Hong Kong - Driving Licences
Getting a driver’s license in Hong Kong is very easy if you have one from your home country and the country’s drivers license is acknowledged by Hong Kong as valid (see the list below). You need to show one of the following:
- That you have lived in the country that issued you the license for more than 6 months, during which time the licence was issued.
- That you have had your driver’s license for 5 years or longer.
- Or that you hold a passport of the country where the license was issued.
(The license must be valid or have been expired for less than three years.) If you meet one of these requirements you can pick up an “Application For Direct Issue of Full Hong Kong Driving License” from any post office or at the Transport Department Hong Kong Licensing Office at 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong. You can also use the fax-on-demand services by calling + 852 2804 2600 and they can fax you a form.
You will need your Hong Kong Identity Card, your Passport or other travel documents, and your overseas driving license (and an officially certified translation if the license is in any language other than English or Chinese). Bring copies of all these documents along with the real documents.
If you intend to live in Hong Kong for less than one year, you are considered a visitor and can drive with your overseas license or international driving permit.
A driver’s license usually costs HKD $900
For more information, call + 852 2804 2600 or see the transport department website at: www.info.gov.hk/td
List of countries approved for direct issue of full Hongkong driving license
Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada China, (Including Taiwan & Macau), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Republic of South Africa -- together with S.W. Africa , United Kingdom, together with -- Alderney (with Channel Islands), Bermuda,Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, United States of America
This information is from the governments “How to Apply for a Driving Licence.”
If your drivers license is NOT recognized by the Hong Kong authorities, then getting a license is a lengthy and costly process. You will be required to take drivers lessons from an official teacher (which usually takes 3 months) and then take the driving exam. Be aware that the driving test here is difficult to pass and usually requires two tries. The government works to keep cars off the road by making the test difficult and expensive. (My Colombian friend who opted not to take the driving course said the total cost of taking the lessons and the test would run about USD $1,000! You can take tons of taxi rides for that amount. It wouldn’t be worth getting the license unless you planned on living here for long, long time.)
For all forms, go to: www.info.gov.hk/forms/english/search.htm and download them from there. You can look at all forms in this area. For vehicle forms, look under the transportation department.
- Application for driver’s license TD320
- Application for direct issue of a driver’s license TD63A (meaning you already have an acceptable one and are applying for a HK driver’s license)
- Application for registration and licensing of a vehicle TD 22
- Annual renewal of vehicle license TD 23/12
- Transfer of ownership TD 25
Government information on drivers license can be found at: www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/services/lp_menu_index.html
You can apply for a drivers license at any of the Licensing Offices of the Transport Department, but most applications can be done through the mail. You can pick up an application at post offices, call the 24-hour Enquiry Hotline (852) 2804 2600 to get a fax copy, or download the application from the government website listed above.
Obtaining a driver's license
To obtain a driver's license, fill in the application and mail it in.
If you from a country whose drivers license isn't recognized by Hong Kong, then you will have to apply for a temporary license. You should have a residence in Hong Kong and hold a valid overseas driving licence. Within 3 months of arriving in Hong Kong, you must apply to take a driving test. If you fail any part of the driving test, you will not get your license. Also, you must either 1) have lived in the country which issued the drivers license for six months or more, during which time the license was issues, 2) have held the license for five years or more, OR 3) hold a valid passport for the country in which the license was issued.
If you meet that criteria, fill in form TD 181 and send it in to the Hong Kong Licensing Department. You will need to bring with you the documentation from above, plus a Hong Kong ID card, payment for the temporary license, and an official translation of your license if it is in a language other than English or Chinese. If you are above 70 years old, then a medical certificate will be needed as well.
Form TD181 can be obtained from the government website: www.info.gov.hk or
www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/services/drive3_index.html. To apply to take a drivers test, you must fill in form TD 82, available at: www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/services/drive2_index.html. This site also lists information on obtaining a motorcycle license and more information about getting a license. Forms are also availble at the Post Office or through the Transport Department Enquiry Fax Line.
If you have never had a drivers license and would like to apply for one, then you must apply for a learners driving permit using form TD 555: www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/services/drive2_index.html. Sign up for a class to learn how to drive and proceed from there.
International driving license
If you intend to live in Hong Kong for more than a year, you will need a Hong Kong driving license instead of an international license.
See Obtaining a License
Actually taking a driving license
Instruction permits are called a Learners Drivers License and can be obtained by filling in the form TD 555 found at: www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/services/drive2_index.html or Post Offices.