Within 72 hours of buying your car you must submit the notice of transfer to one of the licensing offices.
10 February 2014| Last updated on 28 June 2017
No vehicle is allowed to be driven or used on a road unless it is registered and licensed.
Registration, which is normally a one-off matter, means giving the vehicle a registration mark and putting it into its appropriate class, e.g. private car, light goods vehicle, etc. Licensing, which is annually or four-monthly, conveys the right for a vehicle to be driven on a road. A local motor vehicle agent usually applies for registration and licensing of a vehicle on behalf of its client. However, if a person imports a vehicle, he has to do it himself.
Registration and Taxation
Vehicles, no matter what class it is, imported into Hong Kong are not subject to any Customs tax, but in general, an importer is required to lodge with the Customs and Excise Department an accurate and complete declaration within 14 days of importation.
The import declaration can be lodged in the following ways:
(a) For importer already registered with one of the two service providers appointed by the Government, he can lodge import declaration to the Government directly from his personal computer.
(b) For occasional importer and individual, they can lodge import declarations at the service centres set up by the service providers and their partners to convert paper declarations for electronic transmission.
For further information about the electronic lodgement service, or to register for using the service, please call (in alphabetical order) Brio Electronic Commerce Ltd at 2111 1288, Global e-Trading Services Ltd at 8201 0082, or Tradelink's Electronic Commerce Ltd at 2599 1700.
Under the Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) Ordinance (Chapter 330), a person who carries on business of importing motor vehicles for use in Hong Kong either on his own behalf or for a distributor for sale should within 30 days of commencing to carry on that business register as an importer. A person who carries on business of distributing motor vehicles by sale for use in Hong Kong either on his own behalf or to another distributor should within 30 days of commencing to carry on that business register as a distributor.
Besides, under the Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) Ordinance (Chapter 330), an importer of a motor vehicle for use in Hong Kong should file an Import Return to the Customs and Excise Department within 30 days of the importation of the motor vehicle, and not less than five working days before delivering that motor vehicle. Apart from those who import motor vehicles for the purpose of sale or distribution for use in Hong Kong, persons who import motor vehicles for their own use are also required to submit Import Returns. A registered distributor of motor vehicles for use in Hong Kong is required to publish a retail price list of the make and model of a motor vehicle offered for sale or distributed by him. He is also required to deliver a copy of the retail price list to the Customs and Excise Department not less than seven days before the publication.
Further information concerning registration of importer/distributor, filing of Import Return and submission of Published Retail Price List can be obtained from the Motor Vehicles Valuation Group of the Customs and Excise Department at 3/F, Customs Headquarters Building, 222 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong (Tel 2231 4391).
If a person wishes to register a vehicle which he has purchased from a local distributor or has imported into Hong Kong, he must apply to the Hong Kong Licensing Office of the Transport Department at 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong on application form TD 22 together with relevant documents as prescribed in the application form, including original or photocopy of proof of present address (residential/company address and correspondence address) which is issued not more than 3 months from now (e.g. water/electricity/gas/mobile phone bill or bank correspondence). Documents not in English or Chinese should be produced with an English translation prepared by a consulate.
On the first registration of a motor vehicle, a first registration tax is charged. The first registration tax is calculated on the basis of the taxable value of the vehicle and in accordance with the percentage for that vehicle class as specified in the schedule of the Motor Vehicle (First Registration Tax) Ordinance (Chapter 330). In general, the taxable value of a vehicle is calculated on the basis of the published retail price of the vehicle or the provisional taxable value assessed by the Customs and Excise Department.
A vehicle may be registered only in the name of an individual person aged 18 or above or of an incorporated body. If the vehicle is registered in the name of a limited company, the name and address of the registered office of the company should be given and the declaration should be signed by a person nominated by the company.
Trailers are also required to be registered in the same manner as motor vehicles but with some exceptions, e.g. a trailer owner is not required to pay first registration tax, nor is he required to produce any third party risk insurance certificate or cover note for his vehicle.
In registering a vehicle, the Transport Department will issue a registration mark and a vehicle registration document containing particulars of the vehicle to the registered owner.
Licensing of vehicles takes place after registration. On licensing, the registering owner is issued with a licence which he is required to display on the left-hand side of the vehicle's windscreen. In the case of a motorcycle or a vehicle without a fixed windscreen, the licence must be displayed in a conspicuous position on the left-hand side.
The registered owner and a registered distributor (if applicable) should also declare to the Hong Kong Licensing Office on application form TD 469 the details of accessories fitted to and/or taxable warranty obtained for the motor vehicle within six months after first registration, and pay the additional first registration tax attributable to the increase in value of the motor vehicle. Such declaration should be made within five working days after the fitting of the accessories or within five working days after the date on which to contract for taxable warranty is entered into.
Further information concerning first registration of vehicles can be obtained from the Hong Kong Licensing Office at 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong (Tel 2804 2637).
Allocation of Registration Marks
If an application for registration of a vehicle is in order, the vehicle will be assigned a registration mark consisting of a number of not more than 4 digits other than special registration mark (commonly known as 'lucky numbers'), with prefix letters. In the case of trailers, the registration mark will consist of a number of not more than 5 digits and the suffix 'T'.
'Lucky numbers' are allocated only after sale by public auction which takes place from time to time. The proceeds of the auction goes to the Government Lotteries Fund to be used for charitable purposes.
Once allocated, a special registration mark cannot be transferred to another person. If the owner of a vehicle with a special registration mark wishes to transfer the vehicle to someone else, the Transport Department is legally bound, before registering the transfer, to recover the special registration mark, register the vehicle with ordinary registration mark and then register the transfer. However, on payment of a prescribed fee, the owner of a vehicle with a special registration mark may apply on form TD 129 to transfer the special registration mark to another vehicle registered in his name.
For more information on vehicle registration visit the Hong Kong Transport Department Website>>