Got my car and motorcycle licence

Wanting to kill two birds with one stone I went for both licences at once. It was probably a good move as it has no doubt saved me some time and money.

The place to go in Taipei is:
�_�Ϥ�B�a�}: 111�O�_���Ӽw��q�K�Q��, �_�Ϥ�B�`��: (02) 28314155
Taipei City, No.80, Section 5 Cheng De Rd, Shilin
Near the Taipei Astronomical Museum and a couple of minutes north of Shilin Night Market on the left hand side of the road as you head out towards Danshui.

You can do some practice tests online at the following website ( Contrary to some reports that I have heard, the online test questions and the questions in the actual test are the same. They are randomly chosen of course, but provided that you have done the online practice test several times, you should have encountered all of the questions that will be on the actual test. It is possible that there are some questions that are not on the online test that might pop up in the real test �V but all of the questions I had were in the online practice test.

You need to do the car licence written test first. Provided that you pass this test (score of 85 or above) you don��t need to do the written test for the motorcycle. A saving of around NTD200 and a bit of stress and hassle.

I will walk you through the procedure as I encountered it.

  1. You will need your ARC, drivers licence from your country of origin (plus a copy of the same, both sides)
    [color=#408000][Moderator’s note–this isn’t necessary, at least in most people’s experience! Basically the test requirements are the same as for locals.][/color]
    , four passport sized photos and about NTD1000 to cover all of the costs.
  2. Speaking Chinese of having someone who speaks Chinese may be helpful but the staff speak enough English to get by. Also, considering the fact that whole building is full of young college and university students going for their own tests, you would be pretty unlucky not to find someone to help you if you really got stuck. Most of the signs and instructions are bilingual.
  3. Go to the information desk directly in front of you as you go in the front door on the ground (first floor). There are (white) cardboard, information cards that you need to fill out with your personal details and take with you. One for each the tests you want to go for. You need to stick on photo onto each card.
  4. The medical exam room is within sight of the information desk. It is to the left of the main door that you came in, and next to the staircase. As you wait a woman will come along and bang a metal wishbone type implement towards the rear of your head. You just need to point which side it is on, the left or the right. The first lady takes your height and weight, the second gives you the same eye test that you do for your ARC medical and the third lady asks you to hold out your hands and clench for fingers to make a fist and then squat down to check. As with the ARC medical check, the eye test can be conducted without Chinese by just pointing in the direction of the openings of the symbols. Pay for the medical tests in the same room and get your receipt. It should cost NTD100 for each test.
  5. You will leave that room through a different door than the one you entered through. Go straight down that corridor.
  6. If you are going for a car drivers licence you will need to stop at the first counter that you come to and show the lady your documents and drivers licence from your own country. She will conduct two more eye tests �V one not much different from the one you have just conducted (different symbols is the only difference I could detect) and a blind spot test with a machine with a blinking red light. Pay her a fee of NTD60, collect your documents and keep moving down the corridor into the main room at the end.
  7. If you are going for a motorcycle licence, or have done the additional eye test for the car licence, keep walking past the first counter and enter the room at the end of the hall, where you need to pay your testing fee. No one other than those taking tests is allowed into that room, so your friends and supporters will need to wait outside for you. Line up and give the lady all of your documents, two passport photos and another NTD200 for each test. This is where you ask for the English test, if she hasn��t already worked out that you need one. She will tell you which computer number you can use.
  8. The computers are within sight of the desk you are standing at, so proceed over to the nominated computer terminal and you will find that everything is set up in English complete with your name. The instructions are pretty straightforward and the questions identical to the online test. Once you have completed the test, the results are sent electronically to the pick up desk which is at the other end of the room to which you came in. Hand in your documents and proceed downstairs to the practical test areas. These are marked in English, cars to the right, motorcycles to the left.
  9. Your papers will be sent down to the car waiting room so just take a seat. They will call your name and hand you an English book explaining the rules of the test and the man will go through the test route on a map on the wall in Chinese. It is all pretty self explanatory. Your name will be called and then you head out onto the track. You will need to do a reverse park, parallel park, enter into and reverse out of a dead-end ��S�� curve road, drive the circuit which involves a stop sign, traffic light, railroad crossing, hill stop. Those doing the manual car test will need to do a stretch on gear changes 1, 2 and 3rd. There are line sensors on the road that will sound a bell if you run over them and the circuit is pretty tight so expect for it to be difficult but not impossible. Take your time and don��t be afraid to do things like sticking your head out the window etc. The testing guys are pretty relaxed and mine jumped out of the car while I was doing the obstacle course stuff to water some plants in the middle of the circuit. He just kept yelling out ��Hao�� at the end of each maneuver which I took to indicate that it was time to move onto the next.
  10. Provided that you pass the driving test you are then directed to go over to an office near the motorcycle test track (once again in sight of where you will be leaving your driving instructor and well marked in English). The wait is about twenty minutes for your photo licence card to come through, but enjoy the time watching stressed out newbies trying their luck on the motorcycle test track and pick up some pointers in doing so.
  11. Once you have your licence you need to go back to the desks that you paid for the computer test, and pay another NTD200 for the motorcycle driving test. You can then ride your motorcycle down the driveway at the side of the property to the motorcycle test track.
  12. You will be met by a policeman / security guard who will take your paperwork and explain the rules of the test which are basically as follows. You need to ride a ��U��shaped test track that is about 30 cm wide with sensors on either side. You cant touch the sensors nor put your feet outside of the sensor area. The first straight is quite narrow and must be ridden very slowly such that you don��t complete the straight in less than 7 seconds (as per the time clock in front of you). Not too difficult but a bit challenging. Around the curve at the end and through a set of traffic lights, railroad crossing and flashing light pedestrian crossing. Provided that you don��t run any of these lights or bump the sensors you have passed the test. If you have sounded any of the alarms you get a second chance to start again. If you sound the alarms again you must go away with your tail between your legs and return after seven days.
  13. Pick up your paperwork from the booth at the beginning of the test track and take this paperwork over to the office area which is in sight and just the other side of the office you were at earlier to pick up your drivers licence.
  14. You are fully legal. Your licence will expire at the same time as your ARC unless you want to take up the fight for a six year licence as some have done.

