Taiwanese Driver's License - downsides abroad after exchange?

Hi,

suppose one is able to exchange their driver’s license for a Taiwanese one - are there any downsides to this?

For example with my current driver’s license, I am allowed to drive everywhere in Europe, US, and many other parts of the world. And I am used to being able to rent a car in these countries without much hassle regarding the driver’s license.

Would I lose this privilege after exchanging my current driver’s license for a Taiwanese one (theoretically and practically speaking)?

Thinking about whether it is “worth” giving up my current license for a Taiwanese one if I am not planning to drive in Taiwan on a regular basis.

Has anyone purposely decided against exchanging it?
Or has anyone ran into issues with their Taiwanese license while being abroad (like a rental station not accepting it, …)?
I think I have one year after entering to “decide” until my current license becomes invalid in Taiwan, right?

Looking forward to your thoughts!

It could be different depending on your foreign license but my experience this week was the same as this person: Exchanging Driver's licenses in Taiwan

They don’t keep or invalidate the foreign license so you walk out with two valid licenses.

2 Likes

Interesting! According to the local administration in my home country, having two driver’s licenses at the same time would be considered illegal in my home country. So they expect my driver license to be sent back to the government if I chose to exchange it for a Taiwanese one.

this some strange EU rule?

Yeah. Background was that people who lost their license (as in: Had it taken away for breaking too many traffic laws) would just visit another country and get another license. So now they have ruled that you can only have one license and need to surrender yours if getting a new one in another country.

It’s not illegal in Taiwan. Unless the bilateral agreement on mutual recognition of licenses requires Taiwan’s MVO to retain or destroy that license, they are not under the obligation to enforce the other country’s laws.

I did read years ago in the news about one jurisdiction requiring Taiwan to retain (but not destroy or invalidate) the license which can be exchanged back. So it’s best to call the MVO to confirm.

Does anyone happen to know for sure if licenses from Washington state can be exchanged or if it has to be given up?

Yes, I think the bilateral agreement requires that MVO sends back the license to my home country.

So I really would only have a Taiwanese license after exchanging it.

Well, you got this information from your home country instead of Taiwan’s MVO? I would speak to the MVO, if you haven’t already, to confirm.

Enforcement isn’t necessarily reciprocal. In the US when exchanging a Taiwan license for a US license, they sent the Taiwan license to TECO instead of destroying it. TECO then asked for return postage in offering to send it back so the licensed person could use it again in Taiwan!

check here

When I went to ask about exchanging my Minnesota license for a Taiwanese one in Kaohsiung they did want to take my Minnesota one (whether they would have sent it back or destroyed it they didn’t say).

Taiwan is very tit-for-tat, so I’d assume that if during the agreements home country said that they would destroy the Taiwanese license that Taiwan then does the same for OP’s license.

Enforcement isn’t necessarily reciprocal. In the US when exchanging a Taiwan license for a US license, they sent the Taiwan license to TECO instead of destroying it. TECO then asked for return postage in offering to send it back so the licensed person could use it again in Taiwan!

If only MN would do the same for me :frowning:

If you want to drive in other countries after getting a Taiwanese license, just get an international driver’s permit. It’s cheap and it can be used everywhere in Europe, North America, etc…

For me they took my license and said it was going in a box for their records. They said it wouldn’t be returned but it also wasn’t going to be returned to the originating government DMV either. As they said it never got cancelled.

1 Like

Do you need an ARC to do this swap? More specifically, can you do it if you are here on a visa exemption?

I think it depends on the DMV you go to and the person you get there. They were supposed to take my license, but never did. The lady just handed it back after checking some book and then gave me my Taiwanese one.

You need an ARC.

1 Like

I decided against exchanging. My home countries license can be used as is in a huge number of countries without the need for an IDP, additionally I have a full unrestricted motorcycle license which could only be exchanged for a size limited Taiwan license. All in all I decided it was easier to just do the car driving test here. I had been driving using authenticated IDP’s for years however with covid travel restrictions etc. it was getting difficult to renew.

2 Likes

I don’t think it was random. To make sure they didn’t keep my license I called two different people at different offices to confirm. I also saw someone (as linked above) confirm on Forumosa. And then the the person who handled my case didn’t keep my license.

To my understanding IDPs are only valid for one year maximum. Is there a way around it? Like regularly leaving the country?

Mhh, so if I am lucky, they won’t actually keep it even if they’re supposed to do.

Like really everywhere? Is there an overview map of some kind?

Even that one says for the Taiwanese exchange (so the other way):

“Surrender of the Applicant’s Existing driver’s license (109.1.8交路字第1090000517號)”

Get more

1 Like