Car License Renewal: Application Process, License Fees and Documents

 【續牌攻略2021】續牌費用、程序及所需文件

All automobiles must be registered and licensed to drive on the roads of Hong Kong. Given that, is there a difference in the renewal process for new versus second-hand vehicles? How much are the renewal fees for each car type? Do they calculate it differently for electric cars? How long is a car license valid for? What do you do if you want to renew your license after it has expired? Today at Kwiksure, our insurance experts will answer these tough questions for you. 

Car license renewal process and application documents

To apply for renewal, book an appointment either in person at any Licensing Office or online through the GovHK website. Note that it's best to do this four months before your car license expires. You can also book a renewal appointment within 2 years after the expiry date. However, you will need to pay a surcharge for late renewal.

For the application, you'll need to fill out the Application for Renewal of Vehicle License TD558 form, and prepare the following documents:

  1. Identity document (original or photocopy)
  2. Vehicle registration document (original)
  3. Valid third-party risk insurance certificate (aka 'Cover Note', the insurance policy must be purchased in the name of the registered car owner, and remain valid on the day the new vehicle license becomes effective.) (original or photocopy)
  4. Proof of address issued within the last three months
  5. Certificate of Fitness or Certificate of Roadworthiness is required only if your vehicle is subject to inspection.

For every renewal, you may choose to renew your license once every four months or every year depending on your needs. 

Continue reading: 

Vehicle examination in Hong Kong

2021 Hong Kong car license fees overview

According to the annual Budget 2021, the registration taxes and annual license fees have been increased by 15% and 30% respectively, effective on 24 February 2021.

For petrol vehicles, the annual license fee ranges from HK$5,074 to HK$14,694, and the 4-month license fee ranges from HK$1,804 to HK$5,171.

For light diesel vehicles, the annual license fee ranges from HK$6,972 to HK$16,592 and the 4-month license fee ranges from HK$2,469 to HK$5,836.

Private car (petrol)

Cylinder capacity of the engine

Annual fee (HKD)

4-month fee (HKD)

<1,500 cc

$5,074

$1,804

>1,500 cc

$7,498

$2,653

>2,500 cc

$9,929

$3,504

>3,500 cc

$12,360

$4,355

>4,500 cc

$14,694

$5,171

 

Private car (light diesel)

Cylinder capacity of the engine

Annual fee (HKD)

4-month fee (HKD)

<1,500 cc

$6,972

$2,469

>1,500 cc

$9,396

$3,317

>2,500 cc

$11,827

$4,168

>3,500 cc

$14,258

$5,019

>4,500 cc

$16,592

$5,836

 

Van-type light goods vehicle

Permitted Gross Vehicle Weight

Annual fee (HKD)

4-month fee (HKD)

<1.9 tonnes

$2,229

$809

>1.9 tonnes

$4,254

$1,517

 

Electrically-powered passenger vehicle

 

Annual fee (HKD)

4-month fee (HKD)

<1 tonne

$572

$30 + 35% of Annual License Fee

An additional fee for each 250kg

$124


If drivers renew their vehicle licenses of private cars or electrically powered passenger vehicles which expire on or before June 23, 2021, as long as the renewal application is submitted on or before June 23, 2021, can continue to pay the original annual license fees before the adjustment.

If drivers renew the vehicle licenses of private cars and electrically powered passenger vehicles which expire on or after June 24, 2021, or submit applications for first or re-issue of vehicle licenses of private cars or electrically powered passenger vehicles at or after 11 am (Hong Kong time) of February 24, 2021, they must pay the adjusted annual license fees.

How to renew car license online with iAM Smart+ app

You can use the government app "iAM Smart+" to renew your vehicle license. It's a lot more convenient than going in person. Keep in mind that we're talking about "iAM Smart+" and not "iAM Smart" since only "iAM Smart+" has the digital signing function.

How to access the iAM Smart+ digital signing function 

  1. To register for the iAM Smart+ app and the services it provides, you'll need your HKID and the app downloaded onto your phone. Next, head to the self-registration kiosk at your local post office. 
  2. Open the iAM Smart+ app to scan the QR code. 
  3. Hand over your HKID to the staff or insert it into the kiosk to confirm your identity.
  4. Set up your personal settings, which includes your cellphone's biometrics for authentication, 6-digit password, confirmation email, etc. 
  5. After registration, you can now access the range of online services that iAM Smart+ provides, which includes online car license renewal.

A step-by-step guide: Access car license online with iAM Smart+

  1. Open the "iAm Smart+" app and click on either "Apply for Renewal of Vehicle License" or click to scan the QR code
  2. Enter your personal information and your vehicle details before choosing between the options of a 4-month or 12-month license renewal. 
  3. Upload your original vehicle registration document, Certificate of Roadworthiness (if applicable), third-party risk insurance or cover note, and enter any required details. 
  4. Upload and confirm your proof of address. 
  5. Once you've double-checked that there are no errors in the information you entered on the app, you can now use JCB, credit cards, PPS, or the Union Pay online payment. 
  6. Upon completing the above steps, you'll receive your renewed vehicle license at your correspondence address by registered post within 10 working days.

car insurance quote

Renewing your license after the expiry date 

An overdue renewal is when a car owner applies for license renewal past the expiry date. In addition to paying the standard license fee, you may have to pay a late renewal surcharge. This is commonly known as the 'late renewal fee'. Keep in mind that if your vehicle has expired for 2 years or more, your vehicle registration will be cancelled. Unfortunately, you will have to re-register before you can apply for the car license again. 

Here is how you can calculate the late renewal fee:

(Annual license fee - HKD $114 for Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Funds) X 0.33% X The number of days after the license expired (i.e. the number of days passed from the day your original license expired to the day before the new license becomes effective)

Applying for late vehicle license renewal fee exemption 

It's possible to apply for an exemption to avoid paying late license renewal fees. In fact, if your license has passed its effective date, but your vehicle hasn't been on the road, you will be exempted. Of course, you must first fill in the declaration statement on page 2 of the license renewal form TD558 under "Declaration of Application for Waiving Additional Fees Incurred from Usage of Vehicle During the Unlicensed Period". This is where you specify during which period of time have you not driven your car.

There are two ways to submit the form: by mail, or in person. If it is submitted by mail, the end date of the non-use period will be calculated based on the post office receipt date

We recommended going to the licensing office to apply for overdue license renewal. Regardless of whether an overdue renewal surcharge is paid, the effective date of the new vehicle license will be the day it is issued.

Continue reading:

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Looking for the best car insurance in Hong Kong?

Kwiksure provides both third-party insurance and comprehensive car insurance. If you would like to learn more about car insurance in Hong Kong, please contact our experts today or use our online quotation system to receive a free quote!

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