How to get a Driver’s License in Hohhot

08/31/2013

My husband is now the proud owner of a Chinese driver’s license.  If you are interested in getting one, we hope this post will save you some of the time and trouble we experienced.
Note:  As with all things in China, the process to accomplish any task can change at any time.  Also, the following applies only if you possess a license in another country already.
Here is a list of the documents you need:
-your original passport and driver’s license
-translated passport and driver’s license (more on this below)
-document from your local police station stating that you have lived here longer than three months and that you are not a criminal
-foreigner accommodation registration document signed and stamped at local police station
Translated documents:  There is only one contracted translation company that can provide you with the translation you will need.  It must be on the company’s letterhead for the department of motor vehicles to accept it.  The company is:  呼和浩特市人民政府外事办公室  对外友好交流中心。 It is located on Xin Hua Lu in a high rise glass building on the north side of the road just east of chang le gong.  The office is on the 26th (top) floor.  Pay attention to the signage above the elevators, not all elevators go to every floor.  CHECK YOUR TRANSLATED DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY FOR ERRORS.  Make sure the translators included an “issuing authority” even if it isn’t explicitly written on your original license.Next you need stamps and a 证明 zheng ming from your local 派出所 pai chu suo.   I can’t tell you where yours is, but it’s the same place you registered when you arrived (if you live somewhere other than a hotel). You’ll need to get the document called “Accommodation Registration Form for Foreign Nationals” then you’ll need to have them write and print a document that says you’ve lived here more than three months and that you’re not a criminal.

Now that you have all your documents, you can take them and go to the Department of Motor Vehicles  che guan suo 车管所.  It is located on Hailar road just west of the west second ring road on the north side of the road.  It’s a big building and you want to enter on the far west side.

The first step is to get in one of the lines on the far west to pay the fee for the required medical check. (About 60 RMB)  If all your documents are approved, CONGRATULATIONS!  You can go to the second floor, east side, to check your weight, height, vision, hearing, etc. Each station will check something and stamp a paper.  When you get all your stamps, you’re ready for pictures.

The second step requires going out the main doors and around to the east side of the building and up to the second floor to get your pictures.

Step three:  take all your completed paperwork and pictures back to the main lobby on the west side to pay the fee to register for the test. (About 170 RMB) If everything is accepted, CONGRATULATIONS!  You can go to the second floor, west side, to register for your test.  If everything is accepted there, they will give you a website where you can register for a testing date after 24 hours.

The website is such that you can only see the availability for the current month, so if it’s near the end of the month, you can wait until the 1st of the next month to see more available test dates.

Step four: register for a test date and begin studying (if you’re not already)

The fifth step is taking the test.  You only have to take the written test and it’s in English!  The English translation wasn’t terrible, but you’ll need to take some practice tests to get familiar with terms and phrases the test uses.  You have 45 minutes to complete 100 questions.  If you don’t get there early and rush in when the doors open, you’ll have to wait in line for an available computer to take the test.  You must answer more than 90% correct to pass.

Step Six:  If you pass, you’ll take all your paperwork to a series of offices to get stamps.  At the last office, you’re license will be issued.  Congratulations!

And that’s it, folks!  You can be licensed to drive in the PRC!

Another personal note….We had to make a total of 3-4 trips to the che guan suo to make all this happen. Our most successful trip was when we took our youngest daughter with us. Cute babies make friends and smooth your process 🙂

6 comments

  1. Mike says:

    I’m hearing from a lot of locals that there isn’t an English written test. Just in Chinese

    • weibaili says:

      James took it in English. There may not be as many practice test question banks in English, but the test was. It was also just after the test changed, so unless they’ve changed it again really recently, it should still be available in English.

  2. […] may remember last year we wrote about my husband’s experience getting his driving license. As you can imagine, no process is easy in China and getting a driver’s license and buying a […]

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