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International Driver's License Using Chinese DL

Krismoonpie (80 posts) • 0

I have a valid Chinese driver's license, however my driver's license from my home country has expired while I have been here. I was wondering if there is any foreigner out there who has successfully gotten an international license using their Chinese driver's license that allows them to drive in other countries (i.e. America, Europe) Renewing my old license isn't really an option and I'd like to potentially rent a car when traveling.

Now I know China is not part of the U.N. international commission on driver's licenses, and I know there are pay services out there on the internet that offer this service. I am curious aside from these two points if anyone has successfully done this before. Gotten an international driver's license using a Chinese driver's license that allowed them to drive and rent a car legally in another country.

Ideally I'd like to do it here in Kunming, or at least in China. I have also seen many people offering the service on taobao, but there are so many choices and the prices vary pretty drastically. I have also read online that one should be careful when enlisting these services as there are many people making fakes out there that end up useless when you try to use them.

I have already read tons of forums on the subject so don't really need any potential ideas or conjecture about how one might get it done, I also know some people say that a Chinese driver's license can be used in certain states etc. I already know about all that stuff. I'd just like to hear from someone who actually successfully got an international DL using their Chinese DL and how and where they did it.


GoK Moderator (5096 posts) • +1

If you mean the International Driving Permit, it cannot be done. Several reasons.

As you point out, China is not a signatory to the treaty. For an IDP you must apply for it in the country that has issued your valid (normal) driving license, to an organisation that issues IDPs. You are not permitted to do this from another country. How do I know this? I used to work for an organisation that issued IDPs and handled many inquiries. As China is not a signatory, it does not have such organisations.

However, that does not mean that other states do not allow you to rent vehicles using a Chinese license. The best thing to do would be to contact the major vehicle rental companies of your target countries, and see who will rent you a car. This can be done online.

michael2015 (784 posts) • +1

an international license MUST be used along with your non-expired original country's license.

If you're Chinese Driver's License has enough English on it to make out your name, birth date, license expiration date, and vehicle class (optional) - that's good enough for most places for temporary driving, as China isn't a signatory to that international driver's license you seek.

The International Driver's License is NOT a driver's license - it is merely a translation that is accepted by UN signatories and must be accompanied by your original valid, non-expired driver's license.

China is NOT a signatory - which is why any Chinese International Driver's license using that kind of documentation is technically invalid and illegal - but not everybody is an expert in international law. It's also why attempting to drive in China on an international driver's license is of questionable intelligence. Just take the test, fail it, take it again, pass.

So if your objective is to drive in a foreign country with a Chinese Driver's license - it doesn't really matter if the company is fake or genuine, as it's merely a translation of your current country's driver's license and is technically invalid as China isn't a signatory.

So go ahead and use any company that produces legitimate looking stuff with barcodes, laser holograms, lots of color, thick photographic like paper, etc. And remember this - if you buy insurance - it's automatically invalid as your international driver's license is invalid - don't know what to say to mitigate that risk. If you JUST use your Chinese driver's license and they do NOT photocopy your fake or invalid international driver's license - there's no proof you used deception and the insurance will be valid unless you self immolate by alluding to your fake/invalid international driver's permit.

OR you can try the legit method of taking the written driver's license exam. In California - if you pass the written exam (along with the translation of your foreign driver's license) - they'll issue a temporary paper permit immediately and mail the genuine doc (which is pretty cool looking) within a few days to the following week or two.

The test is easy - and the test materials are online - it's a 20 question test - takes about 15 minutes. The first license is good for 5 years. The second and third renewals - if you've been good and renew online - 10 years each (no test)! You can also apply for a California ID card (as long as you have an address and a utility statement or paycheck or tax document proving you live there) - regardless of whether you're a citizen or not - that's gotta be cool.

AlexKMG (2387 posts) • 0

I renewed a cali license pretty easy by online with a new address even. So as long as you have someone in your old state that will mail it to you, might have a shot, granted mine was still valid before I renewed online. Still, check your states DMV online, they have improved a lot.

There's a lot of uber or similar car sharing all over the planet, so if it's just getting around in major urban areas with a car for shopping and such.

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