Last Updated on 09-30-2022
In the article “How to convert your country’s license/International driving license to a Taiwan driver’s license.,” we talked about converting your home country’s license or international driving permit to a Taiwan driver’s license if your duration of stay in Taiwan is less than 30 days. However, if your duration of stay is over 30 days, you may need to apply for a local Taiwan driver’s license. In this article, we will go over how exactly to do that, from the required documents to taking the driving tests. You will finally know how to apply for a Taiwan driver’s license from scratch.
- Requirements to apply for a driver’s license
- Taiwan Driver’s License Application Fees
- Taiwan Driver’s License: Theory Test
- Taiwan Driver’s License: Road Test
- Making an appointment for the tests
- Driving Schools in Taiwan
Requirements to apply for a driver’s license
First off, to be eligible for the Taiwan driver’s license, you need to have an ARC valid for at least six months or be an APRC holder. You also need to be at least 18 years old to be able to drive light or medium scooter (49cc to 249cc) and 20 years old to ride a large (250cc and above) scooter, while the minimum age to drive a car in Taiwan is 18.
The documents required are as follows:
- Driving license registration form
- Health Certificate for Driver’s License, you will receive it after doing the health and physical examination at the clinics designated by the local Motor Vehicles Office.
- Three one-inch color photos with a white background taken within the last 6 months.
- Identity documents such as ARC are valid for more than 6 months.
- If you are applying for a heavy scooter license, you should first have had a normal scooter license for at least one year.
- If you have never had a driving license for a regular car, you need a learner’s permit that shows that you have at least 3 months of experience in driving training.
Taiwan Driver’s License Application Fees
The application and processing fees for Taiwan driver’s licenses are the following:
Application fees for a scooter’s license (light or medium)
- NT$ 150~250 for the health check
- NT$ 250 for the road test including the theory test for light or medium scooters
- NT$125 if you are taking either one of the tests.
- NT$ 200 for collecting the license card
Application fees for a regular car’s license
- NT$ 150~250 for the health check
- NT$ 450 for the road test including the theory test for light or medium scooter
- NT$ 225 if you are taking either one of the tests.
- NT$ 200 for collecting the license card
- NT$ 100 for the learner’s permit if you are applying for a regular car’s license.
NB: The fuel used for the road test will be charged additionally. (This fee can be waived if you bring your own vehicle.) If you fail the driving license test for cars, you will need an additional NT$ 225 to take it again within one year.
The application can be made at your local Motor Vehicles Office.
Taiwan Driver’s License: Theory Test
Before you take the theory test, you have to attend a 120-minute roadside safety lecture (driver’s education class). Although it is in Chinese, they will also give you an illustrated booklet to follow. You don’t have to worry if your Chinese is not good. They just want to make you aware of the driving safety issues in Taiwan.
In this section, I will explain the theory test for both scooters and cars.
Written Test for Scooters’ License
This test contains 50 questions.
- 30 multiple-choice on the rules, road signs, and situational questions
- 20 true/false on rules and road signs
You will only have 30 minutes for the test, and you need at least 85% to pass, so make sure you are well prepared. You can practice on the DMV’s website, or you can also download the pdf version. The test is available in eight languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indonesian, Burmese, Thai, and Cambodian. It’s only after you pass the theory test that you will be able to do the road test.
Written Test for Cars’ License
The theory test consists of 40 questions.
- 10 multiple choice on the rules
- 5 true/false on the road signs
- 15 true/false on the rules
- 10 multiple choice on the road signs
Just like for the scooter test, you will also only have 30 minutes to finish the test and need at least 85% to pass. You can also take some practice tests on the DMV’s website.
Taiwan Driver’s License: Road Test
After your theory test, it’s time to show what you can do behind the wheels. For the road test, you are not exactly going out on the streets to drive, as many people would think. You will actually stay in the establishment courtyard to show your skills. As I did for the previous section, I will also explain the road test for both scooters and cars.
The Road Test for Scooters
The scooter’s road test will consist of the following things:
- Slow balance test
- Railroad crossing
- Pedestrian Crossing
- Two right turns & come to a Stop sign
- After the “two right turns and coming to a stop sign”, at the stop sign, look left and right, signal then turn.
- Lane change
- Traffic Light Recognition
You will start the test with 100 points, and your score will be deducted if you make mistakes. You need at least 70 points to pass, and the first part of the test (the Slow Balance Test) can be done twice, while the remaining parts can only be done once. You can refer to this video to have a better understanding.
Moreover, Taiwan has many places where you can go to practice before your test. You don’t need a license to go there, but if you go by yourself, be careful not to be caught. It’s better to ask someone who has a license to go with you.
The Road Test for Cars
The advantage of the car license is that it allows you to drive both a car and a 50cc scooter. The road test will consist of these:
- Start and inspection of the car
- Railroad Crossing (Stop for a train)
- Going Up A Hill, Stopping, and Going Down.
- Pedestrian Crossing (Stop for Pedestrians)
- 45 Meter Steady-Driving Test
- Traffic Signal test where you need to react correctly if it’s red, yellow or green.
- Back into a parking space and come out. Always remember to signal.
- S-Curve test where you have to go forward and reverse out of an S-shaped curve
- Parallel parking. Note that the parking space is equipped with sensors.
For a more visual understanding, you can check out these two videos:
Making an appointment for the tests
OK, you are ready for your test and you want to make an appointment now. This can be done online, but the website is only in Chinese, so you might need to translate it for you. You can refer to this map to see where you can take the test.
On the test day, you will need to bring your ARC, passport, and your driver’s license from your home country if you have any, otherwise bring your learner’s permit. You also need to bring the health check certificate. The health check can usually be done next to the site where you are going to do the test, and it will only take you 5 to 10 minutes. There’s no appointment required. For the test, they will:
- Record your height and weight
- Check your hearing
- do a color vision test
- Check to see if you have all 4 limbs
- Ask you to use both your hands
- Ask you to squat down and rise up one time
Driving Schools in Taiwan
Obviously, if you don’t know how to drive, then you will need to take driving lessons. In Taiwan, a typical driving school will charge you up to NT$13,500. It all depends on the type of car; some schools have old manual cars, so the price can be cheaper, while others have brand new automatic cars, which will cause you to pay more money. If you decide to take driving lessons, you have to do a health check before you start the lessons because most of the time you will take the test at the driving school. Usually, the scooter driving lessons will cost you up to NT$ 3,700. The advantage of going to a driving school is that they will do all the paperwork for you to take the test. So it will depend on what is more important to you. This is a list of some driving schools in Taiwan where you can find English-speaking teachers.
This is the end of the article. My advice would be to study well for the written test and get your 85/100 to pass. The driving/road test is not really difficult; you just have to always remember to signal and look around before taking any turn. It is worth it to get a driver’s license in Taiwan rather than risk getting caught without one, where you have to pay a NT$6,000+ ticket and who knows what other consequences might occur. I hope this was helpful to you who read it. Please feel free to ask any questions about the topic in the comments and I will answer them.