6 months before getting a driver's license on an ARC (JFRV) with a US Driver's License (Florida)?

Hi, everyone! I last posted about a month ago regarding obtaining a JFRV… thanks to the help of many on this forum, the process went smoothly and I am now officially an ARC holder! Thank you!

My question today is in regards to obtaining a driver’s license: When I was applying for my ARC, the woman at the NIA told me that I would have to live in Taiwan for 6 months before I could apply for a driver’s license, and the motor vehicle office in Taipei has echoed this sentiment over the phone. I hate to sound ignorant and/or entitled, but is that really accurate?

I have a valid US driver’s license from the state of Florida (about 5 years remaining), and according to the Taipei motor vehicle office’s website, it looks like it could be converted to a Taiwan driver’s license. The problem here lies within their requirement of having an ARC with a validity of over one year; my ARC’s expiration date is listed as 1 year from the application date, and as I did not receive it for two weeks, it is currently set to expire in 50 weeks and counting.

So on one hand, I am being told that I cannot even apply for a driver’s license until I have lived here for six months, but on the other hand, the website seems to suggest that I can, albeit with an impossible requirement.

Can anyone help me clear up this confusion? As of now, it seems like a trip to Mr. Bike is in order!

This info from AIT might be useful.

Ah, yes! That’s actually where I came from before I posted here. This is what tripped me up:

“You should consult with the Motor Vehicles Office at Taipei for specific requirements and fees. Our current understanding is that you will need an ARC (must be valid for more than one year) or Taiwan National ID Card, valid US driver’s license, valid passport, health certificate issued by a Taiwan public hospital, a completed application form, several photos and a fee.”

Interestingly, I’m not seeing any mention of that six month requirement on either the AIT or the motor vehicle website (I’m probably just missing it, but I’d think it would be front and center)… but again, I’ve been told by both the NIA and that very same mv office that it’s a requirement. I’ve also seen it mentioned elsewhere on Forumosa, but without much detail.

I got mine after about a month, i had a one year arc at the time, I was driving on an international license before that, I had to surrendered my Irish license though. But it should be possible unfortunately I cannot not remember exactly what I done to get it as it was arranged by the company I work for!

That’s quite alright–your help is appreciated, and at least I know it’s possible now! I was able to get in contact with AIT directly, and they told me that while they could not interpret the requirements for the license, they confirmed that my Florida license is convertible. I’m going to see if my spouse can call the MV Office tomorrow… unfortunately, my lack of language skills make it impossible!

Update: I actually just found this thread from a few years ago: Drivers Licence Reciprocity

It seems they were able to get it done! I wonder why on Earth the NIA and MV Office haven’t updated their pages in over 3 years…?

It seems like a trip to Taipei will be in order shortly. I will report back with results!

How did it go ? I am in Taipei now and would like to know where it can be done.
My sister in law called a DMV office in Taipei and they had never heard about it ?
I have all the required documents.
Thanks for helping out.

I think you’ll find that this is from date of issue, not date of driver’s license (or anything else) application. This Chinese way of thinking trips westerners up all the time.

true, and the traffic bureau will likely issue a license that expires along with your ARC

I told one of my friends here that I was going to Taipei to do all of this and they offered to give me a road bike that they didn’t use, so I never actually went. Even though I live in a relatively inconvenient city (by Taiwan standards), I’ve gotten by just fine… so I apologize for the lack of update on this, but there hasn’t been one to provide!

With that said, I may still be able to offer you some assistance. Of course, this will only apply if you are an American with a driver’s license from a state that offers reciprocal licenses with Taiwan, as that’s the only process I am familiar with.

Is your driver’s license notarized? If not, you’ll need to go to AIT. They only provide driver’s license notarizations on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and you’ll have to schedule an appointment online (or I guess you could call…they speak English) beforehand. It’s $50 USD.

You’ll also need to get a health check. Apparently, it’s different from the health check that’s required for the JFRV, but I’ve heard it’s neither expensive nor lengthy. You should be able to get it done at any hospital. I don’t know too much about this part of the process, since I have yet to do it.

Lastly, you’ll need some passport-sized photos when you go to the motor vehicle office.

Once you’ve got everything you can head over there and convert your USA license to a Taiwanese one without testing for it. If you have a motorcycle endorsement, you’ll also be able to receive the motorcycle/scooter license. If you don’t have the motorcycle endorsement, you can still get it, but you’ll have to test for it. Reasonable enough.

Many thanks for quick response
I got an International driver licesene

by AAA.

International license will do, I got one from the RTA (Australian dmv) over the counter, since it was fullcar, full bike and small truck, I could drive anything for 4 years. I did get my car, scooter and bike license here after 6 months though. Now when I go back to Australia I get an international version of tw license. Since my au one is expired and I don’t care about it, or that country.