It’s common for foreigners in China to drive a car or motorcycle without a license, but a few will probably be questioning their decision after a New Zealander was jailed for 15 days for failing to have the proper documents.
The law is quite strict and gives police the authority to detain those driving without a license, but they do have discretion. Many foreigners have been let off the hook because police can’t be bothered to get translators and processing them is just too ma fan.
This particular foreigner wasn’t so lucky. He was caught by traffic police in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District on Friday (Nov. 15) riding a motorcycle without a license, Shenzhen Traffic Police reported on their microblog.
According to the cops, after the man was stopped on Taizi (Prince Edward) Road, he was found to only possess a C1 driving license, which does not enable him to ride a motorcycle.
Despite him being detained, 15 days in the clink won’t make him among the Pearl River Delta’s more long-term prisoners. However, even if he had had a license, the vehicle itself may have been illegal as Shenzhen has been cracking down on the use of e-bikes for several years.