Registration of an electric car or car in China for a foreigner

If you live in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen or Guangzhou, then the issuance of car license plates is strictly limited, and you can wait a long time for your new numbers.


In these major cities, you must enter a lottery to get a license plate. You cannot register a vehicle until your number has been drawn. It started in 2011 when Beijing enacted a law that allowed no more than 20,000 vehicles to be registered each month, part of the city's efforts to tackle the traffic problem.


Shanghai and Guangzhou currently release only 10,000 issues per month. If you are in a small town, this may be easier and faster.


First, you will need to pay 10% vehicle purchase tax at the State Tax Office (国家税务总局) and get a receipt for it. Next, you must drive your new vehicle to the Vehicle Control Office (车管所) in your city.


Car registration steps:

1.Pay the vehicle purchase tax at the State Tax Bureau


2.Buy compulsory motor third party liability insurance Contact your local Motor Vehicle Authority (VAO) to obtain a Vehicle Inspection Certificate. In this case, you hand over your car purchase receipt, tax receipt, inspection certificate, compulsory motor third party liability insurance receipt and all documents proving your identity.


If you are in a small town: You fill out a form and choose a license plate from the list. You can receive your license plates by mail or pick them up in person. Prepare a Chinese address for this.


Your final numbers may take a month or more to arrive, depending on your city. You can apply for temporary license plates at this time. You will receive paper numbers, usually valid for one month, to display in your car windows. If you are in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen or Guangzhou: Your car will have to be stored in a safe place while you wait for your license plate.


This can take months or even years. Be prepared for this and know that there is nothing you can do if you want to drive in these major cities. You just have to wait for your number to be randomly called, or you can pay exorbitant amounts to buy one of the numbers that are being auctioned for up to $15,000.


Exceptions for electric vehicles are green numbers. China recognizes the environmental benefits of promoting the sale of electric vehicles to tackle air pollution problems. As a result, it will be easier for foreigners to buy an electric car and get a license plate.


Green license plates in China are for environmentally friendly vehicles. China has introduced green numbers. They are not limited in the same way as traditional blue license plates. They are issued free of charge if your vehicle meets the strict environmental requirements for an electric or hybrid vehicle and your driving record is impeccable.


For residents of these major cities:


Beijing State Tax Administration: No. 5 West Yangfangdian Road, Haidian District, 100038


Shanghai State Administration of Taxation: 200 Renmin Ave, Shanghai, 200003


Guangzhou Local Tax Office: 3 Huaxia Lu, Zhujiang Xincheng, Tianhe District, 510623