Do foreigners legally have to carry ID?

Do foreigners legally have to carry a form of ID such as a passport or an ARC?

If so, what is the worst that could theoretically happen if you were caught without it?

1- yes
2- nothing

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If it’s a legal requirement, there must be something (at least officially) that can happen if someone is caught not obeying the law. Obviously it’s not enforced, but theoretically, what’s the worst that could happen?

A post was split to a new topic: Bukkake

I wish rules were enforced here and police actually did something instead of paying phone phone. It is probably a law/rule here but it doesn’t matter at all.

In before replies to my post / not everyone lives in Taipei
“Taiwan police are some of the hardest working ect…”
“But in my anecdotal experience Taiwan police”
“They are underpaid and overworked”
“Traffic laws are hardly laws anyway”


@tando @yyy

You guys are usually good with these sorts of questions. Can you help?

Course you don’t have to carry ID. Why do people ask such weird questions? You think foreigners carry their ARCs when competing in triathlons or doing any of the hundred other activities you don’t carry a handbag to do? My ARC sits in my wallet and travels with me if my wallet travels with me. Otherwise it stays at home. :roll:

I think it’s the law in the mainland and people get confused.

Article 16 In accordance with paragraph 1, Article 28 of the Act, aliens over 14 years of age inside Taiwan’s national border, shall carry on his/her person the passport, the Alien Resident Certificate, or the Alien Permanent Resident Certificate.

Article 28 An alien, at the age of fourteen (14) or up, who has entered the State for a visit, residence or permanent residence, shall always carry his/her passport, Alien Resident Certificate, or Alien Permanent Resident Certificate.
National Immigration Agency or public servants under other laws and orders can demand aliens to produce the documents stated in the preceding Paragraph while performing official duties. With respect to requirements and a procedure for requests for production of certificates and production of certificates, the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Police Duties Enforcement Act shall apply mutatis mutandis.

I don’t immediately see that last act, but I would assume one could be detained until their identity can be determined and it decided that they are not in the country illegally. I doubt there are other penalties, but not sure

This is it:

When it is definitely impossible to verify a person’s identity by using the measures set forth in subparagraphs 2 and 3 of the preceding paragraph, the police may take the person to the police agency for further verification. The police shall not use coercive power unless they are resisted and the duration of the verification shall not exceed three hours starting from the time the person is stopped. The police shall also immediately report the identity verification to the Duty Command Center and inform the relative, friend, or lawyer as requested by the person.


I don’t think this law is enforced at all, but I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate to use it if they suspected you of something else.

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That’s what I was thinking, if a police officer is out to get you, which is so often the case here, they could use this law to cause you hassle, but just how much hassle is what I am actually curious about.

Article 85 of Immigration Act?

If a person meets one of the following circumstances, he shall be fined between NT$ 2,000 and NT$ 10,000:

  1. Refuses to produce his/her passport, Visit Permit in the Taiwan Area, Alien Resident Certificate, Alien Permanent Residence Certificate, Entry permit or other identification documents.

I’ve been asked for ID on a few occasions, I don’t obviously carry my passport or ARC for obvious reasons, in the end the police will settle for a library card or something

I’m curious, how many of you actually carry your ARC, APRC or passport daily?

  • I always carry either my ARC, APRC or passport
  • I carry a photocopy of my ARC, APRC or passport
  • I don’t usually carry an ARC, APRC, passport or photocopy

0 voters

Nice survey, Should have included “I never carry my ARC or passport unless I am on my way to the airport”


That’s why I added the ‘usually’. If you only carry your ARC/passport on the way to the airport, then selecting “I don’t usually carry an ARC, APRC, passport of photocopy” would be the correct answer.

Unless you travel to the airport every day.

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My wallet has other forms of ID, had a little blue truck clip my wing mirror not so long ago, police were called. Even my driving licence wasn’t in the car (switched cars and was still at home) so the police were ok using my health card details. It’s really not something that is cared about at all, just sometimes they want to know who you are is all.

This would be me

I usually always have at least two forms of government photo identification, because I get asked for it a lot when I do stuff at the bank.

I presume it’s to show you are in the system. A credit card actually had my name printed correctly, but they were less interested in that and would be ok with a health card which had half of my surname chopped off (my surname seems to be too much for the NHS here to handle)