The identification numbers on a driver's license, including the identification numbers on a driver's license issued in Dalian, Liaoning [CHN103406.E]

In 16 March 2010 correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official from the Canadian Embassy in Beijing indicated that the term "identification card" used below concerning numbers on a Chinese driver's license is synonymous with the officially named "Resident Identification Card" (RIC). In 5 March 2010 correspondence, the same Official provided the following information on the driver's license:

Information Included on a Driver's License:

Information about the driver: name, gender, date of birth, nationality, residing address, identification card number (which is also the identification number for the driver’s license), photograph;

Information from vehicle administration office: issuance date, classification of vehicle for which the driver is permitted to drive, validity from and valid for, official stamp by issuance authority, serial number.

According to [People's Republic of China] PRC Regulation on Motor Vehicle Driver’s License, PRC citizens shall apply for a driver’s license at the place where his/her residence is registered, or at his/her place of temporary residence. The official stamp on a driver’s license reflects which vehicle administration office issued this license.

Another clue to identify the city and province is through the identification number on a driver’s license, which is also the identification card number for the holder. This number can tell in which city and province the person’s residence is registered.

PRC Identification Card 18-Digit Code:

110102 YYYYMMDD 888 X
Address Code Date of Birth Code Order Code Checksum

Address code refers to the resident's location, where administrative divisions (including cities, banners, and districts have their own specific codes (For example, the code for Xicheng District in Beijing is 110102).

Date of Birth in the form YYYY-MM-DD.

Order code is the code used to distinguish people with the same date of birth and address code. Men are assigned odd numbers, women assigned even numbers.

The Checksum is the final digit, which confirms the validity of the ID number from the first 17 digits. (Canada 5 Mar. 2010)

Dalian, Liaoning

In 14 March 2010 correspondence, the Official stated that the address code for Dalian begins with 210200, with the fifth and sixth digit varying based on which district the individual is from (ibid. 14 Mar. 2010). In 5 March 2010 correspondence, the Official provided several address codes for districts and cities within greater Dalian:

210200 Dalian city

210201 Districts under city administration

210202 Zhong Shan district

210203 Xi Gang district

210204 Sha He Kou district

210211 Gan Jing Zi district

210212 Lv Shun Kou district

210213 Jin Zhou district

210224 Chang Hai county

210281 Wafangdian city

210282 Pulandian city

210283 Zhuanghe city. (ibid. 5 Mar. 2010)

2004 Changes to Driver's Licenses

In 14 March 2010 correspondence, the Official stated that driver's licenses issued before October 2004 display the 15-digit RIC code, since the "RIC number is the sole and exclusive identification code for driver's license holders," while new driver's licenses issued on or after 1 October 2004 display the 18-digit RIC code (Canada 14 Mar. 2010). The Official reiterated that regardless of when a PRC driver's license is issued, it always displays the RIC number, which explains why the driver's license can be accepted as proof of identity in the absence of the RIC (ibid. 16 Mar. 2010). The Official also explained that it is possible for the RIC number to be 18 digits, while an individual's driver's license issued before October 2004 remains 15 digits (ibid.). The Official noted that it is possible to verify whether both numbers belong to the same person "according to rules of coding for [the RIC]" (ibid.). When the RIC is updated from 15 digits to 18 digits, "two digits (1 and 9) are added to the first two digits in the Date of Birth Code, [making] the Date of Birth Code… YYYY-MM-DD," as opposed to YY-MM-DD; secondly, "checksum is added as the final digit, which confirms the validity of [the RIC] number from the first 17 digits" (ibid.).

When asked whether there are circumstances when an individual's driver's license identification number will differ from their RIC number, the Official indicated that "those on active duty in People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police Force" may have a different identification number on their driver's license (ibid.). For instance, if an individual does not have an RIC prior to service, and applies for a driver's license during service, a "special" driver's license is issued and the number corresponds with the "Army/Police Identity Card number" (ibid.). However, if the individual already had an RIC prior to service, a "normal" driver's license is issued and the identification number on the driver's license will correspond with the RIC number (ibid.).

