China Long-distance Bus Tickets to Adopt Real-name Policy since March 2017

Published: Feb. 28, 2017
Starting from March 1, 2017, passengers who plan to take an intercity or interprovincial long-distance bus in China will need to show valid ID documents when buying the ticket, checking into the bus station and getting on the bus. Each ticket will carry information about the passenger. Those who can't provide such documents won't be allowed to get on the bus. Passengers who buy tickets on others' behalf need to show the ID documents of both parties.
Buy bus ticket at a window
Buy bus ticket at a window
Check in to get on the bus
Check in to get on the bus

What ID documents can be used?

 For foreigners, they can use any of the following documents, including: passport, passport loss certificate issued by a China Exit and Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau, Chinese temporary residence permit, permanent residence permit, China Exit and Entry Permit, diplomat certificate, certificate issued by the embassy or consulate of the passenger's country in China, seaman's book, the foreigner's identity proof issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of China

 For Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Residents: passport or mainland travel permit

 Those who don't have the above documents can go to the police station near the bus station to get an identity certificate.

How to buy bus tickets after the real-name system is adopted?

For foreign travelers or expats in China, they can only buy the ticket at the ticket windows or outlets of the bus station, or through an agent. Currently, self-service ticket machines are only available to Chinese ID card holders. Besides, there is no English website selling China bus ticket at the moment.

One ticket under one ID document

In the past, one ID document can be used to buy as many as five tickets for a same bus. Since the implementation of the real-name system, one ID document will only be valid to buy one ticket on a same bus.

Children traveling for free also need to obtain a ticket

Previously, children under 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) can take the bus for free and do not need to buy a bus ticket. However, according to the new rules, an adult can take one child under 3.9 feet (including infant) for free if the child does not take a seat. When the adult buys the ticket, he or she should also claim a ticket for the child by showing the child's passport or birth certificate.

TCG here reminds all passengers to take your passports or other identity certificates if you will take a long-distance bus in China. Remember to handle your ticket properly as it carries your personal information.