So I decided to finally apply for my scoot license

sorry, this is a big read so be prepared.

After living in Taiwan for a year now, and having a shiny new (second hand) scooter, I decided it’s about time I acquired my license… ha! What a joke!

After getting a medical ‘check up’ which consisted of me reading some numbers from a black box then showing I can open and close my hands ‘normally’, I head on down (up?) to the place that handles scoot licenses. (in Jungli, Taoyuan Hsien)

Pay the money and wait my turn. Their so called English version is on a computer, ‘great!’ I thought…
As the test begins I realize that it isn’t going to be as simple as I thought it was going to be.

The first section was sort of a practice session on how to use the keypad. It told me the functions and what they do… although very poorly spoken I might add and very crackly sometimes inaudible. It then asks me to “pees pwesh no” WTF?
“pees pwesh no”
“pees pwesh no”
“pees pwesh no” What the FuXX does this mean? Everything on the screen is in Chinese, so I have no idea what it wants me to do, and this is only the damn practice session! The lady then presses a button for me, it was at this point it dawned on me that the poorly spoken “pees pwesh no” actually meant “please press now”.
omg, it gets worse…

Now on to the first question, what does this sign mean, multiple choice. OK, fine I think I know what it asked me and what the correct option is. I wish it had English on the screen instead of Chinese, I thought this was supposed to be an ‘English version’?
(btw, the exam on their website’s English is much more clear, I wish I could do the one online, I get full marks every time)

Each question on the entire exam was poorly spoken and very unclear. I’ll give you an example (exactly how I heard it).

  1. zis sign men (1) No parchin. (2) Chechin. (3) Ortmoble, no antry.

Well, I kind of guessed (2) Chechin was Checking, because that’s what it has on their site. translation…

  1. This sign means (1) No parking. (2) Checking. (3) Automobiles, no entry.

I wish they were all as easy as that question, but sadly they weren

Sigh… doesn’t surprise me though… They just put that so they can say “Ohh… look at us, we have an English test” but of course it’s nothing of the sort. Yeah yeah yeah… I know this is Taiwan and and we should do the test in Chinese, but where I come from, you are allowed an interpreter. And if there is no test in English, which it appears for all intents and purposes that there isn’t, they shouldn’t say there is.

I only passed the test on my third attempt. After failing they made me wait two weeks before I could do the test again, so it took me over four weeks to actually get the licence. As for the riding test… what a joke!!! but some people fail that.

The good thing is that once you’ve passed the test you will never have to do it again. I left Taiwan for a couple of years and when I came back I just showed them my old licence and they issued another one on the spot.

You are (or were?) allowed an interpreter. I’ve interpreted for a couple of these test-fests, but it was a couple of years back and it involved Spanish and the person involved making out that he didn’t understand English (which was not exactly the case, but I’d have to be a non-native speaker trying to understand the English on that test!)


In Hsinchu occasionally a friend or relative is known to walk by and ‘help’ you…although I still drive illegally

I had a friend “translate” for me. The translation got tedious after a while, and I didn’t know the answers anyway since I could barely read Chinese at the time (and the study manual was all in Chinese), so I told my friend to just start telling me the answers. Even with her telling me the answers, I still flunked! I gave her a hard time about it, and she studied a little harder the 2nd time, at which point I passed.

Did anyone see the “hilarious” footage on the evening news the other day of the foreign brides running into the walls during their road tests? Ranks right up there with sticking microphones into the faces of emergency room victims.

I studied the test at a driving school. They had the same CD rom as the DMV. I memorized all the stuff that had crap English or idiotic answers. Yes, I passed the first time, but only because I had practiced on the computer so many times before.

Don’t trust the website test!

I had pretty much the same experience as the original poster, only I took the test in Shulin (Taipei County). I was expecting exactly what I had seen on the DMV website. Boy was that a surprise.

The pronunciation was horrible, and the computer keyboard didn’t work very well. I was incredibly lucky to escape with an 85%, the very lowest score allowable.

In Shulin they have an English version of the driver’s handbook. Has a lot more questions on it than you’ll ever see on the practice tests on the web. I recommend getting one of those, and memorizing all that you can. After you do that, you should be a lot better off.

Is something “standard” too much to ask?

the written (computerised for foreigners) part of the test is the same for car and scooter licences… If you go to any of the bigger DMVs in Taiwan and ask for it, they will give you the english translation of the chinese study book… it’s largely irrelevant and strangely seems based on the assumption you want to become a taxi driver, but if you study the book for an hour or two, and read (or memorize) a little chinese… the test is dead easy, although admittedly the english recording is crap to say the least…

what bewildered me was that they made me take the test again for my heavy bike licence (250cc+)… as if the road signs and rules suddenly change when riding a big bike… sheesh…

My woman rang the head scumbag today. She has arranged for her to be permitted to translate the test for me. They wouldn’t let her do it before because she’s my g/f.

