Molybdate conversion coatings were prepared on AZ31B Mg alloy in a molybdate based solution with additives of sodium fluoride (NaF) or lanthanum nitrate (La(NO3)3). The effects of F- and La3+ additives on the morphology and on the corrosion resistance of the molybdate coatings were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and potentiodynamic polarization analysis. The results revealed that these additives could accelerate the deposition of molybdenum on the surface of AZ31B magnesium alloy. It can be seen that the composite conversion coatings consist of many spherical particles. It is also found that the corrosion resistance is greatly improved after molybdate treatment. The films formed in F- additive solution showed lower corrosion current density than in La3+ additive solution.