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Chinese, French driving licenses reciprocally recognized, says MPS

A Chinese driving license issued to a foreigner. Photo:

China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and France's Interior Ministry signed a reciprocal agreement on Tuesday in Beijing to recognize the validity of driving licenses issued by each other.

Under the agreement, holders of driving licenses issued by either governments are allowed to directly drive or get official driving permits without attending additional tests in each other's countries, the MPS said in a statement released on its website on Tuesday.

The validity of driving licenses issued by the two countries will be reciprocally recognized if the temporary stay of the driving license holders in each other's territories does not go beyond one year. For Chinese citizens whose stay in France is temporary, they can directly drive in France with their Chinese driving licenses and a translated copy, while their French counterparts are allowed to drive in China with temporary permits and without physical examination and tests, the statement said.

If the stay in each other's countries surpasses one year, the holders of driving licenses issued by either governments are entitled to getting the host country's driving licenses and are exempted from additional tests, if they submit the driving licenses issued by their own governments, a translated copy, passport, visa or permanent residence permit, according to the statement.

The MPS hailed the agreement as a mutually beneficial policy that will benefit overseas Chinese living, working, traveling and studying in France and contributes to people-to-people, cultural and economic exchanges between the two countries.

The agreement will take effect 90 days after ratification, said the MPS.

An official from the MPS said that the agreement is a sign of further reforms in China's public security and driving requirements.

China has inked similar agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Belgium.

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