Frequently Asked Questions 

Note:

The Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 2012 takes effect on 9 July 2012. The amendment regulation introduces a new trade licence to facilitate the left-hand-drive vehicles re-export trade, and improves the existing control mechanisms to prevent abuse of trade licence. The information in the following FAQs applies with effect from 9.7.2012.

Trade Licence Usage

 
Q1: What are the permitted uses of trade licence?
A:

The permitted uses of the existing and new trade licences are as follows -

Existing Trade Licence New Trade Licence
  • Only for use on non-left-hand-drive vehicles suitable for registration and licensing 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.

  • Only for the use 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.

 

Q2: What are the usage restrictions of trade licence?
A:

The usage restrictions of the existing and new 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.

 

Control Mechanisms of Trade Licence

   
Q3: What documents shall I bring along when using a trade licence?
A:

A trade licence holder or 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 (must also show particulars of the current journey) when using a trade licence. The documents must be immediately produced for inspection on request by any police officer or the Commissioner for Transport.

   
Q4: What documents shall be maintained by the trade licence holder?
A:

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.

   
Q5: What particulars must be included in the "written authorization", "record of authorization" and "register of journeys"?
A:

A trade licence holder must ensure that all the particulars specified in Schedule 12 to 14 of the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap.374E) are contained in the above documents. Details as follows:

Particulars to be contained in written authorization, Schedule 12

  1. Number of the trade plate issued in respect of the trade licence
  2. Validity period of the trade licence
  3. Name of the licence holder
  4. Emergency telephone number of the licence holder
  5. Business name as shown in the Business Registration Certificate (if applicable) held by the licence holder
  6. Business address of the licence holder
  7. Business Registration Certificate number (if applicable)
  8. Purpose for which the written authorization is given
  9. Particulars of the authorized user-
  10. (a)   Name

    (b)   Hong Kong identity card number

    (c)   Date on which the authorized user began to be employed by the licence holder

    (d)   Position currently held

  11. Particulars of all the persons designated by the licence holder under regulation 46A(5)—
  12. (a)   Name

    (b)   Respective dates on which they began to be employed by the licence holder

    (c)   Positions currently held

    (d)   Specimen signatures

Particulars to be contained in record of authorization, Schedule 13

  1. Number of the trade plate issued in respect of the trade licence
  2. Validity period of the trade licence
  3. Name of the licence holder
  4. Business name as shown in the Business Registration Certificate (if applicable) held by the licence holder
  5. Business Registration Certificate number (if applicable)
  6. Particulars of the authorized user—
  7. (a)   Name

    (b)   Hong Kong identity card number

    (c)   Serial number of the written authorization

    (d)   Date on which the authorized user began to be employed by the licence holder

    (e)   Position currently held

  8. Particulars of all the persons designated by the licence holder under regulation 46A(5)—
  9. (a)   Name

    (b)   Hong Kong identity card numbers

    (c)   Respective dates on which they began to be employed by the licence holder

    (d)   Positions currently held

    (e)   Specimen signatures

Particulars to be contained in register of journeys, Schedule 14

  1. Number of the trade plate issued in respect of the trade licence
  2. Validity period of the trade licence
  3. Name of the licence holder
  4. Particulars of the journey—
  5. (a)   Date

    (b)   Time and place at which the journey is to be started

    (c)   Time and place at which the journey finished (to be completed as soon as practicable after the journey)

    (d)   Purpose

  6. Particulars of the vehicle used—
  7. (a)   Make

    (b)   Type of vehicle

    (c)   Chassis number, engine number or registration mark

  8. If the vehicle is to be used by an authorized user, the following particulars of the authorized user—
  9. (a)   Name

    (b)   Driving licence number (need not be specified in the duplicate copy of the register)

  10. If the authorized user has obtained the approval of a person designated by the licence holder or the approval of the licence holder under regulation 46A(4), the name and signature of the designated person or the licence holder
  11. If the vehicle is a non-left-hand drive vehicle and the trade licence is to be used by a prospective purchaser for the purpose of test or trial, the following particulars of the prospective purchaser—
  12. (a)   Name

    (b)   Driving licence number (need not be specified in the duplicatedcopy of the register)

   
Q6: When the "register of journeys" should be filled out?
A:

Except for information such as ending time, destination and route of a journey, other particulars must be filled out prior to a journey.

   
Q7: Is there any limit on number of persons designated to authorize usage of trade licence or number of authorized users?
A:

No such limit has been imposed in law. That said, a trade licence holder should been accountable for the reasonableness of the arrangement having regard to operational needs. He may be required to produce evidence to that effect.

