Illegal Chinese Driver’s License

July 4: Perm, Russia. We are now far from China, and I don’t plan to go back, so I can tell the tale of my driver’s license. It was a detail everyone overlooked. One is not permitted to drive in China after the age of 70. I am 76. When we went for our Chinese drivers licenses, way back in Beijing, I could not legally get one. When they handed out the licenses before we left the police station, I hadn’t been given mine.  Someone, who shall remain nameless, provided me with this forgery. It has my photo and otherwise looks just like Jan’s. He assured me it would work fine. Jan and I shared the driving across the 3,000 miles of Chinese roads. I didn’t have a chance to really test my license. The only time we had a license check at a toll booth, Jan was driving.

Since most of our food and hotels across China were horrible, I can only imagine what it would be like in a Chinese jail. I’ll never know and I have a great souvenir from China, along with Stewball’s license plate!

From the long and interesting road to Paris,


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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7 Responses to Illegal Chinese Driver’s License

  1. Carla says:

    Glad you didn’t end up in jail! Now that’s a good story. At 76 stil up for an illegal adventure, traveling with false papers, proud of ya, Ed! 😀

  2. TBC says:

    Great story! I was wondering about those licenses. There was a gap in your reporting, but I thought it better not to ask!


    TBC and arnie

  3. ejhowle23 says:

    You are right, Margo. If it doesn’t appear, there is a reason! Wait until we’re home for more of the REAL scoop! This is just the beginning.

  4. Is this the Ed and Janet who we knew in Paris and living on av. de Suffren? If I remember correctly, you were in a business producing special toys for handicaped children.

    This is Gladys and Mike Mottier now living in Shanghai where I established a company engineering membrane filtration equipment.

    • ejhowle23 says:

      Yes, we are the same Ed and Janet. You see our latest adventure was driving around the world-14,000 miles. Just returned to the US on Aug. 3. Sorry we didn’t know where you were when we were in China. Loved Beijing and the Chinese people, but many trials on that part of our drive. If you are reading the blog, you will see many of them. Roads, food, and language were the biggest challenges. How long have you been in Shanghai? Will you be staying there? We are back in the US, gave up our apartment in Paris but go back frequently. It’s in the blood now. Have sold our business in the US as well and are writing and traveling, mostly. Seems we are as busy as ever. Don’t have any plans to slow down. Thanks for getting in touch. How in the world did you find our blog? Just curious. E & J

      • Mike Mottier says:

        I found your blog while I was searching on getting a driver’s license when one is over 70. In fact, despite my investment in a company in Shanghai, I still cannot get a credit card for the same reason. Anyway, after about 45 year working in and out of China, I should know that somethings will not change soon. We will be here for some time yet – China seems to be the only country not in a recession and where large opportunities still exist.


      • ejhowle23 says:

        Well, if you have read the later blogs, you know that Ed drove the entire distance from Beijing to the border of Kazakhstan with a fraudulant one. Perhaps we can put you on to our “source.” Our guide and translator “James” had an expression we heard often: “It is the Chinese way!” There were lots of things we never did figure out. Keep in touch. Glad to reconnect.

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