The Official also provided the following information on 2004 changes to the PRC driver's license:

[the] new PRC driver’s license was put into use in 2004. Four cities were chosen as pilot cities to start issuing the new driver’s license in late July 2004 - Suzhou city in Jiangsu province, Hangzhou city in Zhejiang province, Chengdu city in Sichuan province and Liaocheng city in Shandong province. Nation-wide implementation began in August to October of 2004. Information management systems for the new vehicle and driver’s license were put into effect from October 1st 2004.

There are six major differences between old and new driver’s licenses as stated below. Other important information remains the same.

1. New driver’s license cancelled the driver’s license classification. The Chinese “initial license” and “vice license” have been changed to “home-page” and “vice-page”. For “home-page” read “main page of the license” and for “vice-page” read “additional information page of the license”.

2. “Nationality”, “Valid from” and “Valid for (to be marked as 6 years, 10 years or long-term)” are added to the home-page of new driver’s license. “Valid until” is removed. Notes in English added to endorsement column.

3. New driver’s license has stronger anti-fraud features. Contents on both home-page and vice-page are printed by special printer.

4. Codes for “vehicle permitted to drive” on new driver’s licenses have been changed…

5. Issuing authority for the official stamp has changed. For example in Beijing, it has been changed from “Beijing Municipal Public Security Traffic Management Bureau Vehicle Management Office” to “Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Traffic Management Bureau.”

6. “Serial No.” has been added to the vice-page. “Check” has been replaced by “Record.” (5 Mar. 2010)

The Official noted that there are advantages to the new PRC driver's license, including more detailed personal information and the use of English to identify major items (ibid.).

New Endorsement of “Vehicle Permitted to Drive”

The Official provided the following information on the new endorsement of "vehicle permitted to drive:"

The Ministry of Public Security Decree No.71 became effective May 1st 2004. According to MPS Decree No.71, the new endorsement of “vehicle permitted to drive” will consist of 15 types of vehicles, which is more detailed compared with the previous 14 types. The original D, E, F, M, N and P remain. The original A, B, C3 are re-classified into 9 types. Large, small, walking tractors (G, H and K) and electric power cart (Q) are no longer included in the new endorsement.

Applicants must complete the application form for a driver’s license including a new endorsement. The new endorsements for “vehicle permitted to drive” are: Motorbus (A1), Tail Tractor (A2), City Bus (A3), Middle Bus (B1), Truck (B2), Small Car (C1), Small Automatic Car (C2), Low-speed Truck (C3), Tricar (C4), Motor Tricycle (D), Two-Wheeled Motorcycle (E), Moped (F), wheeled motor vehicle on own machine (M), Trolleybus (N) and Railroad Car (P). (ibid.)

Serial Number

Lastly, the Official indicated that the serial number on the vice-page of the PRC driver's license changed from 10 to 12 digits on 1 October 2004, explaining that

[t]he numbering protocol is determined by the vehicle management office. For driver’s licenses issued before October 1st 2004, the serial number will be changed automatically from 10 digits to 12 digits in [the] vehicle management office's computer system. “0” will be added as the third digit and the fourth digit. Both the old and the new serial numbers have the same effectiveness. License holders don’t need to go to vehicle management office. Information on licenses will be upgraded automatically when license requires renewal, expires or is re-issued. (ibid.)

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Canada. 16 March. 2010. Embassy of Canada, Beijing. Correspondence from an official.

_____. 14 March 2010. Embassy of Canada, Beijing. Correspondence from the same official.

_____. 5 March 2010. Embassy of Canada, Beijing. Correspondence from the same official.

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral Sources: The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Ottawa could not provide information for this Response. Attempts to contact the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, the Foreign Affairs Department of the Beijing Motor Vehicle Administration, the Vehicle Administration Office of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Public Security, the Public Security Bureau in Dalian, Liaoning, as well as the Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Department, were unsuccessful.

Internet sites, including: Australia - Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT), Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, Dalian China, Keesing's Reference System,, People's Republic of China - Ministry of Commerce, United States (US) Department of State, World Bank.