   
Q8: Should a "written authorization" be issued afresh each time when an authorized user is required to use trade licence?
A:

No, unless the authorization was made exceptionally for a single incident. A trade licence holder, however, must ensure that his authorization is justifiable and that the authorized user has genuine operational needs to use the trade licence throughout the authorization period.

   
Q9: Can a trade licence be used by a person other than an employee of the licence holder (e.g. an employee of another operator or a contractor)?
A:

No

   
Q10: Do I need to submit authorization records and / or register of journeys to the Police or the Transport Department for inspection on a regular basis?
A:

A trade licence holder must immediately produce the record of the authorization or register of journeys for inspection on request by any police officer or the Commissioner for Transport. An authorized user must also immediately produce the written authorization and duplicate copy of the register of journeys on request by any police officer or the Commissioner for Transport. Besides, as before, a trade licence holder must provide copies of the register of journeys on yearly re-issue of trade licence for continued usage. Other than that, there is no need for a trade licence to submit such records on a regular basis.

   
Q11: What are the consequences for improper usage of trade licence?
A:

According to the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations, if any vehicle is upon or used on any road in contravention of trade licence related regulations, the holder of the trade licence, the authorized user who is present and in charge of the vehicle, and the driver of the vehicle at the time each commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $2,000. The trade licence may also be cancelled.

In addition, a driver not authorized to use the trade licence may contravene other legislations, such as driving and using a vehicle without third party insurance, and subject to higher punishment, driving disqualification or even imprisonment.

 

Application for Trade Licence

Q12: Where can I have access to the trade licence application form and other details?
A:

The information is available in our website as follows: http://www.td.gov.hk/en/public_forms/td_forms/permit/index.html

   
Q13: What are the revised requirements for application for new or additional trade licence with effect from 9 July 2012?
A:

With effect from 9 July 2012, an applicant for new issue of trade licence will be required to produce additional supporting document including "information in support of trade licence application" form showing the amount of business transactions in the recent 6 months, together with copies of invoices/bill of lading/contract of the most recent 3 months (with company stamp chop and the authorized signature). For copies of invoices/bill of lading/contract of the other 3 months immediately before, they should be made available for inspection upon request.

If the application is for more than one or additional trade licences, an application is also required to produce (a) full justifications in writing with valid supporting documents; and (b) copies of register of journeys in respect of trade licences held by the applicant showing all journey records of the preceding month (for application for additional trade licence only).

Depending on the information provided, additional information may be required to show that the applicant operates a bona fide motor business: such as (a) photos of the business venue, (b) advertisement copy with invoice for placing the advertisement, (c) contractual agreement with other motor businesses, (d) details of the vehicles handled and / or (e) copy of IRD profit tax return (BIR51 or BIR52) filed with IRD recently.

   
Q14: Any difference in requirements for application for existing and new trade licence?
A:

The application requirements will be more or less the same except that provision of documentary proof for business in left-hand drive vehicle re-export trade (e.g. copies of invoices/ manifests/ import or export returns or declarations etc) will be required for application for the new trade licence.

   
Q15: Our company is currently a trade licence holder and has been changed from an unlimited company to a limited company. Do I need to apply for a new trade licence?
A:

Generally speaking, trade licence issued to a limited company is registered under the name of company while trade licence issued to an unlimited company is register on personal basis. If your company has changed its mode of business from an unlimited company to a limited company, you should inform Transport Department as soon as possible and apply to issue a trade licence in replacement of the existing on to cater for the business of the limited company.

 

Application for Trade Licence (under the same trade plate number)

Q16:

Where can I have access to the application form for trade licence (under the same trade plate number) and other details? 

A:

The information is available on our website as follows: http://www.td.gov.hk/en/public_forms/td_forms/permit/index.html. You may also call 1823 Call Centre to enquire.

   
Q17: What are the procedures of applying for a trade licence under the same trade plate number?
A:

All trade licences with an expiry date falling on or after 1 September 2013 will be subject to revised procedures, including both non-left-hand-drive trade licences (“red plates”) and left-hand-drive trade licences (“blue plates”), for applying for trade licences under the same trade plate numbers. Under the revised procedures, all trade licence holders are required to submit applications in advance if they wish to have their trade licences re-issued upon expiry to bear the same numbers. 

For trade licences which expire before 1 September 2013, the trade licence holders are required to follow the existing procedures for applying for trade licences under the same trade plate numbers.

