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  1. #1 motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    To help newbies with questions and concerns regarding motorcycle ownership in mainland China.

    NB:
    these rules may or may not apply to all relevant towns, cities, provinces of China. While many of the following applies to Shanghai, not all points do, but the rules are often similar to what one can find elsewhere. Keep in mind that not all cities welcome or allow motorcycles to be ridden inside the city boundaries (motorcycle bans).

    * To ride or drive any gasoline/diesel/gas powered vehicle in PRC one must have a valid motor vehicle drivers license, and this applies to all motorcycles & motor scooters. The exception is electric powered scooters, where a drivers license is not required (though electric bikes must still have a valid vehicle licence plate).

    * Nearly all vehicles are required to be licensed and carry a valid vehicle licence at all times when driven in public areas/roads. Exceptions apply to military/police vehicles, which foreigners are NOT allowed to be in charge of or drive.

    * In Shanghai you can ride with plates from other cities after 8:00pm or 10:00pm and on weekends. This is also the case in some other cities in PRC where motorcycles are banned.

    * Police can be very strict, and will confiscate illegal motorcycles/scooters.

    * Local Shanghai vehicle plate license cost 17,000RMB (price fluctuates often). Plates for <49cc bikes may cost less, again prices fluctuate.

    * May only licence motorcycle with Shanghai issued receipts (fa piao). Thus bikes bought legally outside Shanghai may not be able to get a legal Shanghai licence plate with an our of town fa piao. (please substitute Shanghai with any other city since the rules are pretty much the same elsewhere in mainland China)

    * There are no black licence plates issued for motorcycles in Shanghai.

    * Black plates are provided only in Beijing and a few other Chinese cities.

    * Each city has different requirements and tolerance for motorcycle riders. Check what applies for you where you intend to ride.

    * Why do some shops offer Hebei plates? 99% of those are fake, the China license registry is not a nation wide system thus some people will sell fake plates and it is very hard for people to find out if they are real or not. Shops that sell those usually have no access to legal bikes with proper documents and these bikes cost more. Many Hebei Plated bikes are from questionable sources. ***BE WARNED***

    * While riding, BEWARE there are people that are willing to jump in front of you to make a few hundred RMB, so you better have proper documents when the police arrives on scene.

    * There are rules as to where and what streets are open for motorcycles. Please check before you ride your bike.

    * The police do stop riders and check for licences/licenses. Make sure you carry your registration (blue) booklet.

    * Always carry your drivers license when riding any motorcycle in China. If you're stopped and don't have it, the bike can be confiscated.

    * 3rd party insurance is compulsory, and is renewable every year.

    * New motorcycles, must be inspected for road worthiness every 2 years for the first 4 years from initial purchase, then annually thereafter for a further several years before being inspected every 6 months thereafter. Always check these requirements in the city you are in as these rules may vary throughout China.

    * Having a car drivers license does not transfer or mean that one can ride a motorcycle legally in China, same as it doesn't apply in most other countries.

    * A standard Chinese motorcycle drivers (riders) licence does not allow one to ride/drive the 3 wheeled sidecars (ChangJiang) BMW copies. This requires a "D license" - 3 wheeled sidecar motorcycle license which is a separate category.

    *There are several different categories of motorcycle drivers/riders license; D, E & F. 'D' license allows rider to ride all types of motorcycles including the 3 wheeled sidecar, whereas 'E' allows the rider to ride any 2 wheeled motorcycle of any engine capacity. F restrict the holder to engine capacity/type.

    * Motorcycles are banned in a number of cities in China, usually within certain boundaries and/or within certain hours, always check what restrictions apply. Some Chinese cities impose outright motorcycle bans period.

    * >250cc are usually motorcycles that have been imported, and need to have special documents/taxes/duties paid to apply for the appropriate and applicable certificates and licence plate. ***BEWARE*** some motorcycles >250cc are smuggled into China and may have a fake plate (see Hebei licence plate warning above).


    * <49cc motorised bikes can use bicycle lanes in Shanghai. Caution This rule may not apply elsewhere.

