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China and France to offer reciprocity for driver's licenses

People's Daily Online | Updated: 2017-02-23 07:55

China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and France's Ministry of the Interior signed a reciprocity agreement in Beijing on Feb 21 to make official the mutual recognition of each country's driver's licenses.

According to the agreement, Chinese and French driver's licenses will be automatically recognized as valid in France and China respectively for those who stay in the country for less than one year. Holders of Chinese licenses in France can legally drive as long as they hold a valid Chinese driver's license and a translated version. Holders of valid French driver's licenses in China can apply for temporary driving approval, which exempts them from the physical examination and test otherwise required for a license.

Drivers are still required to drive only the approved type of motor vehicle clearly stated on their licenses. The types include medium passage cars, large freight cars, small cars and motorcycles.

For those living abroad for more than one year, there is an option to apply for a new driver's license without sitting for examinations by presenting documents including one's passport, visa or residential documents.  

Both sides offer preferential policies for diplomats and international students. Chinese diplomats and students in France can drive a corresponding type of vehicles with a valid Chinese driver's license and its translated version throughout their stay. French diplomats and students with French drivers' licenses in China can apply for a Chinese license without taking any exams.

An official from traffic management bureau under the MPS stated that the reciprocity agreement will go into effect 90 days after both parties sign the agreement and complete domestic legal procedures.

The new measure is an important indicator of deepening public security reform in China. Previously, China has created reciprocity with Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. China is now actively seeking to cooperate with more countries to benefit the lives of all expatriates.

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