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China Vehicle Registration Process

Published by Joe Webster.

China (CHN)

China Vehicle Registration Process

The Process Of Registering A Car In China

Bringing your car from one country to another has its own logistical challenges, one of which is registering the car. There are a host of transport companies available to guide the daring and patient shippers with the applications, permits and customs processes.

It’s handy to have a company that knows the system in and out. But it’s also wise to understand some of the tenements of shipping your car into China. Here are some of the basics of registering your car in China.

One of the first things to understand is that owning a private vehicle is a privilege in this country. So much so that in Shanghai, license plates are auctioned off to the highest bidder for thousands of dollars. In Beijing, license plates are given out via a lottery system each month.

The processes are different in each city but generally a winning bid or lucky lottery winner will have a set amount of time to return to the city’s Vehicle Administration Office to receive their registration.

Shipping a vehicle to China? Read our page about shipping to the area to learn about expected costs, the required documents, and what to expect once you arrive.

Requirements To Drive A Car

  • Only legal residents can import cars. Meaning people on business visas and tourist visas can’t bring their cars with them. Only expatriates on Z visas are can start the process.
  • Even then, the person can import one new car per person. That’s provided the vehicle is approved by the customs office.
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Requirements To Drive A Car

Passing The Chinese Driving Test

Before taking the test, several hurdles have to be met including meeting medical tests, registering with the police residence registration and obtaining a permanent resident card.

After meeting the minimum requirements, potential license holders are given a test of 100 questions. Only a score of 90 will earn you a license and questions vary from rules of the road to what penalties will be mete for minor collisions.

Car Import Requirements

China is trying to wean residents off foreign imports onto domestic goods. In 2016, the government saw a 10 percent increase on the import tax for vehicles priced above $190,000, adding another hurdle for potential importers. That tax aside, there’s a host of requirements of the vehicle itself.

Classic car owners will cringe because imported vehicles need to be less than a year old. That’s likely due to the higher emissions from previous vehicles and China’s goals of curbing its pollution problem.

Drivers with the steering wheel on the right-hand side will have trouble. The government generally allows only left-hand drive vehicles into the country.

Car Import Requirements
Chinese Vehicle Registration Resources

Driving In China – A website that guides expats with some of the more complicated items of living abroad, including what it’s like to drive in China and more information about getting a license.

Licenses, Laws, & Limits - A thorough explanation of the rules and regulations of driving in China, including getting a license, and understanding the local roadway system.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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