    * Motorcycles are banned from the Expressways period! irrespective of engine capacity.

    * Motorcycles, motor scooters irrespective of engine capacity do not have to pay tolls on any of the inter-provincial highways or any other tolled roads, with the exception of the expressways where motorcycles are banned. See above comment.

    * What’s the difference between Yellow motorcycle licence plates and Blue motorcycle licence plates?
    --Blue plates are for motorcycles/motor scooters with engine capacity 49cc or lower.
    -- Yellow plates are for motorcycles/motor scooters with engine capacity 50cc and greater

    * In Shanghai motorcycles/motor scooters with Blue licence plates travel on the HuangPu river ferries at half the cost of bikes with Yellow plates.

    * Blue licence plated motorcycles/motor scooters come under same category as bicycles (TIC!) and can use roads and areas specifically designated for bicycles (i.e. bicycle lanes) in Shanghai.

    * For a reasonable English explanation of the various road rules/traffic law in PR China, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_law - though it lacks good references it provides good oversight.

    * Useful information on driver's licensing (Beijing) see here www.bjjtgl.gov.cn

    * Licence plates can be checked via the jiaotong website. You will need someone who can read Chinese to assist. http://www.shjtaq.com

    * Contact numbers for the different area's in Shanghai: http://www.shjtaq.com/dwfwck/dwfwck.asp

    * Motorcycle bylaws & regulations from the Shanghai Government website: http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/nod ... ai837.html

    For other valuable discussion on this subject see here> http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/phpbbfo...-a-t99016.html
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  2. #2 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    Life Is Good! ChinaV's Avatar
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    Rules subject to change without notice, some assembly required, batteries not included...

    Nice post

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
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  3. #3 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    Senior C-Moto Guru ZMC888's Avatar
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    Great post Bikerdoc, with some good links! I've put a sticky on it.

    * Motorcycles are banned from the Expressways period! irrespective of engine capacity.
    Certainly true for Shanghai, but around Beijing it is possible to ride on expressways. It is also possible at the discretion of the police especially for a rider of a Chinese made or legally imported larger capacity bike to, on some occasions, on some Expressways with sufficient pleading ride on an expressway!

    Also I have seen many, Jiangsu - H (Suzhou) yellow plates on big bikes recently. These may be fake, although it seems they are probably real costing 3,000-4,000 RMB, with some kind 'back door' policy for big bike registration. Of course local police could decide that they are invalid plates, anyone got any info on this?
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  4. #4 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    C-Moto Senior CantDecide's Avatar
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    I found this page useful reading about how to get a license, although I haven't gone through the process, so I don't know if it is accurate. You will need a Temporary Residence Permit to get a license, and as far as I can tell, a TPR is only available on some types of visas:

    http://www.howchinaworks.com/2008/12...ivers-license/

    That page also has links to all of the questions that can be on the license test as well.

    Here is a direct link to the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau's English page detailing licensing requirements (this link might be broken in the future, it looks volatile):

    http://www.bjjtgl.gov.cn/publish/portal1/tab183/

    Here is Wikipedia's page on the Rules of the Road in the PRC:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_o...ublic_of_China

    Also, according to http://www.mychinamoto.com/forums/sh...w-member-in-BJ here are some rules about Beijing:

    Foreigners only get A plates, don't know for what reason. Maybe it's because A plates go for 12000 - 15000 and B's for 800 and foreigners are considered rich
    If you buy a small Chinese bike (200cc), usually the dealer registers it to a local on a B plate. You should ask for a letter stating you are allowed to use it, probably on the same sheet with a copy of your passport and one of the owners ID card. You can get insurance in your name.

