[PSA] You now need a license to ride an electric scooter in Shanghai!

1st September 2014 / Shanghai

I don’t usually post non-restaurant or food related stuff, but this is really important, and I hope others will benefit from this information.


Original Source

Starting 1 September 2014, the traffic police in Shanghai will be actively confiscating all unlicensed illegal electric scooters.

What constitutes an illegal electric scooter?

If you have a scooter that runs on electricity, IT’S ILLEGAL.

If you have a scooter that runs on petrol but you don’t have a license, IT’S ILLEGAL.

Actually, the Shanghai traffic police have been confiscating scooters randomly for awhile now; One of my buddies had his confiscated at an ambush, and had to go redeem it in Scooter-Jail with his fapiao as proof that the scooter belonged to him.

1 September 2014 was actually the LAST DAY for people to have their scooter registered. I knew a month ago that this law was coming in effect on 1st September, but I didn’t know it was the last day to get registered, hence the super long queue at the Traffic Police Station this morning. Luckily for me, I eventually got it registered, and got a small tag.


Apparently, there are 2 types of illegal scooters, ones that are small and considered ‘semi-legal’. Those get a blue license plate behind their scooter.

Bigger scooters like my fake-vespa, are considered ‘more illegal’ and do not meet the requirement for the plate. We go to another service point, and get a license ‘tag’ that they wire to the handle of your scooter.

What do you need to bring for the registration?

1) Passport and Copy

2) Temporary Residence Regisration and copy (The one you get from the police station everytime you enter China)

3) Original fapiao of your scooter. This contains the serial number of your scooter, which the mechanic will check. The reddit thread says you might not have to have the fapiao, in anycase, if you don’t have it, go and check what the officials have to say.

That’s it! The process takes 10 mins, and is quite simple and no-frills.

Once you have the tag, you can ride your electric scooter in Shanghai for another 3 years, after which they will officially be illegal, and I expect scooter shops city-wide to shutdown.

Find out which is the nearest service point here

Here are the official rules on the boards infront of the station.

IMG_5133 IMG_5131


Author: Fred Lin

Fred "The Shanghai Kid" Lin was born in Singapore, and grew up in a family of foodies and home-cooks. He moved to Shanghai in 2007 and fell in love with the city, eventually carving a self-made career out of digital media design and development. He founded The Shanghai Kid food blog in 2013, and opened an award-winning Singaporean restaurant in 2014, which won CityWeekend's Outstanding Southeast Asian restaurant of the year in 2016. In 2017, he decided to reboot, and shut down all his businesses in Shanghai before moving back to Singapore with his wife. Fred plans to immigrate to Melbourne in the near future.

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