How to convert an overseas driving license into a local one

Public transportation in Shanghai is cheap and convenient, making it the preferred way to get around for many expats. As such, driving is often unnecessary. 

But if you want to drive, you can convert your overseas driving license into a local Chinese one. Here is a guide through the entire process.



To convert a foreign driving license into a Chinese one, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your identity document
  • Driving License Application Form (printed at the service counter and signed by the applicant)
  • Certificate of Driver's Physical Condition 
  • Photograph for the driving license


If the overseas driving license is not written in Chinese, a Chinese translation must also be provided.

Translations provided by the following accredited translation agencies are accepted:

  - Shanghai SISU Translation Service Co Ltd (No 573 Chifeng Rd, Hongkou District. Tel: 021-65362032)

- Shanghai Interpreters' Association (Room 1607, 1277 West Beijing Rd, Jing'an District. Tel: 021-63218568, 021-63239910)

- Embassies or consulates of the countries that issued the driving license.



You should bring the above documents to one of the following locations for application:

  • First Branch of Vehicle Management Office (No 2999 West Huaxia Rd, Pudong New Area)
  • Second Branch (No 3 Gate, No 179 Qinchun Rd, Minhang District. The testing venue is located at No 100 Miaojing Rd.)
  • Third Branch (No 2638 Hunan Rd, Pudong New Area)
  • Fourth Branch (No 299 Anfen Rd, Baoshan District. The testing venue is located at No 969 Boyuan Rd, Jiading District)
  • Traffic Police Division of Free Trade Zone Sub-branch (Tower A, No 459 Futexiyi Rd, Free Trade Zone)


If you apply for a driving license for motor vehicles other than coaches, tractors, city buses, mini coaches and large trucks, the driving license will be issued on the spot after passing a driving theory test. (Note: Test questions and reference materials are available in English)


Mutual recognition of driver's licenses

Currently, China has mutual recognition agreements for driver's licenses with France, Serbia, Belgium, and the United Arab Emirates, which allow individuals holding driver's licenses from these countries to drive directly in China or convert their licenses into a Chinese one without taking a test.


Source: Traffic Police Corps of the Municipal Public Security Bureau



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