is this based ? Is driving in China so special ? And it's not even on another side of the road (for most countries) ...

Is this just another way to keep money coming and staff "busy" ?