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You Can Now Register With The Police Online: Here's How To Do It

By Oct 24, 2019 Shanghai Life


According to the law, temporary residents in China have to register with the police within 24 hours of arriving in-country. Unless you're staying at a hotel, this requires going to your nearest police station, waiting in line, and filling out a form. It's not hard, it's just inconvenient. With the launch of the "Self-Help Declaration System For Overseas Personnel's Accommodation Registration," that's a thing of the past. SmartShanghai: minimizing your contact with the fuzz since 2005! Here's how to register online with the police.

Step 1: Log In To The Website

Here's the link: Self-Help Declaration System For Overseas Personnel's Accommodation Registration. This website is only valid for people registering at an address in Shanghai. Assuming you don't have an account, make one. It takes two seconds and doesn't require an email verification (but you might want that email for later).

How To Register Online With Police Shanghai

Step 2: Fill In Your Details

Next step is to fill in your info, once you click off the thoughtful "you don't need to register if you stay in a hotel" tip. This might be the most foreign user-friendly website the government has ever made.

How To Register Online With the police Shanghai

Just upload an image of the photo ID page in your passport. It'll pick the details out automatically, but you can add or correct anything that wasn't right.

How To Register Online With the police Shanghai

Don't mind the "with your certificate" bit, just upload a passport photo or a clean, passport-style selfie. I did it at my desk.

The address system is a slight pain in the butt, owing to the interminable difficulty in translating sometimes complex Chinese address into English ones. Do your best. Trust us. We know all about that.

Note: the "Date of Departure" info doesn't appear on your final certificate, just put the last date you left China. [Update: or, if it's your first time, the day you plan to leave the country, for example when your visa ends.]

Step 3: Wait For Processing

Now you just wait!

How To Register Online With the police Shanghai

Processing can take five to ten minutes. [Update: apparently it can take much longer sometimes.] You'll get an email confirmation when it's done, and it might show up in your spam folder.

Step 4: Download Your Registration Form Of Temporary Residence

How to Register Online With The Police Shanghai

Back on the website, select the QR code that's replaced the "processing" bit and you'll have the option to "preview" (download), email or share a PDF of your form, with chop, filled in for you. Magic!

How To Register Online With the police Shanghai

Whoops. Sorry, officer! Next time I will!


Here's the website for the Self-Help Declaration System For Overseas Personnel's Accommodation Registration:

Thanks to reader Dan for assisting with this article. Love you! <3



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  • 9 months ago Earl The Snake White Unverified User

    More useful content like this plz ~ less about terrible tacos

  • 9 months ago Edie

    Love the Taco article!

  • 9 months ago Maio Unverified User

    Why not both? What's the beef with the Taco article? :D

  • 9 months ago SH12349

    Isn't it the date of departure the date of when you are leaving china? what if it is your first time to come to china?
    I am confused with "the day you left china"

  • 7 months ago SmartNanning Unverified User

    Maybe this is too obvious, but does this only work for Shanghai residents or will it work anywhere in China? I really can't tell from looking at the website.

  • 7 months ago Jejeokoca

    Excuse me, Is this online registration for the whole of China or just for shanghai.?

  • 7 months ago the other alex

    @SmartNanning @Jejeokoca this website is a Shanghai website (indicated by the "sh" in the URL, and it only seems to work for people registering at addresses in Shanghai. If other cities have their own portal, we don't know about it!

    Thanks for the comments, we've clarified a bit.

  • 6 months ago giorgoski

    the link is not valid any more. Do you have a new one?

  • 4 months ago Wursti Unverified User

    Yeah, nice idea to have this registration online. However in my case it fails and gives me the great tip “you need to go to police station and register”.
    Thanks for nothing

  • 2 months ago Just signed up Unverified User

    Super helpful! Just registered following the instructions with mei wentis. Thanks a lot!

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