Austria no longer accepts Taiwan International Driver's Permit and vice versa

EDIT: English article, thanks @qwert_zuiop

Austria no longer accepts Taiwan International Driver’s Permits. In response the MOFA say they will no longer accept Austrian International Driver’s Permits.

Google translated article:

Many people choose self-driving tours when traveling abroad. The time is flexible and the itinerary can be controlled by themselves. However, some netizens recently reported on social media that Taiwanese tourists cannot temporarily drive in Austria with an international driver’s license. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the relevant rumors this afternoon (22nd) and stated that based on the “principle of equality and reciprocity”, tourists currently holding an Austrian international driver’s license Foreigners are also not allowed to drive in Taiwan.
According to the “United Daily News” report, some people recently expressed in the community that the latest regulations stipulate that Taiwan’s international driver’s license cannot be used in Austria. The person pointed out to the media that he called the government department to inquire, and the answer he received was “The Austrian government has no rights for Taiwan.” “Very unfriendly”, believing that Taiwan is not included in the “Geneva Convention on Road Traffic” and therefore cannot use the Taiwan International Driver’s License to drive locally. When the regulations were changed, Taiwan was passively informed of the news. Even though our embassy abroad tried hard to communicate with the other party, there was still no satisfactory results.

The representative office in Austria also stated that the Austrian government does not recognize Taiwan’s international driver’s license and currently has no alternative but to use other modes of transportation. It also stated that the representative office “just learned about it” and in order to ensure that Chinese people can drive in Austria, “This department is in consultation with the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport”

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also officially issued a response, “Recently, we have received reports from people (RoC Nationals) that they cannot drive temporarily in Austria with our international driver’s license. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed our representative office in Austria to continue to contact the Austrian government to fight for the relevant rights of Republic of Chinese Nationals.” Based on the principle of equality and reciprocity, foreigners currently holding an Austrian international driving license cannot drive in Taiwan with this document. From the information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we can see that the Austrian part of the use of our international driver’s license by foreign countries has been changed to “not allowed” on May 14.


14 posts were split to a new topic: Dual Citizenship and the Principle of Reciprocity

Damn, I have a trip planned to Austria with a rental car and exchanged my German driver’s license to a Taiwanese one last year… :neutral_face:


How about applying some pressure through your EU representative office? At minimum, some request for clarification why they discontinued this arrangement?



Yeah, typing an inquiry to the German Consulate right now. But I can already foresee their response about this not falling into their responsibility…


CC the EU office in Taipei?

If you can, let us know if you get any response(s).


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It’s pretty stupid to not accept a country’s international permit. All it does it hurt your own people from less tourism coming in and if the other country responds, less freedom for your own people.


Done. I mean not CCed because I wrote in German to the German institute and in English to the EU office.

I’ll report back if I hear anything back…


I also wrote to the Austrian Office in Taipei. They still list on their website that the Austrian IDP is valid in Taiwan:


They replied quite fast:

Sehr geehrter Herr Zuiop,

Danke für Ihr Email.

Bedauerlicher Weise haben wir hierzu keine Informationen aus Österreich, jedenfalls gab es offensichtlich Probleme für taiw. StA bei der Anmietung von Autos in Österreich, das taiwanische Außenministerium hat auf Basis der Gegenseitigkeit die Nicht-Anerkennung von österreichischen internationalen Führerscheinen in Taiwan verfügt. Ergo dessen dürfen Reisende aus Österreich mit dort ausgestelltem internationalen FS kein KFZ mehr in Taiwan lenken.

Bitte wenden Sie sich direkt an das Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie. Das Österreich Büro Taipei kann Ihnen hierbei keine rechtsverbindliche Auskunft erteilen.

Für Verkehrsfragen ist die Gruppe Straßenverkehr und Kraftfahrwesen (Link:[Sektion IV – Verkehr (bmk.gvEmail:

Das Österreich hat die Angelegenheit bereits thematisiert.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Österreich Büro Taipei

DeepL translation:

Dear Mr. Zuiop,

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, we do not have any information on this from Austria, however, there have obviously been problems for Taiwanese citizens when renting cars in Austria, the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered the non-recognition of Austrian international driving licenses in Taiwan on the basis of reciprocity. As a result, travelers from Austria with an international driving license issued there are no longer allowed to drive a vehicle in Taiwan.

Please contact the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology directly. The Austrian Office Taipei cannot provide you with legally binding information.

For traffic issues, please contact the Road Traffic and Motor Vehicles Group (Link: Section IV - Transport (


The Austria Office has already addressed the matter.

Yours sincerely

Austria Taipei Office

So according to them, some Taiwanese citizens had issues while renting a car and then Taiwan cancelled the permission for Austrians to use an IDP in Taiwan. That sounds different from the story that the Taiwanese media told with Austria somehow officially banning Taiwanese IDPs first.


Indeed. What a weird decision. Did someone get wine and dined by the CCP?

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What I do not understand is what is the governmental scam with exchanging the driving licenses?

Driving license is a right given by specific country. It may be recognized by other countries or not.
Like a license to practice medicine or law or some trade certification and are covered by specific country legislation.

Why is one country license status affected by the other country and requires exchanging?
Who legislated and approved than pan national exchanging process?

Do I need to “exchange” my other rights in one country to the right of other country?

This is not mandatory in many countries. You are free to pass the requirements and exam to get a local license.

Exchanging the driving license is only needed if you don’t want to pass exams and the required driving hours under instructor supervision (but exams are still necessary in some countries)

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Exchanging (ie. destroying other country’s license status) is very strange if there is no pan national regulation covering these countries.

EU wants you to have one license but you can drive everywhere on your country’s license and exchange is voluntary.

Exchanging between EU license and Taiwan is crazy because of potential loss of rights. (as illustrated by Austrian affair)

There is an agreement in place between Taiwan and Germany about mutual acceptance of driver’s licenses in which Germany insists that the German license is surrendered and sent back to Germany when doing an exchange.

Yeah, and some German bureaucrat probably thought that it’s a good idea to also use the same procedure (i.e. surrendering one’s original license when doing an exchange) when doing the exchange in Taiwan. (If you think Taiwanese bureaucracy is crazy, you haven’t met a German bureaucrat…).

Yeah, I’ve learned my lesson - should have never exchanged. In the moment it just sounded so much easier than having to do another driver license in Taiwan.

But no going back now - Germany won’t give me back my old license unless I move back to Germany (and surrender my Taiwanese license, of course)… And they said the process could “take some months”…

Yes, it looks like governmental job security initiative.

Why do they care about this? I don’t get it.

That’s why I think some mid-ranking bureaucrat’s picked up a CCP sweetener. I can’t make any other sense of the decision.

Perhaps China is adding stuff like this to trade deals?

Maybe they kept pulling over people that couldn’t turn left, and wouldn’t stop for red lights or pedestrians, and noticed a pattern… Then they just needed a reason to justify it


Vietnam is the same actually. Only accepts the Geneva convention one… Taiwan signed the Geneva convention IDP agreement yet Vietnam doesn’t recognise Taiwan anymore.

Probably. There was talk about it in NZ about banning tourists from certain countries. However, they account for so few incidents because there aren’t many of them anyway.