    A plated bikes are allowed within the 4th ring road, Bs are not. I have seen many B's inside 4th but not inside 3rd ring.
    And lastly, here is a link to one person's experiences riding in China, in case you are trying to decide if it is for you:

    http://www.teachabroadchina.com/ridi...cles-in-china/

    I hope having all this information in one place is helpful to someone!
    Last edited by CantDecide; 05-08-2010 at 12:16 AM. Reason: more links
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  5. #5 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    Senior C-Moto Guru humanbeing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    * May only licence motorcycle with Shanghai issued receipts (fa piao). Thus bikes bought legally outside Shanghai may not be able to get a legal Shanghai licence plate with an our of town fa piao. (please substitute Shanghai with any other city since the rules are pretty much the same elsewhere in mainland China)
    * There are no black licence plates issued for motorcycles in Shanghai.
    * Black plates are provided only in Beijing and a few other Chinese cities.
    * Why do some shops offer Hebei plates? 99% of those are fake, the China license registry is not a nation wide system thus some people will sell fake plates and it is very hard for people to find out if they are real or not. Shops that sell those usually have no access to legal bikes with proper documents and these bikes cost more. Many Hebei Plated bikes are from questionable sources. ***BE WARNED***
    The (fa piao) & 合格证 Nationwide in theory (tons of bike sell in "Net") BUT the 购置税 need to pay locally.
    NO new black plate ANYmore GA36-2007
    License registry IS nation wide system
    冀A used can register >200cc foriegn made bike
    -thoese plate often is 套牌 ( fake the plate of ***same model *** legal registered bike) 套牌: Daily simple police check - OKish BUT... / 假牌 (TOTAL fake) -->u better RUN
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  6. #6 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob Road Rash's Avatar
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    I'm starting the process today in Beijing. I will post updates if I get any more info. I had my wife call and they said I have to do a driving test, this is of course for my Car licence not my motorcycle. I will tackle the motorcycle issue when I get there and ask them for that also.

    Cheers
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  7. #7 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    Very nice summary

    Some remarks
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    * Black plates are provided only in Beijing and a few other Chinese cities.
    No more black plates are issued since November 15th, 2007. Now you get a yellow one for bikes and blue ones for cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    * ***BEWARE*** some motorcycles >250cc are smuggled into China and may have a fake plate
    I think you wanted to write Almost all motorcycles >250cc ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    * Motorcycles are banned from the Expressways period! irrespective of engine capacity.
    Beijing and Tianjin allow motorbikes on expressways.


    As you said, many cities have bans based on area or time. To add to the confusion, Beijing has introduced the number game in 2008.
    http://www.bjjtgl.gov.cn/publish/por.../info17619.htm
    Andy
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  8. #8 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantDecide View Post
    I found this page useful reading about how to get a license, although I haven't gone through the process, so I don't know if it is accurate.
    I have a very reliable guy who handles all my vehicle related stuff. Registration, annual inspection, insurance, maintenance, driving license, ..... for reasonable fees.
    If someone in Beijing is interested in his services, PM me and I'll give you the contact.
    Andy
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  9. #9 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    grumpy old sod jape's Avatar
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    Ask him if he has any contacts in Australia for me please mate .... I need some paperwork badly ... !
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  10. #10 Re: motorcycle and motor scooter Q & A (excluding electric scooters) 
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob Road Rash's Avatar
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    I promised an update and here it is, probably will not help some folks, but others that want to be legal and driving here in the Beijing area, here are some of my notes.
    I’ve been living in China for almost three years now, riding scooters and motorcycles almost from day one. The first two years I was in Xian and the general consensus was no one cared so I never got a plate or license. After reading so much on this web site and others, also being the upstanding citizen I am, I thought it was high time that I got legal and Shit. I went to an agency yesterday and showed them all my paperwork, my visa that has more than 90 days, my police registration paperwork, my out of country driver license that shows car and motorcycle and my pictures that I thought were up to specs. After a careful review its seems that the paperwork was not all up to snuff, I needed to go back to the police station and get a new registration form, one showing that I have the correct visa on it, and to get some new pictures, apparently mine were not up to their liking. I did all this and went back today only to be told that my visa was issued to me in Guangdong province and that I needed to get a new visa. I was like WTF I was here yesterday and you said nothing about this to me so.. After a heated exchange, this never does anybody any good, I packed up and walked out of there and drove my Jeep home. Really no point to this other than to say it is never as easy as you think, of course if you have been in China for any length of time I’m sure you already Know this.
    Hopefully I can send another P.M. to Chinabiker and I can get some local help…
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