Getting a Drivers License in Taiwan?

Hi, I’ll be coming in May to Taiwan, I have a 2 month AAA temporary drivers license. After that, how do I get a regular Taiwan’s drivers license. Should I even bother trying to pass the drivers test for a car ?
Is it easier to buy a scooter ? I don’t speak the language nor do I know how to read the signs. I’ve never driven a scooter, mostly cars.
Please can somone guide me in the right direction to avoid future headaches about legally driving in Taiwan. Thankyou, Ric

Hi Rick,

Get an International Driver’s License from AAA. They last for a year.

Assuming you are from the States (you said AAA, so I am assuming this), you may be able to simply present your license together with your international license at the DMV here, whereby they give you some papers that amount to permission to drive in Taiwan (this depends on which state you are from, as it doesn’t hold true for all states.) The DMV told me that I could renew this year after year, presenting both licenses(which means I would have to renew my international license yearly, which the DMV send from the States by mail, it’s dead-easy).

I got around solely by bicycle and taxis for years before I bought a car here last year. It was the best move I ever made. I have never ridden a scooter, but would rather drive a car anyday. However, if you will be living in Taipei/Kaohsiung, parking a car can be a real headache, so having a scooter might be much easier.

Don’t worry about signs and stuff like that, most things are printed in Chinese and English, and rules and the like are basically the same as at home.

As for the Taiwanese driving test, I don’t know…I have heard mixed reports on that one. One thing many people seem to agree on is the ridiculous nature of the written test. Some silly questions on there and no book in English to use to prepare for the test…I know a 55 year old American here who actually failed it. I’m sure he wasn’t the first (or last), either.

A Canadian friend told me that the secret to passing the actual driving bit is to talk the guy’s ear off in English throughout the test. He will be so glad for the test to be finished that he will pass you without thinking, as he won’t want to repeat the expeience again. :wink:

Where will you be living, and where are you from at home?

nice post, with good info. however, there is an english book to prepare ( i think i still have one kicking around here somewhere), and there is also an english website with questions. if the OP is willing to search the site a little, i’ll bet he can find it somewhere in vroom vroom …

OP should also be able to find out if their state license qualifies for reciprocity here by doing a search (if he indeed is a yank) …

good luck!

An English book, huh? Great! At the Pingtung office, they told me that no such thing existed. Silly sods.

Im in taipei, and frankly you dont need much.
I live on my scooter going to and from everywhere.
The written test was so easy its not even funny, i got 100% 2x
If your feeling nervous do some google searches on mvd taipei and taiwan through google or something… I found websites without too much problem, you can take sample tests, which cover the EXACT questions on the test. The only times i had problems were a couple random signs that we dont have in the states.
The pratical test can be done without your own scooter, but i would suggest some pratice illegally in a parking lot to feel comfortable going slow and tunring… but its alot like riding a bike, keep the handle bars straight and pull the levers to stop.

i took the driving test to get a local liscense and failed real fast. You are supposed to park into a tiny spot, that kinda JUST fits the car, without any reference points - compared to the real world. There are some other parts, that make equally little sense but i didnt even get to them. I have a AAA IDL (international drivers liscense) and it serverd me for a good 14 months, before i went back and got a new one (also only good for 12 months) but the point is ive never once needed it. I have it, but it is rarely in the car with me when i drive.

I have heard that you cant get a new liscense unless your here for over a year, but i havent validated that… rules seem maleable depending on where you are. Might help if you get a chinese person to help ya out.

Well, Rick wants a car license, not a scooter one. Different procedure.

Some good replies above and also comprehensive answers to be found in this thread:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=13199

this one:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=11830

and this one:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=4832