Exchanging a Driving Licence in Hong Kong

Information on who can drive on a foreign driver's licence, and for how long. Information on when, where and how to exchange a driving licence in Hong Kong...

Visitors who are not planning to stay in Hong Kong for longer than one year may drive using their foreign driving licence. Those who wish to stay longer may exchange their overseas driving licence for a Hong Kong one if the licence was issued in one of the approved countries. If the licence was not issued in an approved country they may be issued with a temporary driving licence, until they pass the Hong Kong driving test.

Exchanging a Foreign Driving Licence

Holders of an overseas driving licence living in Hong Kong may apply for a full Hong Kong driving licence without taking a driving test, provided the overseas driving licence was issued by one of the approved countries. In addition, the overseas driving licence must be valid or not expired for more than three years and should have been obtained by passing a driving test in the issuing place. A Hong Kong driving licence of the same class/category as the existing licence is issued. The applicant must fulfil at least one of the following conditions:
  • they must have lived for at least six months in the place where the licence was issued
  • or they must have had the licence for at least five years before applying for the exchange
  • or they must have a passport of the country where the licence was issued
A test must be taken if the above requirements are not fulfilled. The application must be submitted in person (or by an authorised person) to the following licensing office:
  • Hong Kong Licensing Office At: 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong                       Tel: 1823
    Necessary documents:
  • original and photocopy of the overseas driving licence plus officially certified translation if it is in a language other than English or Chinese
  • Hong Kong Identity Card and any other documentary proof of compliance of the above criteria
  • applicants aged 70 or above must have a medical certificate, form TD256
  • address proof issued within the last three months
  • required fee
  • passport
  • all relevant supporting documents (original and photocopy)

Temporary Driving Licences

A temporary driving licence may be issued if the applicant's overseas driving licence was issued by a country not on the approved list above. A temporary driving licence allows the motorist to drive on public roads before taking a driving test. It is valid for 12 months from the date of arrival in Hong Kong, or until the overseas driving licence expires, whichever comes first. An application for a driving test should be made within three months after the date of arrival in Hong Kong to take up residence. If the applicant fails any part of the driving test, the temporary driving licence will be cancelled immediately, and another one will not be issued. To receive a temporary licence one of these requirements must be fulfilled:
  • they must have lived for at least six months in the place where the licence was issued
  • or they must have had the licence for at least five years before applying for the temporary licence
  • or they must have a passport of the country where the licence was issued
The application should be submitted in person to the Hong Kong Licensing Office. Take the following documents when applying:
  • original passport
  • overseas driving licence plus an officially certified translation if it is in a language other than English or Chinese
  • Hong Kong Identity Card
  • proof of address issued within the last three months
  • any other documentary proof of compliance of the above criteria
  • a medical certificate for applicants aged 70 or above
Anyone who doesn't satisfy the above criteria must take a driving test in Hong Kong.

Further Information