The meaning behind Taiwan ID numbers

For Taiwanese nationals, ID numbers are created based upon specifics about their life, for example:

The first capital letter represents the initial household registration of the person, e.g. A for Taipei.

The first number, which is after the capital letter is either a 1 or a 2 which means male or female.

However, since the ID number given to foreigners has two capital letters, and the number after the letters can be something other than a 1 or a 2, the same principles cannot be used to work out details. Does anybody know what kind of formula or calculation is used to create ID numbers for foreigners?

Which is stupid and ridiculous!

What is stupid and ridiculous?

Me being curious about how the numbers are chosen, or the fact that the numbers aren’t random?

Because they don’t accept our ID numbers, I don’t care how they are chosen!

Do you actually have an ARC? I’ve never been told my ARC ID number wasn’t good enough.

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You’ve been lucky! “This is not a valid ID number” errors are very common when typing in foreign ID’s into computer systems.

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I’ve had that problem, but it’s usually because the staff member didn’t know how to deal with the foreigners ID, for example they will try to enter it in to a field that only accepts Taiwanese ID numbers, but when I’ve explained to them that the ID numbers don’t use the same structure and they need to get to the alien resident certificate holder page/form on their system, they usually ask their boss for help which solves the problem. If you know what to say in Chinese it’s a non-issue imo.

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Here is the answer to your question. In Chinese.

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I agree, usually, but if you’re doing things online it can definitely be an issue. No staff member to help you :slight_smile:

Good point!

Thanks for the link Tando!

Here is a translation of the Chinese version for anyone else who is interested.

ARC ID numbers have two capital letters, the first is the household district where they originally registered, and the second represents gender. For Chinese, Hong Kong and Macau citizens, A means male, and B means female, but for every other foreigner, C means male, and D means female.

The only difference between ARC and Taiwan ID numbers is that the second character which represents gender is a letter instead of a number, A or C meaning male, and C or D meaning female.

They are different genders? Just crazy!

Very interesting to finally understand that system. I had a couple of “Double D” friends in Tainan :joy:. I always assumed every other ARC number started with DC, not at all, I’m special (臺南,男生)!

Here is the exact list of regions and their corresponding letters if you are interested.

  • Taipei City A
  • Taichung City B
  • Keelung City C
  • Tainan City D
  • Kaohsiung City E
  • New Taipei City F
  • Yilan County G
  • Taoyuan County H
  • Chiayi City I
  • Hsinchu County J
  • Miaoli County K
  • The original Taizhong County L
  • Nantou County M
  • Changhua County N
  • Hsinchu City O
  • Yunlin County P
  • Chiayi County Q
  • The original Tainan County R
  • The original Kaohsiung County S
  • Pingtung County T
  • Hualien County U
  • Taitung County V
  • Jinmen County W
  • Wuhu County X
  • Lianjiang County Z
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I can understand that a different region has a different digit, but gender from different countries? Do they have different genitalia?

I think the idea is that if you look at their ID number, you instantly know they are Chinese.

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I’d love to meet an X or Z 開頭的 ARC holder!

I feel so basic that my ID number starts with A. I want somewhere interesting like W (Jinmen).

Where is Y?

ROC nationals w/o household registration also get A/B too (lineage TARC), so not just mainlanders, Hong Kongers, and Macauers.

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