Procedure for Individual Declaration of Temporary Entry of Foreign Vehicles at Chinese Customs Ports

For many travelers and globetrotters who have the chance and the means to travel the world in their own car, China is a big obstacle. Unlike other Asian countries, it’s not possible to simply enter the country with a valid visa and then travel wherever the road takes you. Theoretically China prohibits foreigners to drive-through with their own car, however, practically it’s indeed possible whether by car, motorbike, 4WD, jeep, motor-home or truck, but you will need special permits for each province your journey takes you. Apart from that, Chinese number plates and a temporary Chinese driving license are required. We can organize you all necessary permits but need a preparation time of around 3 months, so you will need to plan your trip quite some time ahead.

Since all this paper work is more or less the same, no matter for one or several vehicles, it is very costly for one vehicle, so in order to save money, it’s recommended to find like-minded people to share the costs.

Since China is a big country, the minimum time for a drive-through is at around 21 days and GmbH can assist you in your plans and organization of all necessary permits. Also be aware that a especially for Tibet a local guide is compulsory.

Important notice: For self-drive tours in China, there must be always a Chinese guide with the group. In case of car, 4WD, jeep, truck etc. trips the guide can join the vehicle of the participants, in case of motorbike tours, the guide has to follow in a separate car.

The most important border crossings to and from China are:

– Mongolia: Erenhot (Zamin-Uud) – Inner Mongolia

– Kazachstan: Ergongzhen (Qoqek) -Xinjiang / Mohu (Emuchang, Xoproc) – Xinjiang

– Kyrgyzstan: Irkeshtam – Xinjiang

– Pakistan: Khunjerab Pass – Xinjiang (Karakorum Highway)

– Nepal: Zhangmu (Dram, Khasa) – Tibet

– Myanmar (Burma): Ruili (Muse) – Yunnan

– Laos: Mengla (Mohan) – Yunnan

– Vietnam: Hekou (Kim-Tan) – Yunnan

Procedure for Individual Declaration of Temporary Entry of Foreign Vehicles at Chinese Customs Ports

1. Preparation of Declaration Materials

Before declaring, prepare the following documents:

  • Original and photocopy of passport
  • Original and photocopy of vehicle registration certificate
  • Original and photocopy of identification document of the vehicle owner
  • Original and photocopy of vehicle insurance documents
  • Vehicle entry declaration form (available from customs or downloadable online)

2. Completion of Declaration Form

Fill out the vehicle entry declaration form as required, including basic vehicle information, owner information, and purpose of entry.

3. Declaration to Customs

Submit the completed declaration form and related materials to customs officers. Officers will review the documents. If approved, a temporary entry permit will be issued.

4. Quarantine Declaration

Bring declaration materials to the quarantine department for vehicle inspection. Upon passing inspection, a quarantine stamp will be affixed to the vehicle registration certificate.

5. Payment of Taxes and Fees

Depending on vehicle type, value, and entry time, relevant taxes and fees may need to be paid. After payment, customs will issue a tax payment certificate.

6. Collection of Temporary License Plates

Bring passport, vehicle registration certificate, temporary entry permit, tax payment certificate, and other documents to the vehicle management office to obtain temporary license plates. Temporary plates are typically valid for 3 months.

7. Adherence to Traffic Rules

During the validity of the temporary entry permit, drive foreign vehicles in accordance with Chinese traffic rules and prioritize safe driving.


  1. Familiarize yourself with destination country or region regulations regarding entry of foreign vehicles to ensure all declaration materials are complete.
  2. Honestly complete the declaration form during submission, without concealing or misrepresenting vehicle information.
  3. Temporary entry permits and license plates have limited validity. Complete vehicle usage and declaration procedures within the validity period.

More about Regulations on the Management of Temporary Entry of Foreign Motor Vehicles and Drivers in China.