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[How to]: Stop the Po-Po from Seizing Your Scooter
You got a license for that ride?
By Mar 2, 2017 Community
You got a license for that ride?

New regulations came into effect yesterday saying most of the e-bikes that are popular among expats are illegal, and you’re getting slapped with a fine if you’re caught on one. Actually, they were deemed illegal three years ago, but you could get a temporary license and the authorities were being lax about the whole thing. No more. Find out how to get a permanent registration after the jump.


Here’re the facts;

The only legal e-bikes are the ones that fit a new set of technical specs. If you're a real nerd you can check out the whole list in Chinese here, but here’re the highlights;

- Battery output can’t exceed 240W
- Battery capacity can’t exceed 48V
- Weight can’t exceed 40 kilos
- Speed can’t exceed 20km/h

That’s it. No ifs, ands or buts. You get caught on any e-bike that breaks any of the rules (or dozens of other little ones), you’re liable for a 50rmb fine that’ll go up to 250rmb by the end of the month, and there’s a chance you’ll get your bike confiscated. No, building a DIY e-bike that fits those specifications doesn't make it legal. It never has.

Actually, even if a store sells a bike it doesn’t mean that it’s legal. It's got to have a nameplate, a production licensed logo and model and a manufacturer's certificate. There's a list of all 3,525 legal e-bike models here (again, in Chinese). Select by brand and then model, and if it's not on there, maybe you can sell it in Hangzhou or something.

How to keep your legal bike

If your bike is on that list, you still need to get it registered. We've got 18 of the bike application centers listed here. You have to go to the one in the district where you’re registered. If none of these are near you, there's a full list in Chinese here

You’ll need to bring your passport with photocopies of both the ID page and your visa, your temporary residence permit, the bike’s fapiao/receipt, and a conformity certificate for the bike which is usually included in the bike’s paperwork. Otherwise, ask the shop owner for one.

Also it’s illegal to smoke indoors now too. Just thought we should mention that.


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  • 1 year ago Donnie who loved bowling Unverified User

    This unchecked aggression will not stand, man....

  • 1 year ago Crash Bandiscoot Unverified User

    Got myself a fake plate that I put on my 3 yo small vespa. Got stopped by the police 2 times since yesterday and no problem at all. So yes there are "ifs, ands or buts"

  • 1 year ago Been here too long Unverified User

    Step 1: Stay off the roads for the next few weeks (especially during peak traffic hours) and don't park your scooter on the street (have seen them piling them up to haul off.

    Step 2: Wait a month or so until this all blows over and things resume to normal.... remember how long they enforced every other "rule" in this city?

  • 1 year ago Unverified User

    @Been here too long ~

    That's a bingo! Same goes for their "tough new" stance on smoking. You ever seen a 50 something Shanghainese dude go baaaatsshitttt on a restaurant worker when he's asked to not smoke? That mentality isn't going away...hasn't in twenty years. Entitlement is taught via the iron rice bowl.

    PS: These on the spot fines are a joke....cops in China are infamous for taking money off the uninitiated and treat their co-workers to din din...

  • 1 year ago confused Unverified User

    when you check the list on the link of 'all 3,525 legal e-bike models' a lot of them are over 40kg so how does that work? is that list actually correct? Anyone tried to register and been refused?

  • 1 year ago adey

    You ever see a fat old white guy go batshit because he was crossing the road and almost got hit by a car because he wasn't obeying the simple road rules that apply here. Rules, that don't make sense to him, but do to the 1.3 billion others that live here. .. .entitlement should be reserved for the expats that love to come over here, barely speak a lick of Chinese (telling a driver your address doesn't mean sh*t) and then lecture them on how their system of government and social customs are inferior and obsolete compared to that of the mighty Western democracies......all hail, fat white man.

    PS..cops in the US are infamous for shooting unarmed black men.

  • 1 year ago Shanghai Vendetta Unverified User

    There's this online shop that delivers and fixes the license plate registration for you for those new model scooters at

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