Good luck and I hope that the above was helpful. In short don��t be afraid of going for your licence. It is pretty cheap and easy, and I got both first time around within about an hour and a half. No appointment is necessary.

[quote]the questions in the actual [car written] test are the same[/quote]Mostly. If you find my earlier post you will see that a couple of the tests on the Web have outdated answers and are different from the real test. One was the speed limit on the freeway, as I recall.

Brian, guanxi to you. Excellent walk-through…

Yes, BUT only in Taipei City. In Taipei County, the test is completely different. Dot he test on Taipei City if you can. Don’t know about other cities.


Thanks for the guanxi points - they are appreciated! Hope that the infrmation helps someone out. It would be great if more foreigners could take the step of getting a licence as there are so many more foreigners out there on the road. The process is really very straight forward, cheap and easy so dont be deterred from giving it a go!

Your memory serves you well. The online test says that the speed limit for freeways is 90kmh, whereas the actual test says that the speedlimit is 100kmh. Either way the correct answer is the middle choice of the three possible answers which I believe are a) 60kmh, b)100kmh, or c)120kmh.

The other question of contention is no doubt the one that asks how long a drivers licence is valid for a)1 year, b)3 years, c)6 years. Whilst the correct answer is 6 years, they may want to change the English version of the test to reflect the fact that this only applies to Chinese and that without a hell of a fight, foreigners need to renew their licences annually.

Yes, BUT only in Taipei City. In Taipei County, the test is completely different. Dot he test on Taipei City if you can. Don’t know about other cities.

In Taichung City they are also different. The best procedure here is to mug up on the English test question book, copies of which you can sign out for two weeks at a time from a woman on the 2nd floor.

Are there Taiwanese traffic rules anywhere online? :help: I’ve failed the first part three times. It is way different to the online test here in Ilan County. This time I only failed by one question.

You need to borrow or buy the English version of the test question booklet. Your local DMV should be able to help. In Taichung you have to borrow the book from the DMV and return it within a couple of weeks. Other DMVs may have copies for sale.

:loco: What if you fall off and your scooter falls on top of you? You could injure someone>…yourself. I went into the DMV and had a look at a photocopied version of the riders manual to brush up on hand signals mainly and rules as far as fining goes. The office clerk told me some of the answers were wrong but just like the guy in the testing room he didn’t point out the mistakes.

They didn’t let me take it away though I should have rushed to the family mart and copied it myself looking back but I have a conscience which may be a problem.

