Help! Does anyone have experience converting foreign motorcycle license to a local one?

Hi everyone, I know this topic has been discussed before and I’ve read through most of them but they all seem to be posted back in 2016. Anyways, I currently have a Texas DL with a motorcycle endorsement and I would like to convert it to a local heavy motorcycle license.

I gave the motor vehicle office a call before hand to ask if I could convert my motorcycle license to a local one and the person on the phone said yes and gave me a list of things to prepare. Therefore I’ve already done my physical at the hospital, gone to AIT to get my license notarized ($50USD each) as well as stating the certain amount of classroom hours I have on a motorcycle and prepared all other necessary documents such as 1 inch photos, ARC, passport etc…

I also ended up going to the DMV in Changhua (Huatan) yesterday and although I successfully got my Car license converted they seemed completely confused and didn’t have a clear answer on if the conversion for a motorcycle licenses is allowed or not even though they said yes to me on the phone before.

Also on the Directorate General of Highways website it states that, “ According to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the principle of conversion of the motorcycle driver’s license among reciprocating countries is: If the issued country does not categorize motorcycles by emissions or horsepower, applicants can apply for the general heavy motorcycle driver’s license by following the above regulations. If applicants can also submit a certificate showing 32 hours of large heavy motorcycle training, they can convert the license into a large heavy motorcycle driver’s license.” On the reciprocating countries list, nothing is listed under Texas about not being able to convert a motorcycle license.

Am I missing something here? Did I just waste an extra $50USD for the notarization even though they said yes to me on the phone? Lastly, has anyone recently had success in converting their foreign motorcycle license to a local one?

Any information will be welcomed and thank you all in advance!

I had the same experience as you in Taipei. Same state. It was a few years ago and at the time I just couldn’t get them to explain it to me in a way I could understand. It seemed to be something to do with the way I set up my affidavit, but honestly it seemed like one of those “depends on who you get and their interpretation of the rules” situations. In the end I gave up on the heavy bike license here.

Wish I could be more helpful.

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There are 3 different classes of Motorcycle License here.

  1. 50cc (Used with a car drivers license)
  2. Motorcycle License (under 250cc aka most scooters). This one can be exchanged for your Texas License
  3. Heavy Motorcycle License- This can not be exchanged unless you can prove you took 32 hrs training.

I got #2 for my California Moto license. You can also take a 32 hr course here for the heavy.

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Apparently it can be done, but I had the same trouble as you. TBH you might as well just grit your teeth and go through the standard training course. The last time I checked, it’s not particularly demanding.

When did you get your license converted?

They didn’t allow me to get any of those stating that the reciprocating rule only allows for a conversion of a car license. I gave the Directorate General of Highway a call to have this confirmed and after being confused themselves they said the only state that allows for a conversion of car and motorcycle license in the US is Rhode Island… I also mentioned to them that even after opening the links for transferability in Europe, Central & South America nothing is mentioned in regards to converting a motorcycle license.

I have a full motorcycle license. I could only use it to get the 250cc Taiwanese motorcycle license. For the larger motorcycle license in Taiwan I would need to complete further training. It wasn’t worth it for me.

You should have gotten a scooter license (up to 250 I believe) along with your car license, or at least I did.

I wasn’t even allowed that option :sob:

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LOL, sounds about right then. Maybe go try again next week (half kidding)? Really sorry!

I did this in 2016, I had to take my CA license AIT to get it notarized as Both a motorcycle and DL then I took to the Shilin DMV along with some forms they had at the DMV. I told them my license was for both Motorcycle and Car and showed them the M1 on the license. The lady said I could only get a regular Moto below 250cc and Car drivers license exchange. When I made the conversion with California License there were maybe a dozen US states that Taiwan allowed maybe its changed since?

When did you get yours exchanged?
I will probably try at a different branch in a different city next week. :see_no_evil:

It was about 5 or 6 years ago I think.

I traded from a Texas Motorcycle license to big bike license back a few years ago. I couldn’t do it in the city, so had to go to a smaller DMV and beg. After showing the website for the motorcycle safety course I had taken along with my Texas Motorcycle Safety no helmet card they agreed to give me the license. After convincing them, we tried to get them to allow my wife to do the same as she had the same endorsement and documents, and the reply was"she’s too small, we can’t give her one." So the moral of the story is it’s not easy to do and you have to get lucky (right place right time), but it is possible.

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Do you remember which DMV you went to?

Definitely this!

I used an International Driving Permit and after a lot of arguing in BaDe road DMV eventually had them stamp it as good for a large motorcycle (have a full motorcycle license from my home country), each year would have the same argument however showing them the IDP from the previous year would settle it. Eventually tried the license exchange however they absolutely refuse to exchange for a Taiwanese large bike license, best they would do is up to 550cc and then do some local course. Will still stamp the IDP though so legal to ride anyway…

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I’ll PM you the location

When you apply for the Taiwanese license, is it an exchange or do you keep your original licence in addition to the new one?

I was able to keep my original license, I don’t know if it’s different for other states/countries though.

I went for the licence exchange today, did 2 physical exams, asked for car and motorcycle licences (did not specify detail, but pointed out on my home license that all 2-wheelers are included). I came away with 2 Taiwan licences, but I’m struggling to understand what is actually covered.
Google Translate tells me;

  1. ordinary small car > OK, that’s clear,
  2. ordinary heavy locomotive > hmmm, is that lost in translation, did they give me a truck licence by mistake, or maybe I could try driving Thomas the Tank Engine, or if it does mean “motorcycle” then does it indicate the size/cc?
    …anyone here who could compare with their own license and help clarify?
    Here’s a photo of the “ordinary heavy locomotive” description

OK, I picked apart the characters, translating in pieces, concluding that it is indeed for Ordinary heavy-duty motorcycle.
Further digging revealed the whole licence structure in Wikipedia


…so the category is apparently:
Motorcycles with a cubic capacity between 50 cm³ and 250 cm³, or with power between 5 HP and 40 HP.