Don't speak Chinese and need to pass driving test

Hi all, I’ve been in Taiwan for almost a year now and since I am planning on staying here for the next few years, I have been trying to pass my practical car driving test. Needless to say it isn’t going well…the main problem is I don’t understand what the testers are saying at all.

I’ve been driving in my home country for several years now, but my license expired soon after I arrived in Taiwan. I must be resident in my country to renew it, and although I could give my parents’ address, it is technically illegal to do so.

I’m willing to pay an interpreter for a few hours or even go to driving school to memorize what to do by rote. Problem with the driving school option is that they insist on me taking the entire course :neutral_face:. Can anyone suggest what to do?

Also, am I allowed to bring my own car to the test, rather than pay for the tester’s car? What if I fail the test, and the tester says “Hey, why are you driving out of the compound without a license?”

I’m based in Taipei.

Feeling nervous during the driving test is normal, especially when you’re unsure what to do. Remember, testers usually stay quiet unless you make a mistake. My successful test was silent, while in unsuccessful attempts, the instructor kept pointing out errors. So, focus on what you’ve learned and drive smoothly without waiting for instructions.

Yes, you are allowed to use your own car for the test. However, it’s advisable to check if your car needs any revisions before the test.
Also, make sure to inform them during registration to avoid any additional gas fees (testers using their own vehicles are exempt from gas fees) 路考油費另計(自備車輛者免繳)

If you’re concerned about failing the test and being questioned for driving without a license, your best bet is to have a friend or family member with a valid license accompany you during the test.

One of the prerequisites is holding a learner’s permit for three months, (駕駛經歷證件:須領有學習駕駛證三個月以上) which permits driving without a full license. All driving school students possess this permit.

If you don’t have this permit, you can try bringing your driving card to the local DMV for verification. They might have reference books containing driving licenses from around the world. They could permit you to take the test without the learner’s permit.

Consider skipping the interpreter fees and enrolling in a driving school instead. Many driving schools have instructors who can communicate in basic English (you can inquire about this during registration). Additionally, around 90% of the course involves hands-on practice where you’ll be performing tasks independently, essentially using the time to practice for the driving test. While the instructor may offer some tips, the majority of learning will come through repetition and practice.



It is not about driving, it is about passing the test. It is about test taking ability, not your own skills.

Try calling this English speaking instructor directly:

That is a fair question. Why are you driving without a licence?

Thank you for your advice.

The last practical test I went to, the instructor was telling a bunch of testees what to do during the test in Chinese. I said a few times I don’t understand what he was saying, but he shrugged and went on.

When I started the test, I failed almost immediately. He seemed to say I was supposed to indicate when moving off, but I wasn’t pulling out, I was going in a straight line with the car starting in a straight, single lane. When I asked why, he again said something in Chinese which I didn’t understand.

Thanks, I’ll check him out.

Given your situation the easiest thing to do would be to renew your home license (presumably you will need to do that within X years of expiry anyway or else lose it completely) and then either get an IDP stamped in Taiwan or use it to obtain a Taiwan license.

Your next best option is to do the full course at a driving school. Yes it takes time and money and is a PITA however it’s 99.99999% guaranteed pass.

You can use your own car but the fee to use the test centre car is pennies. Your biggest concern should be driving around with no insurance, no valid license means no valid insurance.

This is an excellent point @LostExpat, did they allow you to do the test you failed on your expired license or do you have a learner permit?

Wait till they park the car on the left and fail you for not using the left indicator when moving off! There’s a myriad of dumb things you need to remember to pass the test, just do the school thing.