According to the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations, Cap.374E (the "Regulations"), a trade licence can only be used on vehicles in possession of a bona fide manufacturer or repairer of or dealer in vehicles who is the licence holder for specified purposes. The licence holder must adhere to all usage restrictions when using the trade licence. A trade licence is valid for 1 year. A bona fide manufacturer or repairer of or dealer in vehicles may according to their business needs apply for trade licence.

The Regulations empowers the Commissioner for Transport to issue the following trade licences for use on different kinds of vehicles:

The permitted usage of the two types of trade licences are:

Existing Trade Licence New Trade Licence
  • Can only be used on non-left-hand-drive vehicles which can be registered and licensed in Hong Kong. The plates have red letters on white background (Red Plate)

  • Permitted usages:

 

- driving an unregistered non-left-hand drive vehicle in the course of delivery to a motor dealer or exhibitor;

- driving a non-left-hand drive vehicle for the purpose of presale demonstration to a potential customer;

- driving a non-left-hand drive vehicle for the purpose of mechanical test; or

- driving a non-left-hand drive vehicle for the purpose of examining, repairing or presale retrofitting the vehicle.

  • Can only be used on left-hand-drive vehicles intended for re-export . The plates have blue letters on white background (Blue Plate)

  • Permitted usages:

 

- driving an unregistered left-hand drive vehicle in the course of delivery to a motor dealer or exhibitor;

- driving a left-hand drive vehicle for the purpose of examining, repairing or presale retrofitting the vehicle; or

- driving an unregistered left-hand drive vehicle to a port or boundary control point for the purpose of re-export to a place outside Hong Kong.

The usage restrictions of the two types of trade licences are as follows:

Existing Trade Licence New Trade Licence
  • Can only be used on non-left-hand-drive vehicles in the possession of the holder of the trade licence in the course of the holder's business as a manufacturer or repairer of or dealer in vehicles.  The vehicles must also be able to comply with the construction and maintenance requirements of vehicles in Hong Kong.
  • A trade licence must not be transferred.
  • When a vehicle is in use under a trade licence, the trade plates must be displayed at the foremost and rearmost parts of the vehicle.
  • A trade licence must not be used on these vehicles: a vehicle that is being used for the conveyance of passengers for hire or reward or in respect of a vehicle that is being used for the conveyance of goods in the course of trade or for the delivery or removal of goods.
  • When a vehicle is being used under a trade licence, the number of passengers carried in or on the vehicle must not exceed 2.
  • Can only be used on left-hand-drive vehicles in the possession of the holder of the trade licence in the course of the holder's business as a manufacturer or repairer of or dealer in vehicles.  The vehicles must also -

- be intended for re-export to a place outside Hong Kong;

- comply with paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 22 of the 1949 Convention; and

- have been imported into Hong Kong for not more than 12 months (Note: the driver of the vehicle must, on request by any police officer or the Commissioner, immediately produce evidence to that effect.)

  • A trade licence must not be transferred.
  • When a vehicle is in use under a trade licence, the trade plates must be displayed at the foremost and rearmost parts of the vehicle.
  • A trade licence must not be used on these vehicles: a vehicle that is being used for the conveyance of passengers for hire or reward or in respect of a vehicle that is being used for the conveyance of goods in the course of trade or for the delivery or removal of goods.
  • When a vehicle is being used under a trade licence, no passenger may be carried in or on the vehicle

 

A trade licence holder must maintain a "record of authorization" and a register of all journeys made under the trade licence. The holder of a trade licence must immediately produce the record of the authorization for inspection on request by any police officer or the Commissioner for Transport. The authorized user must carry on board the "written authorization" and duplicate copy of the "register of journeys" containing the particulars of the latest 30 journeys when using a trade licence. The documents must be immediately produced for inspection on request by any police officer or the Commissioner for Transport.

If you need to drive a vehicle to a boundary closed road with a trade licence, you must also apply for a "closed road permit".

When using trade licence, relevant persons must abide by the above regulations and restrictions, or else he/she may be prosecuted and face a maximum fine of $2,000. Any person who contravenes trade licence usage regulations and/or other traffic regulations may have his/her trade licence cancelled.

If you want to apply for a trade licence, please read the application information and submit all required documents by mail to the Driving-offence Points Office, Transport Department, 3/F United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong or by fax to 2143 6194.

Upon receipt of all required documents, the Transport Department will give a written reply to each of the successful and unsuccessful applicants within 14 working days after the receipt. Please bring all the following documents and approach counter 7 of the Hong Kong Licensing Office of this department at 3/F., United Centre., 95 Queensway, Hong Kong for issue of trade licence after receiving our approval-in-principle:

  1. completed application form (TD24);
  2. original of the approval-in-principle letter issued by this department;
  3. original of your H.K. Identity Card / Certificate of Incorporation;
  4. a copy of your valid Business Registration Certificate;
  5. a certificate of third party risk insurance covering the use of trade licence approved (you may use the file reference of the approval-in-principle letter to obtain cover note first for issue of Trade Licence); and
  6. a total of $1,614 for payment of a deposit of $1,000 for each set of trade plates, and the annual fee of $500, plus $114 as a contribution to the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme, for each licence.

The trade licence regulations can be found at http://www.elegislation.gov.hk, In particular, you should read regulations 42-48, 57 and 60, and Schedules 12 to 14 of the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations, Cap.374E.

If you have any questions, you can call the Driving-offence Points Office at 2804 2593 or 2804 2594.