The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) is going to open to the public soon-ish! This new, 55 km long megastructure is now the longest water-bridge ever built. It will shorten the travel time from 4 hours to just 45 minutes between Hong Kong and Zhuhai. All driving that occurs on the bridge will be in accordance with Chinese rules - on the right side of the road - not left as is the case in Hong Kong and Macau, and all tolls will be collected in renminbi. As great as it sounds, it’s actually not that easy to cross the HZMB because special permits and cross-boundary motor insurance must be obtained by all drivers entering the bridge.
Crossing the bridge to Macau
For those who are planning to drive across the bridge in order to get to Macau in the near future, there are two schemes that you can consider. You can either apply for a three-year-long permit for Hong Kong residents to enter Macau and its city center, or apply for a “park and ride” scheme.
Regular quota scheme to Macau
As the Macau government is concerned about congestion and traffic, it will allow a quota of only 300 regular permits, half of which is restricted for Hong Kong residents and the other half for companies. The quota is valid for three years, costs HK $540 per year, and is allocated via a lottery system administered by the Hong Kong Transport Department.
To qualify for the regular permit, the applicant must be a permanent Hong Kong resident employed with remuneration in Macao, or who have established a registered company in Macau. Private cars allocated under this quota will be allowed to make multiple entries to Macau via the HZMB, which is similar to the arrangement for the Guangdong/Hong Kong cross-boundary program for private cars. In this case, the driver will also need to purchase cross-boundary motor insurance to travel between Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Park and Ride scheme to Macau
Park and Ride scheme, or transit scheme, is open to every Hong Kong resident who has not been registered under the regular quota scheme. Drivers must register their vehicles in advance and reserve a space at least 12 hours prior to their arrival to Macau in a designated car park, at the Macau end of the bridge.
The booking slots in the car park are divided into 12-hour sessions, and each person can book 1 to 8 consecutive sessions per booking. This equates to a booking duration of 1 hour - 8 days. The car park features a capacity of 3,000 spaces for private vehicles.
The plus side of this solution is that the drivers don’t have to apply for a Macau driving license or car plate. The permission granted from the HK side is valid for a year, costs only $540 every month, and the Identification Label from Macau is valid for three years.
The downside? Drivers under this scheme are not allowed to enter the city center by car as they will be leaving their cars in an East Car Park in Macau. This means they will need to enter the city via public transportation or taxi.
The process of getting a closed road permit
Before planning your trip, there are certain documents that you will need to take care of. One of them is to get a Closed Road Permit Permit from Hong Kong, an Identification Label from Macau, local Macau and China insurance and - last but not least - an Electronic Temporary Licence and driving permit from China.
Even though the Hong Kong Transport Department (HKTD) states that they have already streamlined the process for obtaining such permits, it is still quite long and complex process. You may watch the official explanatory video released by the Information Services Department here. We also listed the necessary steps each driver must take in order to drive across the bridge successfully and lawfully.
- Step 1: Apply for a Closed Road Permit from Hong Kong
- Step 2: Apply for an Identification Label from Macau
- Step 3: Wait 12 working days for the Transport Department to process the documents
- Step 4: Purchase Macau and China motor insurance
- Step 5: Upload the insurance documents to Zhuhai’s Online Filing Platform
- Step 6: Receive Electronic Temporary Licence and Driving Permit from the Mainland
- Step 7: Reserve parking space in the East Car Park in Macau at least 12-hours before departure, using a designated website.
Car owners who are applying for the permit can designate one more driver who will be eligible to drive the car on the bridge, and both drivers must have valid a Hong Kong driving license.
No motorcycles can join the scheme. This exclusion also extends to vehicles that have more than nine seats, exceed 3.5 tonnes or are two meters high.
While you’re waiting for the HKTD to process your documents, contact one of our car insurance advisors today for assistance with obtaining the right cross-boundary motor insurance for crossing the bridge.
Crossing the bridge to Zhuhai
All Hong Kong residents who wish to cross the bridge to Zhuhai via a private car must obtain a cross-boundary private car permit. Guangdong authorities will accept new 10,000 quota applications for the Hong Kong cross-boundary private car permit.
After applicants receive an approval notice for using the bridge from the Guangdong Public Security Department, they will then need to apply for a closed road permit from the Transport Department's Cross Boundary Unit in Hong Kong.
Only people or companies with certain financial or political contributions on the mainland will get permits to cross it via private cars.
Depending on your port of destination, you may need two to three different civil liability car insurance policies. Since no single car insurance policy will comply with the legal requirements of all three jurisdictions, drivers must obtain separate car insurance for each jurisdiction they wish to enter.
Please note here that even if you are going to Macau only, you still need to purchase a Macau car policy together with Chinese cross-boundary motor insurance since part of the bridge is located in Chinese waters.
If you already possess a cross-boundary motor insurance policy for traveling between the Mainland and Hong Kong, you won't need to obtain a new one if you are traveling to Zhuhai only; just keep an eye on its expiry date and renew it at the designated time. If you want to go to Macau via the Park and Ride scheme, you will need to get a Macau approved car insurance plan to obtain your permit.
Can I get a statutory motor insurance plan for all three places from one provider?
Yes, Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau Bridge Insurance Corner has published a list of insurers that can provide statutory HZMB motor insurance for two or three places:
- Asia Insurance Company Limited
- Bank of China Group Insurance Company Limited|
- China Pacific Insurance Company (Hong Kong) Limited
- China Taiping Insurance (HK) Company Limited
- Min Xin Insurance Company Limited
- People's Insurance Company of China (Hong Kong) Limited
These insurance companies offer integrated one-step insurance plans, however, it never hurts to check all your options, as more suitable or better-value plans can be arranged via different combinations. That’s what we at Kwiksure specialize in! As Hong Kong's leading car insurance expert, we compare all of the most suitable plans and help you choose the right one(s) based on your needs.
How we can help
While we can’t help you obtain permits from the Hong Kong Transport Department, we can help with sourcing and arranging the required HZMB car insurance plans for Macau and Zhuhai. Kwiksure offers plans from 5 out of 6 of the designated cross-boundary motor insurance companies that provide one-step HZMB insurance solutions. We can also present plans for Macau or Mainland China only, as well as offer assistance during the claims process. Contact us now for a free consultation and quote!