Hello all. Apologies if this has been posted before, but I could use the advice on this forum.
I am from USA, living in Hsinchu for 8 months now. I have a license from California USA (20 years driving, clean record), and I want to obtain a Taiwan Driver’s license without giving up my US one.
I went to the Hsinchu DMV. They don’t speak much English there and and my Chinese is not proficient enough to understand conversation, so I showed my California DL along with my International Driving Permit, and explained I wanted to get a Taiwan DL. It seemed my CA DL and IDP did not matter at all and I would need to go through the usual process.
I have since passed the medical exam and written exam (in English). To prepare for the driving test, I watched many videos, and studied all the rules and procedure of the test. When it was time to take the driving test, unfortunately my instructor did not speak English at all, and so I could not understand him. I immediately failed the test for doing something small which I didn’t understand and left discouraged.
Any advice here? If I have a US DL, is there a way to obtain a DL without taking the driving test? If I must take the driving test, is there a DMV with known English speakers (in Taipei, perhaps)? Or can I hire a translator to bring along? Any advice is much appreciated!
I started the driving test with my handbrake on and still passed. I had 8 points deducted for that and a further 16 for failing to parallel park properly (I touched the edges). My wife got 100% and won’t let me forget it.
I have a Texas drivers license and had it converted to a Taiwanese license last month (I kept my Texas license as well). They have a list of states with reciprocating agreements, check to see if California is one of them and make sure the license has not expired.
You can check the Reciprocating Countries List
Schedule an appointment with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and get the license notarized (notary cost $50USD) *make sure to have a photocopy of the front and back of the license, if not they have a copy machine there (1 page cost NTD$10).
Get a medical/health certificate at a authorized hospital, make sure to bring 2 passport photos. You can ask the local DMV which hospital to go to.
Things to bring to the DMV:
Passport and photocopy
Drivers license / notarized
ARC card with at least 6 months validity
2 recent photos (3cm x 2.5cm)
Cash (should cost NTD$200)
I’m still figuring out a way to convert my Texas motorcycle license because apparently they don’t directly convert it now but I hope this helps!
The OP has a California driver’s license, as do I. Unfortunately, California is not part of the reciprocating scheme, so that’s out. My coworker, also a California dude but who speaks and reads Chinese fluently, took the Taiwan driving test six times before he passed. You can do it!
Find a school that will let you pay per lesson and have an instructor take you through the course so you know exactly what to do. It should cost around 1,000 NT an hour. You’ll still have to pass the written test though as well, but it isn’t that hard if you take the practice test about a hundred times.