Useful stuff:

It looks like one has to have lived in Taiwan for at least one full year to be eligible for a test… Bad luck, I’ve gotten pretty enthusiastic about getting a bike license…
Anyway, I’ll get my IDP done soon so I’ll ask them to confirm.

[quote=“Balazs”]Useful stuff:

It looks like one has to have lived in Taiwan for at least one full year to be eligible for a test… Bad luck, I’ve gotten pretty enthusiastic about getting a bike license…
Anyway, I’ll get my IDP done soon so I’ll ask them to confirm.[/quote]I presume you’re referring to the page on applying for a motorbike license. It does appear to be the way you say;[quote=“”]

II. Qualifications of applicants:
A. Over the age of 18.
B. Foreign applicant should have lived in the Republic of China (Taiwan) for one full year.

III. Required documents:
A. 1 application form.
B. A certificate [i.e. alien resident certificate (ARC)] proving that the foreign applicant has lived in the ROC (Taiwan) for one full year.
C. 3 identical bust full face front view 1-inch photos taken within the past 6 months (No composite photos will be accepted).
D. 1 copy of

Same old problem, new twist – the “one year” rule.

The first time I heard that here it was “must have 1 year or more remaining on your ARC”. Now it is that you must have lived here for 1 year already.

It seems that with thousands of foreigners driving here and many of them frequenting these boards, at least one person should have ascertained the exact right answer by now.

I can barely order a breakfast sandwich with my survival Chinese. Isn’t there anyone out there who speaks the language well enough to call and ask this question? It’s been bouncing around the forums for a while now with no resolution.

Sure, I’ll find out as soon as I can get an hour off work (not in the very near future…) and let you all know.

[quote=“seeker4”]The first time I hear that here is was “must have 1 year or more left on your ARC”. Now it is that you must have lived here for 1 year already.

It seems that with thousands of foreigners driving here and many of them frequenting these boards, at least one person should have ascertained the exact right answer by now.[/quote]What exactly do you mean by “exact right answer?” :wink:

I think we have a reasonable understanding of how things work in general, based on people’s experiences as posted in the thread I linked to above. But yes, the more information we can get the better.

Didn’t Bill Clinton already use that line?? Depends on what the definition of “is” is. Or something like that.

No, the 1 year rule/s is/are not clear.

Having read through basically all relevants posts on this site I got very confused and now this latest piece of “official” information makes it even worse.
But what’s most disappointing is that, based on what people write here, it looks like practice can differ significantly which is surely not due to some translation mistakes. It means the regulation is either not clear or not being applied correctly by many officials…

[quote=“seeker4”]It seems that with thousands of foreigners driving here and many of them frequenting these boards, at least one person should have ascertained the exact right answer by now.[/quote]I had a quick look back at that thread and found that you are correct. It’s actually at least two people. See this post by jplowman;
[ … 321#361321](New license requirement in Taipei city
and the one following it by Beef Eater.

I wasn’t aware of those last few posts on that thread. It is good to know that people had those experiences. However, we still have many conflicting reports and no definitive guidance/reference. Still seems like a lottery – very dependent on chance. Business as usual.

In this type of environment, every little bit of first-hand experience sheds some light. Thanks.

When I got my first 50cc license, I had less than one year left on my ARC, and they didn’t have any problem with that (but I had to renew it after I had extended my ARC). [color=#DEE3E7]
[damn English past tenses… never got them right]

I got my “big scooter” license two months ago - and here’s the funny thing: the expiration date on my ARC is not very legible (you can still make out the year (2006) and month (April), but not the day), so instead of trying to figure out the exact date, they just gave me a six years license, without asking! :slight_smile:
Gotta lov’em sometimes.

All right. Today I went to the Motor Vehicle Office to get an IDP or what it’s called. It took about 5 minutes and was free of charge. Perfect so far.
I was served by the only person in the office who speaks some English so I tried to use the opportunity and ask some questions. Firstly, he claimed that I am not allowed to drive a small scooter (<50cc) with my license, only cars. I guess that’s false but please correct me if I’m wrong. Secondly, I asked him about a big scooter test and he just said I should take my ARC (didn’t mention any specific requirements), photos and some NT$600 to Shilin and do the necessary tests.
His English was rather poor so I decided not to go into too much detail.
So now the only thing I can do is go there and see if they let me do the tests or not which is fine apart from the fact that if this will make me screw a day off in vain I’ll be rather pissed off…