The required documents and procedures for applying for a trade licence under the same trade plate number, for licences which expire before 1 September 2013 and those which expire on or after 1 September 2013, are as follows,

For trade licence with expiry date before 1 September 2013 For trade licence with expiry date on or after 1 September 2013
Licence holder is required to produce the following documents on or before the licence expiry date to Counter 7 of the Hong Kong Licensing Office of this department at 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong:-
  1. completed application form (TD24). Please put a "√" against the right-hand side box (□) in part C;
  2. a copy of holder's H.K. Identity Card / Certificate of Incorporation;
  3. a copy of holder’s valid Business Registration Certificate;
  4. a certificate of third party risk insurance covering the use of trade licence;
  5. a copy of the register of journeys under trade licence for the recent last 3 journeys (with company stamp chop and the authorized signature); and
  6. a total of $614 for payment of the annual fee of $500 plus $114 as a contribution to the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme, for each licence.
Licence holder is required to submit application in advance, and send the following documents in person or by post to the Driving-offence Points Office of the Transport Department at United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong, or by fax to 2143 6194:
  1. a letter stating the reason(s) for applying for trade licence using the same trade plate number;
  2. a copy of holder's H.K. Identity Card / Certificate of Incorporation;
  3. a copy of holder's valid Business Registration Certificate
  4. copies of register of journeys in respect of trade licence showing all journey records of the preceding 3 months (with company chop and the authorized signature); and
  5. copies of address proof of all showroom, carpark or garage used for operating the business (only utility bills, bank statements or a rental agreement with rental receipts issued within the recent 3 months are accepted)

Depending on the circumstances, the Transport Department may require an applicant to provide additional information to show that he still operates in the relevant motor business, such as (a) photos of the business venue, (b) advertisement copy with invoice for placing the advertisement, (c) contractual agreement with other motor businesses, (d) details of the vehicles handled and / or (e) copy of IRD profit tax return (BIR51 or BIR52) filed with IRD recently.

Upon receipt of all required documents, the Transport Department will notify the applicant in writing of the preliminary result within 14 working days.  If approval-in-principle is given, the applicant shall bring along all of the following documents and fee within one month from the date of the approval-in-principle letter to Counter 7 of the Hong Kong Licensing Office of this Department at 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong for the issue of trade licence:

  1. completed application form (TD24). Please put a "√" against the right-hand side box (□) in part C;
  2. original of the approval-in-principle letter issued by this department;
  3. a certificate of third party risk insurance covering the use of trade licence approved;
  4. a total of $614 for payment of the annual fee of $500 plus $114 as a contribution to the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme, for each licence.
   
Q18: Why does the Transport Department revise the application procedures of re-issuing trade licence?
A:

The objectives of the revised procedures are to ensure that trade licence holders are using the licences according to the regulations set out in the "Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations", to tighten the licensing mechanism of the trade licence and to combat the abuse of the uses of trade licences.

   
Q19: When should I submit an application for trade licence under the same trade plate number?
A:

To allow sufficient time required for processing an application, you shall submit an application well in advance if you wish to have your trade licence re-issued upon expiry to bear the same numbers. Generally, an application submitted by a trade licence holder as early as 4 months before the expiry date of his original trade licence will also be accepted. Under the new arrangements, the Transport Department will also issue a reminder letter to every trade licence holder (except those who have already submitted their applications), 6 weeks before the expiry date of his trade licence, a trade licence holder may consider to submit his application during the period.

   
Q20: How long does the application process take?
A:

Upon receipt of all required documents, the Transport Department will notify the applicant in writing of the preliminary result within 14 working days. If approval-in-principle is given, the applicant shall bring along the approval-in-principle letter and the documents and fee specified therein within one month from the date of the letter to Counter 7 of the Hong Kong Licensing Office, 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong for the issue of trade licence.

   
Q21: Will the new arrangements cause much inconvenience to the trade?
A:

Since a trade licence holder can submit his application as early as 4 months before the expiry date of his original trade licence, and that the information required under the new arrangements (eg. register of journeys) should have been kept by a trade licence holder, it is not expected that the new arrangements will cause much inconvenience to the trade.

   
Q22: Will the procedures for new applications for trade licences and applications for additional trade licences be affected?
A:

As the new arrangements are only applicable to applying for trade licences under the same trade plate numbers, the procedures for applying for new trade licences and/or additional trade licences will not be affected.

   
Q23: What should I do if I fail to apply for a trade licence under the same trade plate number before the expiry date of the trade licence?
A:

Regardless of the expiry date of your trade licence (i.e. before, on or after 1 September 2013), you are required to submit a new application for trade licence if you fail to apply for a trade licence under the same plate number before the expiry date of his licence. You may refer to the application information or call 1823 Call Centre to enquire the procedures and required documents for applying for a new trade licence and a set of trade plates.

