查看完整版本: China's Driver's license in California

overpacific 2006-11-14 18:27

China's Driver's license in California

Hi, my brother is going to visit me by B1 visa, he had a Chinese driver license, can he drive my car in California? Will my insurance cover him, if we share driving to South CA?

Thanks for any information!

daring 2006-11-14 19:07

Re: China's Driver's license in California

[quote]Post by [i]overpacific[/i] :
Hi, my brother is going to visit me by B1 visa, he had a Chinese driver license, can he drive my car in California? Will my insurance cover him, if we share driving to South CA?

Thanks for any information![/quote]
I think the best source of info is from your insurance agent - the agent who sold you car insurance. Ask him or her, and tell us what you learn :-)

sheen 2006-11-14 21:01

Re: China's Driver's license in California

It depends on your insurance company. So far I know, it is ok for Farmers. Better to check with your agent.

overpacific 2006-11-15 11:15

Thanks for suggestion!

I got the answer for my first question from DMV website:

If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.


http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#2500

Lilly8899 2006-11-15 13:23

[quote]Post by [i]overpacific[/i] :
Thanks for suggestion!

I got the answer for my first question from DMV website:

If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.


http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#2500[/quote]

I just called DMV at 1-800-777-0133 and asked an agent about the same issue, since my uncle is coming here as well. I was told he has to get an international driver's license since the police will not be able to read what's on his Chinese driver's license. The agent said DMV does not issue int'l D's L. You may want to call them again and find out yourself. Sometimes another agent will tell you different things. You may also want to print out that DMV page before you leave for Southern CA.   :)

overpacific 2006-11-15 13:46

[quote="Lilly8899"][quote]Post by [i]overpacific[/i] :
Thanks for suggestion!


I just called DMV at 1-800-777-0133 and asked an agent about the same issue, since my uncle is coming here as well. I was told he has to get an international driver's license since the police will not be able to read what's on his Chinese driver's license. The agent said DMV does not issue int'l D's L. You may want to call them again and find out yourself. Sometimes another agent will tell you different things. You may also want to print out that DMV page before you leave for Southern CA.   :)[/quote]


You are right, there is a police issue, so a safe way is to have a translation notary for the Chinese driver's license.

I called my agent and was told Chinese driver's license is not allowed to drive in California, since China is not in the county list. I am not sure if he is right, but I like your suggestion, print a DMV statement page, at least I will not lose in the court in case there is a trouble.

william_hung 2006-11-15 15:50

[quote]Post by [i]Lilly8899[/i] :


I am pretty sure that China is NOT in the treaty for international driver permit.

Here is the list of countries that honor international driver permit (from the AAA website):

http://www.csaa.com/global/faqdetail/0,,1003040804%257c3707,00.html

Notice that China is not on the list.

This issue is basically quid pro quo: if you honor my driver's license, I will also honor yours. The fact is that you cannot simply use your US driver license in China as legal permission to drive. (A lot of people ignore this fact and simply drive, but if you get caught and the police officer don't take your bribe, then you are in trouble.) The reverse is also true here in US: China's driver license cannot be used here.

overpacific 2006-11-16 18:44

AAA is generally talking about the international travel, not US travel, even not California travel.

I personal believe the DVM California web site is more accurate at this perticular issue.  As You may know there is state to state difference about driving license or driving rule.

william_hung 2006-11-16 18:52

[quote]Post by [i]overpacific[/i] :
AAA is generally talk about the international travel, not US travel, even not California travel.

I personal believe the DVM California web site is more creditable at this perticular issue.  As You may know there are state to state difference about driving license or driving rule.[/quote]

What you said may be true, it is possible that they are recognizing ALL countries, even though some countries are not accepting California's license.

However, most states operate on the principle of quid pro quo.

packer 2007-1-16 00:02

I have friends in business trip here from China. His company rented a car for him.  He only need to bring his Chinese driver's license and a English translation to get the car from Hertz.  However, I believe they purchased the insurance or his company's rental agreement might cover that for their business trips.

softhistory 2007-1-16 13:43

Just wanted to echo some of the above-mentioned DMV responses out of personal experience: My brother also visited here on B1 visa last year,  and we asked DMV/Santa Clara office the same question. No - you can't drive in CA with a Driver's License from China, unless it is an International Driver's License. For visitors from other countries with mutual agreement with the U.S., e.g. Japan, you can drive up to 3-months, as long as you are still a short-term visitor.

william_hung 2007-1-16 18:55

[quote]Post by [i]softhistory[/i] :
Just wanted to echo some of the above-mentioned DMV responses out of personal experience: My brother also visited here on B1 visa last year,  and we asked DMV/Santa Clara office the same question. No - you can't drive in CA with a Driver's License from China, unless it is an International Driver's License. For visitors from other countries with mutual agreement with the U.S., e.g. Japan, you can drive up to 3-months, as long as you are still a short-term visitor.[/quote]

