Getting a Chinese driver’s licence in Dali is not as difficult or as expensive as you might think. Below is a proven procedure for getting one…
– Your driver’s licence from your own country
– A translation of your driver’s licence by an accredited translation company. If you don’t know where to start looking, try taobao.com or the Dali University.
– Your passport
– A photocopy of your passport.
– A photocopy of your valid visa (with at least 3 months remaining).
– Registration of Residence obtained from the local Dali Old Town police station. This is the same document required when applying for a visa extension.
– Know how to write your name in Chinese (can be any name).
– Study resources for the driving license test. Have a look at chinesedrivingtest.com
and the wechat mini-program “ChineseDriverLicense”
Study for the test:
Allow yourself time to go through the study manual and feel comfortable with your knowledge of Chinese road rules. The test consists of 60 multiple choice questions and 40 true or false questions. To pass you need to get not less than 90 out of 100. The test can be done in your language of choice (English, French, German, Spanish, Korean, Russian, etc). The translations are not perfect though, so care needs to be taken to understand what the question is asking. An example of a slightly ordinary translation was calling the handbrake or parking brake the “stopping brake”, which made the question very ambiguous until you realized this is what was meant.
Also, there is no actual driving test. They assume you’ve already learnt how to drive back in your own country.
When you are ready:
Firstly, unless you’re a fluent Mandarin speaker, it is recommended you take a Chinese friend with you. This will save you and the traffic police staff a lot of time and effort.
Turn up at the Xiaguan Traffic Police Complex. It’s located not far from Xiaguan train station. See the website map marker. The building is shown below…
Tell them you want to apply for a Chinese driver’s license and they will direct you to the right counter. The clerk will check your documentation is all correct, and then direct you to the photo and sight testing area. Nine passport photos will cost 10 RMB. You will actually need six of them before you get your license. The sight test is very basic. They just want to know that you can actually see and can differentiate between the colors red, green and orange (fairly important around traffic lights!). Cost was 14.5 RMB.
Back at the first counter, they will check your sight test results. If all is ok, they’ll charge you 60 RMB and give you a receipt to sit the main driving test. The main test is in a different place. It is located about 5km north of Xiaguan, just off the G214 highway (机动车场, ji1dong4che1chang3). A marker has been added to the website map for this site as well. See the entrance below…
Just tell the staff you want to sit the test in your preferred language and they will assign a numbered computer console to you. Once you’ve finished answering the 100 questions the console will tell you if you’ve passed (a score of 90 or above). If so, staff will give you a certificate stating you passed which you need to take back to the Xiaguan Traffic Police Complex. They will then double check all your documents and ask you to write your name in Chinese (so they can write your name on the licence). When all is ok, and after paying another 10 RMB, give you your licence. Happy Driving!!!
Note: If you fail the test, don’t worry. Go home, do some more study and sit it again the next day.