Driving in Hong Kong

The ins and outs of road use

Driving in Hong Kong

With the high cost of running a car and parking almost impossible in many areas of Hong Kong, many people are understandably deterred from driving completely. Furthermore, thanks to the excellent public transport system, there is little reason to own a vehicle, unless you will be living in Hong Kong’s New Territories.

However, should you decide that you cannot live without the freedom that driving offers, be sure to familiarise yourself with the regulations for road use in Hong Kong.   

Driving licences

A driving licence is necessary for anyone wishing to use a vehicle on Hong Kong’s roads. The minimum age for any driver is 18 years old; rising to 21 for commercial vehicles.

Direct issue driving licence

Those with full driving permits (provisional licences will not be accepted) from a number of countries can apply for a licence to drive in Hong Kong by direct issue, without having take a test. A full list can be found on the Hong Kong Transport Department website .

Temporary driving licence

Applicable to those who hold a licence from a country that is not included on the list of those eligible for a direct issue licence. A temporary driving licence permits you to drive until you obtain a full Hong Kong driving licence.

It is necessary to arrange a driving test within 3 months of arriving into Hong Kong. If upon undertaking the test you fail any part, the temporary licence will immediately be revoked.

Hong Kong driving licence

A learner driving licence is only valid for 12 months from the date of issue, thus if a practical test is not successfully completed within this time the application process must be started again.

It is recommended by the Transport Department that for new drivers with no previous experience that 30 hours of lessons be undertaken before sitting a driving test.

From 2000, Hong Kong introduced a probationary driving licence. After passing a driving test, drivers must apply for a probationary driving licence which lasts for 12 months. If the licence holder commits a major driving offence in this time the licence will be revoked. If a minor offence is committed the probationary period will be extended by 6 months. Those eligible for a direct issue licence will not be subject to the 12 month probationary period.

Application forms for all types of driving permits can be found on the Transport Department of Hong Kong’s website , along with a list of authorised test centres.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: