Italian tourist Mettia Melillo shows his temporary driving permit at Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Aug 1, 2019. [Photo by Wang Xiaobin/for chinadaily.com.cn]
Mettia Melillo, a tourist from Italy, received a temporary driver's permit in five minutes after filing out an application at Sanya Phoenix International Airport on Thursday after a new policy took effect the same day.
Melillo is the first foreign tourist to enjoy the pilot policy issued in the Hainan Free Trade Zone by the Ministry of Public Security in July. It is meant to facilitate travel, work and the daily lives of people from overseas.
"I'm very happy with this new policy, and I will rent a recreational vehicle to travel around Hainan Island for a couple of months and will later start a bakery business in Sanya to treat people here with food of my hometown style," said Melillo, who has 19 years of driving experience.
Melillo said he has made several trips to China, including to Chengdu in Sichuan province, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Haikou and Sanya. But he said he was deeply impressed by changes on the tropical island.
"The temporary driver's permit will make my travel more enjoyable. I am sure my friends will also be happy if they learn the news," Melillo said.
To facilitate the entry of foreigners and residents from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to Hainan, the Ministry of Public Security announced early last month a set of pilot policies to simplify the procedures for handling temporary motor vehicle driver's permits, extending the validity of temporary driver's permits and establishing traffic management stations at entry points.
Under the new policy, overseas applicants can get a temporary driver's permit that will be valid for as long as one year after providing inbound and outbound identity documents, overseas driver's licenses with translated copies and two one-inch color photos. Physical examinations won't be required any longer.
"The new policy makes applications for a temporary driver's permit much easier for overseas visitors," said Zhou Pinghu, an official with the Hainan Provincial Traffic Police.
He said local traffic police will set up traffic management stations at airports, harbors and ports around Hainan to handle on-the-spot applications.
"Overseas visitors can also apply for a temporary driver's permit at local traffic management offices. Overseas online application services will also be established to offer guidance, such as multilingual driver's handbooks and driver's reminders for temporary-entry drivers," said Zhou.
Since last April, the central government has introduced many policies and measures to facilitate the ecological and business environment, in a bid to boost development of the Hainan Free Trade Zone and Hainan Free Trade Port.