So I’m heading back this Friday afternoon. Anyone wanting their scoot license had better show for the afternoon test, we’ll have a party and (hopefully) pass the darn thing.

btw, some of the other questions were about Taiwan’s actual laws, e.g.
If you kill somebody accidentally with your scooter you, 1) lose your license for life, 2) cannot apply for a new license, 3) can apply after one year.
two answers seem the same there

some more…
How much is the fine for speeding? (as if I know that!)
There are also ones for traffic police directions and what different hand signals mean. But they forget to mention which side they are talking about when they ask you which side can go, e.g.
the traffic on the right may go, TRUE OR FALSE.

WTF?? whos right??? mine or the cops??

wish me luck for Friday, hope to see you there


Btw, all questions regarding traffic directed by a police man must be answered from the view of the police man, not yours! Extremely illogic, but that’s Taiwan.

And good news for those using the english test: I noticed at least one mistake during the “warm up” phase, where a direction was asked (forgot the situation) and while the correct answer to the chinese written question (Which direction should you turn or the like…) was “left”, the english spoken question was asking the opposite (Which direction may you not turn or the like…), requesting “right” to be the correct answer. I guess we could come up with more if we check closely…

And: Next time I’m there I must tell them one of their questions and the “correct” answer are wrong: “How long do you have to wait until you can renew your license.” It’s not that I HAVE TO WAIT until I MAY renew it, I MUST renew it after a certain time. And that time can’t be six years as they are not giving me six years - wrong answer…

I know, it’s useless - but if they want to have fun with me, I also want to have some fun annoying them…

You can get a 6 year licence but you have to file an admin. appeal within 30 days. BTW it costs a little over $2000NT to do it.

In Taichung city (Beitun Rd) you can borrow the English-language book of questions. You sign it out for a nominal 2 weeks although you can easily renew. It’s worth doing because some of the test questions involve knowing the precise penalties for certain things.

Just as important as mugging up for the written test, I would say, is preparing for the straight-line riding element of the test introduced last year. It’s no joke. Even though you get two goes at it, both me and my friend (who’s been riding big bikes for eighteen years in the States) failed first time. You still have the standard horseshoe-shaped track to negotiate, but before that you have to go up a very narrow straight track, taking seven seconds or more. You can’t put your feet down or touch the boundaries of the track. Practice very slow, straight-line riding before the test, and also see if you can watch some other people taking the test. In Taichung anybody who wants can watch- all the anxious parents are there and there’s a collective sigh of relief when an examinee pulls him/herself out of a wobble.

Important info about the online test.

If you do the test in Taipei City it’s exactly the same (unless they’ve changed it recently).

If you do it in Taipei County it is (according to a friend who did it a few weeks ago) completely unrelated and absolutely nonsenscial. So if a trip top Taipei is feasible for you, do the test there (Cheng De Rd).


just thought I’d let you know how I went…

I failed … to fail :laughing:

I passed, now I’m legal. :sunglasses:

The straight-line riding element in the riding test was ok, I passed that on the first go. You must ride a narrow line without going outside the boundaries and all over 7 seconds, yes over 7 seconds, you must not finish the straight line under 7 seconds. The other part was a peice of cake.

It was quite funny, this dude rode as fast as he could through the straight line part. He thought it was timing how fast you could go. The extra funny thing is is that after the instructor told him what to do again, he went even faster the next time :unamused: idiot, you only get 2 goes at it, he failed.


i was thinkin of takin the scooter test when i get back in august in taipei city… so im wonderin… do they actually have different licence for the different motorcycles…? do they have light and heavy weights and moped licence etc… can i take all three at ones… are there any other rules for trail bikes etc?? and where should i go to get the licence the easiest way? and what do i have to do… to prepare for the test? =) thanx

Paul, you can find detailed answers to most of your questions in the traffic sub-section of the legal forum at;

Doing the written test only qualifies you for up to 50cc, doing the practical (riding) test as well qualifies you up to 250cc. As far as I know there is no distinction made as to the style of bike be it scooter, trail bike, commuter etc.

Best preparation for doing the written test in Taipei city is to do a number of the online practice tests; I’ve forgotten the site but you can find it via the link above. (Best preparation for doing the written test anywhere else is to buy or borrow the English-language version of the test practice book and memorise as many of the answers as possible, particularly the precise penalties for offences as these questions may well come up in the test.)

Best preparation for the riding test, following the introduction of a tricky new bit last year, is to practice very slow straight-line riding.