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Transport Department launches temporary measures to help with license renewal of cross-border vehicles stranded in mainland China and Macau


In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Transport Department announced that it will help cross-border vehicles with expired license plates return to Hong Kong from mainland China or Macau for vehicle inspection, so that drivers can renew their Hong Kong license plates

Please note that this measure is only a temporary arrangement, and applications will be accepted from now until June 16th this year.

Help stranded vehicles return to Hong Kong for license renewal

According to the Transport Department, as mandatory COVID-19-related quarantine is still in place, some cross-border vehicles are stranded in mainland China or Macau and have not returned to Hong Kong. During this time, the license plates may have expired. 

The Transport Department is aware that some vehicle owners will arrange for cross-border towing services to tow their vehicles back to designated vehicle inspection centers in Hong Kong for vehicle inspection, and then go through procedures for renewing their licenses.

Cross-border vehicle license renewal procedures

The new measures specifically assist owners to return to Hong Kong to complete the vehicle inspection and license renewal procedures. Here is the procedure:

  1. Eligible vehicle owners must submit an application form to the Transport Department 2 weeks before the proposed return date of the vehicle, and are responsible for arranging local towing service by themselves. 
  2. The Transport Department will then approve applications and gazette exempted vehicles, and successful applicants will receive an approval letter with the specified date stated.
  3. Eligible cross-border vehicles can be driven back to Hong Kong through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Port on the specified date by a designated driver who has successfully applied for Return2hk or Come2hk Scheme with the approval letter from the Transport Department. The vehicle should use a designated route and park at the designated car park/designated place at the Hong Kong Port of the HZMB.
  4. Applicants should hire local towing service to tow the vehicle from Car Park No. 3/designated location at the Hong Kong Port of the HZMB to the designated vehicle inspection center in Hong Kong for vehicle inspection.
  5. After passing the vehicle inspection, vehicle owners will go through the relevant procedures for renewal of the vehicle licenses.

Please note that an approved vehicle must be covered by valid third-party liability insurance for Hong Kong, the “Compulsory Insurance for Motor Vehicle Traffic Accident Liability” for Mainland China, and statutory vehicle insurance for Macau (applicable to Hong Kong cross-border vehicles stranded in Macau) on the day of return.

Read more: HZMB Car Insurance

As mentioned previously, the measure is a temporary arrangement. Applications will be accepted from now until June 16th, and the number of vehicles allowed to return to Hong Kong will be capped daily. For details on the arrangements, drivers may call 2804 2600.

Documents required for applying for cross-border vehicle license renewal

The completed application form should be submitted together with the following relevant supporting documents:

  1. A copy of the approval document issued by mainland China – i.e. a valid Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao motor vehicle traffic and driver’s driving approval notice (electronic approval card) issued by the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Bureau (not applicable to holders of the regular quota for Hong Kong and Macau private cars);
  2. If the vehicle is owned by a company, a copy of the company registration certificate/non-Hong Kong company registration certificate/company name change certificate/registered non-Hong Kong company name change registration certificate (business registration certificates will not be accepted);
  3. A copy of the Hong Kong vehicle registration document;
  4. The Return2hk or Come2hk appointment certificate valid on the day the designated driver returns to Hong Kong;
  5. A copy of the ID document and valid Hong Kong full driving license of the designated driver;
  6. A copy of the valid Hong Kong full driving license of the designated backup driver;
  7. Confirmation of towing service appointment;
  8. A copy of the Hong Kong third-party liability insurance policy valid on the date of return to Hong Kong;
  9. Additional documents depending on where the vehicle is returning from:
  • Returning from the Mainland/Macau: a copy of the Mainland’s “Compulsory Motor Vehicle Traffic Accident Liability Insurance” valid on the date of return; and
  • Returning from Macau: A copy of Macau’s statutory vehicle insurance valid on the day of return (applicable to vehicles stranded in Macau).



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