Getting a driver's license vs getting a scooter license

I’ve done some research on the forum here (and elsewhere) but wanted to get some feedback on this.

I want to be able to rent either a car or a scooter through something like iRent, because it’s a lot more convenient than a traditional rental service that accepts foreigners with just a passport and IDL. (Car Plus and EasyRent both want to have the booking made more than one day in advance and don’t allow same-day return.)

I have no motorcycle/scooter experience, and know they can be dangerous, so my first thought was to get a driver’s license. Seems if you don’t do an exchange of your US/whatever license that the process is a nightmare. But I also don’t want to give up my US license since I’m not committing yet to long-term residency here.

I read that the DMV will let you practice driving a scooter to prep for taking the test. Can I just walk in and ask for this (with my Google Translate probably) and they’ll just do it on the spot?

Mainly looking to rent for sightseeing, like driving along the coast, or for when I go somewhere like Yangmingshan NP.

Exchange is not giving up your US license. You just give them a photocopy that is already been notarized by AIT.

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Yes , you can practice riding scooter at the DMV at lunchtime or early morning before the scooter practice test starts , however you need to have your own scooter or borrow a friend’s scooter . Also keep in mind many people like to practice there so try to arrive early

Also you can find more info about how to practice for the scooter test on the following topic


Getting a car license is a longer process than a scooter license (and the test is harder), but having it will allow you to drive both a car and a <50cc scooter (which includes iRent, WeMo and most of GoShare’s VIVA). If you already have a US license that’s exchangeable for a Taiwan one (depends on the state), you just need to get it notarized at AIT and then take it to the DMV to get the Taiwan one. They won’t take your old US license.

Getting a scooter license is easier to do, but there’s two components: a written and a road test. If you don’t have a scooter of your own, you can borrow one at the DMV to take the test but you can’t use it to practice. It’s best to prepare by going with a friend who has a scooter to one of the riverside practice areas and doing that course a bunch. Hopefully your friend would be willing to take you to the road test as well so you can use that same scooter for it.


From what I’ve read, they did away with the rule that you can ride a <50cc without a scooter license. WeMo and GoShare definitely require a scooter license now - I checked.

Unfortunately I have no friends in Taipei to let me practice or anything

But sounds like I could easily get a car license by doing the exchange at least. I could swear I read that they take your old license


Another question I had is about Chinese text on the road. I checked the PDF practice guide and it covers signs etc (which won’t require Chinese), but often times there’s characters painted on the road that I can’t read. How big of an issue is it to not be able to read Chinese? What important things might I miss, and is there a list of common things to know? I couldn’t find one in my searches.

I think you only need to know how to recognize two signs on the road:
Left (in yellow): No-scooter lane
Right (in white): Only bus lane

For a general take about driving scooter in Taiwan, read this article:


[quote=“kurupted, post:5, topic:207989, full:true”] I could swear I read that they take your old license

Looked again and some people had to fork over their US license, some not. So I’m assuming official policy is that you do

Also, looks like a Texas license can’t be converted if this is correct

you can download the app to practice for the written test (cars and/or scooter)
Is in Chinese and English

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What’s the process for having AIT confirm your US driver’s license?

You schedule an appointment online which they only allow on Tuesday or Thursday with limited seats. Then you go to AIT on your appointment day. You wait till your time to be called. You then leave anything electronic at the security. You go to level 3? Then you fill out a form and hand it to the desk. Then you go pay and then wait for your number to be called. Took 2 hours. Then Uber to Shillin Taipei location. Go to the front desk translate you need a driver license sheet/medical form. Leave and turn right and walk past the park keep walking then someone will help you get to the medical center it’s 5 doors down. Go back to the DMV go to level two turn left then right. Take a number and wait for it to be called.


Thanks! Great info. Is Florida on the list?

You can check here:

As for myself, seems TX does convert. Someone did in another thread, tho they had to surrender their US license

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It’s still allowed per Article 61 of 道路交通安全規則. I’ve only ever used WeMo, GoShare, and iRent with a car license, never a scooter license. I have a scooter license now, but I haven’t uploaded it to the apps.

Ah, I see now – I have the WeMo app and they require either an IDP marked with motorcycle category OR a TW driver’s license (not scooter license).

for GoShare though, it says a general/heavy license is required to rent all models :dizzy_face:

I just went through the application of applying for a local license as my US license finally passed reciprocity. If you just look up the MOTC and AIT instructions, you should be good to go.

I took a day off to take care of both AIT and MOTC things and it…took a whole day. Luckily, I live near the MOTC, so I actually forgot a doc and went home to get it.

Since the driver’s license is mostly just running around and making sure you have the right documents. I would consider getting both the scooter and car license. The car license is very useful when weather gets crappy, but you want to head out of town.

The scooter license is useful for those short day trips around Taipei where you know parking or traffic will be a problem.

Good luck!


did they make you forfeit your US license?

Can you point me to where they say this? I can understand why, since they’re the only app that actually rents out >50cc scooters, but I can assure you they also haven’t cancelled my account yet! haha

That might be different depending on the state and country. Taiwan will just follow the regulations of the respective agreement.