Is there any agency/service that can help to deal with DMV? Heavy motorcycle license transfer

I’m an expat moving from Vietnam to Taipei. I hold a fresh and fully legitimate A2 Vietnamese motorcycle license (which is the highest license and, unlike A1, allows to ride bikes of any cc). I’ve already confirmed that I can (and will) get a Vietnamese IDP as well to go along with this license, and be able to use it in 85 countries - unfortunately, Taiwan is not on that list (unless the list is outdated somehow).

However, even though I can’t use a Vietnamese IDP to legally ride in Taiwan, it looks like I could still use it for transferring to a Taiwanese license for heavy motorcycles (over 250cc).

I’ve done a fair amount of research - and checked the list of reciprocity of Taiwanese driving licenses, which is an often-linked website (

It specifies the terms of using a Taiwanese driving license and IDP in different countries - but I couldn’t find any resource that would lay out from which countries you can actually convert a driving license in Taiwan. Nobody ever cited that kind of source in any of the discussions I’ve searched - it’s pretty safe to assume it doesn’t even exist? Does Taiwan basically reciprocate and have the same terms for each country as that given country has for Taiwan?

Here’s what that government website and pdf say about using a Taiwanese IDP in Vietnam:

"Q: Taiwanese IDP Valid for operating a

A: Recognized

Q: Convertible to local
driver’s license?

No time limit
Taiwan-issued IDP needs
to be translated and
submitted to the local
government for a

By logic, Taiwan should reciprocate with same law, no?

Also, here’s an additional requirement for converting a heavy motorcycle license:

To apply for a heavy duty motorcycle (above 250cc)driver’s license, please visit our website( You should provide an authenticated training certificate for over 32 or 43 hours by the issuing country and passing a physical checkup test before exchanging.

That makes things even more complicated. I could probably have such document prepared and authenticated in Vietnam if I know what exactly does TW DMV accept and what they don’t accept.

At this point it’s becoming too much of an unknown and too much hassle for me to be going back and forth with a TW DMV to see if they will accept all the documents in my case. Hence why I’d prefer to use a professional service that speaks the local language and can at least determine whether or not I have a shot at converting the Vietnamese IDP, or should I look into other options.

(If I can’t convert my Vietnamese IDP, I wouldn’t even want to do a Taiwanse heavy motorcycle license since it requires that I have a license for bikes under 250cc for 1 year before I can get the one for heavy motorcycles. Instead of waiting 1 year I would just go to a country where getting a full motorcycle license is quick & easy - e.g. one of the States in US).

Any insight or contacts that could help to deal with this much appreciated!

You have a death wish? I don’t feel safe driving in a car in Taiwan, a tank would be nice.

Ok my story is from Canada but here’s what happened. They transferred over my cad licence which was motorcycle and car no restrictions to a scooter and car license in Taiwan. They refused to convert it to big bike and said i needed that letter you mentioned saying I had 32 hours driving school
I actually had 30 hours so I asked if that was ok, they said no, I needed 32, so I resigned myself to going to the school here or simply not getting a big bike. Got a call back from them 10 min later, sorry we made a mistake, apparently these license reciprocity deals are for car only, not bike is what I was told. So I need to do the school and take the test.

The local DMV had no idea how to answer this and I had to go back to get an answer from taipei

I can perhaps call them for you tomorrow to ask but I know they will say no dice, I’m pretty sure

But what would stop someone from getting another countries idp and just getting it stamped yearly and drive the big bike here? Don’t know, maybe they won’t endorse big bikes on the idp


@dan2006 - appreciate sharing your experience.

That’s definitely not the case, because I posted the same question on another forum and one guy has reportedly and successfully transferred his full motorcycle license from Ireland, although they only gave him a “yellow plate” license (under 550cc), which others have said he was still lucky to get.
I am sure that there have been many, many more foreigners who’ve transferred their motorcycle licenses too.

I wasn’t aware though that they were so restrictive about issuing “red plate” licenses for over 550cc.
The more I dig and the more I read people sharing their stories with me, the more confusing it gets.

I’ll call them for you tomorrow and I’ll ask for myself as well in case they don’t know what they are talking about. Hopefully I’ll get someone different

@dan2006 - I appreciate it! I’ll also be getting some local person to help me call them and ask a few questions. It seems like you’ll get 6 different responses if you ask 5 people working there, though.

Welcome to Taiwan bureaucracy!

This doesn’t get you through the whole process, but if you get to a certain level, you can take the big bike class and the test all within a week. I went to a course, spent 3 or 4 hours on the bike and they signed me off at the end of the week riding test and done.

@tango42 - What exactly do you mean by “getting to a certain level”?

Just went back and forth with this big motorcycle enthusiast guy who’s been here 13 years and apparently, it’s impossible to get a red plate license through reciprocity. You have to wait one year after getting the “normal” white plate Taiwanese license, period. He said he’s never seen a foreigner who didn’t have to go through that 1 year wait period.

This is sad and brutal news but at least now I know.

Apparently in best case I would get a yellow plate license through reciprocity, if my Vietnamese IDP works. But I’d still need to get the normal white plate TW license and wait 1 year before getting the red plate license. The yellow license through reciprocity wouldn’t be changeable to a red plate one, ever.

Sorry, I don’t want to distract from other points by others that probably have better information. I first had a scooter license. Then did the class and upgraded. Maybe they counted my scooter license as one year I don’t/didn’t know. But according to your reference above all they need is the "raining certificate for over 32 or 43 hours by the issuing country and passing a physical checkup test before exchanging.” so seems like they should also accept a local training certificate.

Better wait for others to speak up with better info, mine’s kind of FYI.