Getting your driver's license in Taipei

I’m trying to get my license to drive. I looked on the Taipei city motor vehicles site and found some information but not really clear on some info.

Can anyone explain clearly what I need to do. I need to get on it as I need it to apply for a permit to drive in the EU for the summer when I go to Italy.

And what’s everyone’s experience on it?

Do you have a license from the States? And if so, which state? Might be able to just get it notarized at the AIT and then exchanged for a TW license at the DMV.

I can’t seem to find a current list of states with reciprocity. Even the link at the AIT website only takes you to a list of states that will accept a Taiwan-issued license or IDP.

Yeah, I know the OP has mentioned living in Texas before. Texas is now on the list of states that reciprocate with Taiwan, so it would be easiest if you have a valid TX DL. That only started about two years ago, so I didn’t get to take advantage of the reciprocity when I wanted to get my driver’s license in Taiwan.

If you don’t have a driver’s license that you can exchange, then you can just go to the DMV (there’s one in Shilin), take the written test, and then take the driving test. Assuming you pass each, you could be done in as little as 2-3 hours. I would recommend studying for at least the written test beforehand, and preferably also the driving test if possible.

I don’t have a Texas license. Or any US license.

Most current list* (mid-2015):

Maryland, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Alabama.

*Sourced from three different news articles about reciprocity. Taipei Times has the most current article about it. Nothing since 2015.

NOTE: The AIT website takes you to a page that details the reciprocity between U.S. states and Taiwan driver’s licenses; meaning, can you drive in California on a Taiwan DL? - not the other way around. Unless I’m missing something on the poorly assembled PDF…:confused: Either way, you can fuckin’ Google it with more alacrity than crawling through the AIT and MOFA sites.

By the way, sounds like OP has to get his DL the old fashioned way: apply, take tests, drive, smile for the camera. Do they take your picture for your DL here? I dunno. My state isn’t on the list so I’m not fuckin’ driving here. Period.

This guide for getting your driver’s license in Taiwan is fairly useful:

Yes, that is exactly how I read it too. I googled the crap outta it and kept getting sent back to that same pdf that shows which states will accept a Taiwan-issued DL/IDP.

Colorado was also added on that list last year. The girls at the DMV were surprised I knew about it because they had just barely found out it was on there too. According to the article I linked, there are now (then) 19 states on the list.


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Music to my ears. I was just about to renew my IDP. I think I’ll hold off on that and save 20USD.

Keep in mind, getting your US license notarized at the AIT costs 1500NT.

Seems like you would still need to take the Taiwan tests if your State isn’t on list.

Last time I checked I thought I had to swap my BC (Canada) driving license for a Taiwanese one - i.e. I’d then have to get an international driving permit every year to drive in Canada. Does anyone know if that is going to change with the new policy, so I can keep both licenses and never worry about an IDP?

Can’t you just say to the DMV in BC that you lost (as in misplaced) your license and you need a new one issued? That’s the first thing I would try, anyway.

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I’ve heard both, sometimes they make you surrender your “home” license, sometimes not. Per usual in Taiwan it depends on who you get to speak with. They let me keep mine, but the suggestion of claiming a lost license and getting a second “new one” should work. I had actually done this for my US license before I got the Taiwan one just in case…now I have two for the US.

I went to one of those driving schools a year ago and said their was a requirement to do your practice hours with a school before you took the written and road test. I asked about the price and they said anything from 10-15k.

At that time, I was not ready to pay 10-15k NTD to have someone teach me how to take a test let alone how to drive a vehicle when I had been doing it for over a decade.

If the new policy means, I can walk into the DMV and take the road and written test on the spot. This is good news to me.

If you have any sort of license (I have an expired license from a state that doesn’t have mutual reciprocity), you don’t need to pay any sort of driving school fee to take the test. If you don’t have anything then you’ll need the proof from the driving school.

So I have to go to the driving school before I go and take the test? I have no license.

Unless things have changed since May 2015, yes. It is mandatory to take something like 20 “lessons” at a driving school before taking the driving test. I can’t remember the exact number, but they schedule it so it takes a month, going there almost every day. It’s a pain in the butt, especially since you won’t be learning anything about how to drive during these lessons. All you’ll do is go round and round the little track they have - the first few times an instructor will sit with you to teach you how to do the monkey tricks they ask for the driving test. After that, you go there to just drive around the track by yourself and “practice” - it’s a major waste of time, and very boring.
Most (all?) schools will let you skip some training sessions, and just get you to sign the attendance sheet the next time you come in. How many they’ll let you skip depends on how you negotiate with them I guess.
But the one thing you can’t negotiate on or change is the one month time-frame: that’s a DMV requirement. So if you’re in a hurry to get your license, you should get yourself to a driving school now and sign up ASAP.
Total price when i did it was around 11k, at a school in Zhonghe. Passed the test on the first try without any issue.
Then I had to learn how to drive.

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^This is the same as what I was told last year. You have to do the course which they said would cost me about 10k, hence I didn’t bother and just carried on using IDPs.

I don’t know where people are getting this “you have to pay a driving school to take your driving test” bollocks from, but about 3 years ago I wondered up to the DVLA place up in Shilin and did the test there with no lessons. Failed mind, so I ended up paying a driving school something like 500nt to rock around their track for an hour to practice, before going back and passing. If you know how to drive you don’t need to have anything to do with a driving school if you don’t want to.