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International Driver's License in China: Drive Like a Local

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

driving abroad with idp

International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

How to get your IDP


Fill in the forms

Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy


Verify your ID

Upload pictures of your driver's license


Get approved

Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!

Apply now
how to get international driving permit
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Driving Rules in China

Visit the home of the Great Wall. Discover China and enjoy rich culture and delicious cuisine. Driving in China can be difficult. Be sure to check the following reminders to ensure that your driving experience in China will be awesome.

Important Reminders:

  • International driving permits and national driving licenses are invalid in China.
  • You need a temporary license if you are staying in China for less than 3 months.
  • Right-hand driving is observed in China.
  • The minimum age to drive a car is 18 years old.
  • Seat belt is a must.
  • Hands-free is a must. Keep your phone away unless it is hands-free.   
  • Avoid drinking and driving.
  • The speed limit for cars in China is 30 km/h on urban areas, 40 km/h on rural roads and 100 km/h on motorways.
  • Be sure to have an early warning device in your car.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Locals drive aggressively.

Driving in the Winter

Driving in China in winter is challenging. Be sure to prepare before heading out. Put on winter tires in all wheels. Keep emergency kits in your car at all time.

Enjoy your stay

How do I get an international driver's license in China?

To get an international driver's license in China, you will need to go through the following steps:

  1. Make sure you are eligible to get an international driver's license. In most cases, you must have a valid driver's license from your home country.
  2. Gather the required documents. This typically includes your passport, your home country driver's license, and two passport-sized photos.
  3. Click the apply for IDP button indicated on the upper left hand of the page.
  4. Prepare your valid driving license, a formal passport-sized photo with a white background, and a credit card. Every required info indicated on your valid driving license must match what you’ve written on your application form.
  5. Pay the necessary fees. The cost of an international driver's license in China may vary depending on your home country and the length of validity you choose for your license.
  6. You may need to acquire information about whether you are supposed to get a Chinese Driver’s License by taking a driving test, physical exam, etc. to rent a motor vehicle within the road traffic of the country from a car rental company in the country.
  7. Once you have a completed application form, you will need to pay the fee.
  8. We will send you email updates for when your IDP will be shipped to your location.

You should carry this license with you at all times when driving in China, as it is required by law. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re home country driving license is in English or not, as the traffic police will still stop you and require a Chinese translation.

However, if you intend to stay for fewer months, an IDP is applicable since it translates your home country's driver’s license information into 12 different languages worldwide.

An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is used by tourists visiting the country, to drive in the country like every Chinese citizen. We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to our customer support for more specific assistance.

Can UK citizens drive in China?

Yes, a UK driver's license is generally recognized as a valid form of driving documentation in China. However, if you plan to stay in China for an extended period of time and intend to drive while you are there, it is recommended that you obtain an international driving license. This will make it easier for you to rent a car and drive in China, as the international driver's license is specifically designed for use by foreign drivers in other countries.

Moreover, you’ll need a temporary driving license or a Chinese driving license to legally drive in the country. And as mentioned, you’ll need to take a written test and a residence permit.

Is the international driving permit valid in China?

An IDP will only be valid in Beijing, Shenzhen, or any large city in Chinese such as foreign countries like Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong which are mostly countries that belong to the people’s republic of China or ROC.

Ready to check if an IDP is accepted in your destination?

Use the form and find out in seconds whether you need an international permit. Documents vary, based on the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic.

Question 1 of 3

Where was your license issued?

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