Comments by Anthony “the Skunk”, noted motorcycle repairman, formerly resident in Taichung:
REGISTRATION: This is a common problem with scooters/cars and western visitors. It’s really hard to say, as I found that the regulations at the vehicle licencing department changed unpredictably from month to month.
Generally, like anything else, what they want you to do is probably made up on the spot. One of the long distance title transfers that I performed involved the
former owner who was already in New York. She mailed me her old ARC and signed copies of title transfer papers that I had mailed to her with detailed information as to how to go about filling them out. When the
bike was finally sold, the rules had changed to the previous owner having to be there in person to sign in front of the clerk, and we were being forced to use our western names even if we had official Chinese names and chops… I explained to the clerk that the former owner had mailed me the papers from New York, and showed her the cancelled
envelopes to prove it, and she let us transfer title. This was in the autumn of '99 in Taichung, however, where they are generally more willing do bend the rules and regulations a bit. I’ve never heard of them requiring some certified documentation from an ROC Overseas Office in the States, although I suppose that is reasonable. It sounds to me that the person involved,
unless s/he is a close friend of the bike’s former owner, is out of luck.
INSURANCE: If s/he buys insurance in the former owner’s name, it will not cover him/her (new owner). But insurance is immaterial if this person does not have a Taiwan motorcycle driver’s licence. If you are involved in an
accident and are not rich, if you don’t have a licence then “it’s your fault”, no matter what the cicumstances.
POLICE: The cops are not really interested in details, but will generally let you go without incident. I have been pulled over on the North South Expressway for speeding on the shoulder, and I didn’t have any ID or license on me. They just told me to drive more slowly and sent me on my way.