   
Q24: What should I do if I fail to complete the procedures of issuing the licence at Hong Kong Licensing Office within one month from the date of the approval-in-principle letter?
A:

The approval-in-principle will lapse after one month from the date of issue. You are then required to submit a new application for trade licence. You may refer to the application information or call 1823 Call Centre to enquire the procedures and required documents for applying for a new trade licence and a set of trade plates.

 Application for Closed Road Permit for Use in Conjunction with Trade Licence

Q25: Under what circumstances that a closed road permit is needed to be used in conjunction with trade licence?
A:

Closed road permit is required if there is a need for driving unregistered left-hand drive vehicles to the Lok Ma Chau Control Point for re-export. It is also needed for use on unregistered non-left-hand drive vehicles with the existing type of trade licences in import of vehicles via land.

   
Q26: Who will be responsible for issuing such closed road permit?
A:

Transport Department

   
Q27: How to apply for a closed road permit for use in conjunction with trade licence?
A:

Application will be accepted with effect from 9 July 2012. It shall be made in person to the Cross Boundary Unit of the Transport Department (10/F Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Hong Kong) with the submission of the following documents:

  • Application Form TD547D (With specimen signature of applicant)

  • Copy of valid Trade Licence

  • Copy of Customs Declaration Document or Hong Kong Import/Export Manifest within the recent six months

  • Copy of Identity Document of Applicant or his authorized representative

  • Certified extract of Information on the Business Register issued by the Inland Revenue Department recently / Certified copy of the latest Company Particulars Search results provided by the Company Registry / the latest Annual Return (certified by the Company Registry or a HK Certified Public Accountant or solicitor)

  • Copy of valid Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate

  • Permit Fee

   
Q28: What are restrictions on use of a closed road permit for trade licence?
A:

For closed road permit for existing trade licence: can only be used for driving an unregistered non-left-hand drive vehicle for delivering it to a motor dealer or exhibition, or for repairing or presale retrofitting

For closed road permit for the new trade licence: can only be used for driving an unregistered left-hand drive vehicle for re-export to a place outside Hong Kong

Notes to Prospective Purchaser of a Vehicle when Using Trade Licence

Q29: Do I need to provide my driving licence in full before I test drive a vehicle wearing a trade licence?
A:

It is a requirement under law that the master copy of the “register of journeys” must include the driving licence number of the prospective purchaser who will use the trade licence to drive a vehicle for the purpose of test or trial. The prospective purchaser should provide the information as required.

   
Q30: As a prospective purchaser, am I subject to the requirement of "written authorization" and / or "register of journeys" when test driving a vehicle wearing a trade licence? If the vehicle I intend to purchase is constructed for use by one person only, what should I pay attention to when using a trade licence for test driving it?
A:

The "written authorization" is only applicable to employees of the trade licence. In case when a prospective purchase tests a vehicle alongside with an employee of the motor dealer (except when the vehicle is constructed for use by one person only), the employee of the motor dealer should ensure "written authorization" and "register of journeys" are carried on board. If the vehicle is constructed for use by one person only, the prospective purchaser does not have to carry a "written authorization", but should still ensure that the duplicate copy of "register of journeys" is carried on board, for inspection on request by any police officer of the Commissioner for Transport.

   
Q31: Is it in order to require the motor dealer to deliver the vehicle newly acquired to my place using a trade licence?
A:

No. Trade licence for use on non-left-hand-drive vehicles can only be used for driving –

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

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

(c)   a non-left-hand drive vehicle for the purpose of mechanical test; or

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

Delivery of a vehicle to a purchaser is not a permitted use of trade licence. It is also a requirement under law that the existing and the new owner of a registered vehicle shall apply to the Transport Department for transfer of ownership within 72 hours after the transaction. The new owner should arrange for licensing of the vehicle and acquire a valid policy of insurance in respect of the vehicle if he wishes it to be driven on road after it is acquired. There is no need for a motor dealer to arrange delivery of a vehicle to the purchaser by using trade licence.

   
Q32: As a prospective purchaser, do I have any liability under law when test driving a vehicle used under a trade licence?
A:

According to the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations, if any vehicle is upon or used on any road in contravention of trade licence related regulations, the holder of the trade licence, the authorized user who is present and in charge of the vehicle, and the driver of the vehicle at the time each commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $2,000. Therefore, a prospective purchaser as a driver will also be liable for any contravention of trade licence regulations.