:agree:
The real test will come if the driver gets into an accident or gets pulled over by a police officer. Then we can really see whether a driver's license from China can be directly used here. Although some language in the DMV website may imply that any license can be used, it would be really useful if this has been tested in court. The bottom line: if you are never caught, you never know. But I guess visitors usually like to be law-abiding citizens. Nobody want to test the limits of the law in this case  :D

unclesam 2007-1-17 12:06

[quote]Post by [i]softhistory[/i] :
Just wanted to echo some of the above-mentioned DMV responses out of personal experience: My brother also visited here on B1 visa last year,  and we asked DMV/Santa Clara office the same question. No - you can't drive in CA with a Driver's License from China, unless it is an International Driver's License. For visitors from other countries with mutual agreement with the U.S., e.g. Japan, you can drive up to 3-months, as long as you are still a short-term visitor.[/quote]


I am not quite clear here.

Q1: How long can a man from China drive in CA with international driver licence? 3 months?

Q2: For visitors from other countries with mutual agreement with US, like Japan, a man can drive up to 3 months with his own country's driver license, or international driver license?

unclesam 2007-1-17 12:08

[quote]Post by [i]william_hung[/i] :



Go ask a policeman directly when you see one.

softhistory 2007-1-17 15:42

Q1 would be a good question to ask at the time of application, if you do decide to apply for an international driver's license.

For Q2, one can drive up to three months with "his own country's drivers license". Or, to rephrase it: foreign driver's license.  Note that an international driver's license by definition is a translation of information contained on a person's foreign driver license.

>I am not quite clear here.

>Q1: How long can a man from China drive in CA with international driver licence? 3 months?

Q2: For visitors from other countries with mutual agreement with US, like Japan, a man can drive up to 3 months with his own country's driver license, or international driver license?[/quote]

birdsmv 2007-1-22 11:10

This is simple:
Officilly, you can't use a Mainland China's driver's license to drive a car in US because that driver's license is not recognized by the legal system here--doesn't matter if you have a notarized tranlation or not. Car rental company is not law enforcement, their permission to give you a car doesn't mean you can drive it.

International Driver's License from mainland China doesn't make a difference either.

One side note: you can get a Chinese driver's license (Beijing, Shanghai) by applying and taking a paper test, if you are US citizen or greencard holder.

overpacific 2007-1-22 11:49

I am not  assuming you are not right,  but I just want to know How "Officially" is it? Or say, why you are so sure about this?  Where is the written article about this official law/rule?  

BTW,  in US, should police follow DMV rule or DMV follow police rule, or they all follow the court?  

If I present the DMV web site note, which says I can drive with a foreign driver license and have translation that mine is a foreign driver license, do you think the court would judge it is my fault becuase China is not a foreign country?



DMV web site originals:

"If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid"

birdsmv 2007-1-22 12:12

I am not arguing with you on right or wrong, and I am fortunate enough that I had never been to court for anything.

But, you can try to buy an insurance for a car using your chinese DL; and you can certainly try to show that when having an traffic accident--while driving your friend's or relative's car.

One person above said very clear, China does not have a treaty with US on this International Driver's License thing yet. I know people from Taiwan can do almost everything with their Int'L DL. So there is a difference.

If your license is not even recognized by US or CA, how can you claim it is valid? "Official" is from those rules regarding to international driver's license.

And I don't think the person who asked this question want to bring this issue to a potential court appearance  :wink: You could win the case, of course, but is that your intention?

Good luck!

overpacific 2007-1-22 12:25

Got you!

That is what I want to know. The answer for this question, "Can I drive in California using a valid Chinese DL" is:

1) No, You are against law if you drive.  Here is the rule....

2) Yes, You can drive as long as your Chinese DL is valid

3) Not sure, no one can really be sure about this answer so far.


After reading all the posts here, I would still choose 3.

birdsmv 2007-1-23 12:09

To tell you a story, a friend of mine got caught in Beijing while driving a car. The police asked him for driver's license. He showed his US license, then the police simply let him go because he would have been sending to "Foreign affair office" and that would be too complicated. It's two different legal systems.

My point was, again, US doesn't recognize mainland China's DL yet, so your #2) is invalid.

uriah 2009-9-21 15:21

after all this post, i think i cannot use my shanghai driver license in Palo alto with a b1/b2 visa. is it true now in 2009?

magneto 2009-9-21 19:56

You are correct, I know a guy who was driving in California with a Chinese licence and got into an accident.  In addition to a ticket for the accident, he got a ticket for driving with an invalid license.

uriah 2009-9-22 17:38

sad!! is there any chance that i can get CA driver's license by some other way? i mean with b1/b2 i definitely can not get an SSN number, is there another way out? thanks!
it is the first day in Palo Alto, it is really driving me into crazy without a car! How can I get home, i can not ask my colleagues here pick me up or give a ride everyday!
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查看完整版本: China's Driver's license in California