Thursday, January 4, 2018

how to get a Taiwanese driver's license

We are leaving on our road trip around Taiwan in less than three weeks. One thing we had to figure out was getting licensed to drive a car in Taiwan, which is not something we have had to do in the 5+ years we have lived here. At first, we thought about getting our international drivers licenses because we will also need them for our Icelandic road trip this September. However, it was going to be complicated to get them from Taiwan, so we started looking into other options.

One option was getting a Taiwanese driver's license. We were intimated by the prospect, but then we discovered we were actually eligible to get our Taiwanese licenses because our home state and Taiwan have driving reciprocity.

That means in Washington State, Taiwanese drivers can use their Taiwan licenses to get Washington State ones without undergoing all of the tests normally required. The same is true vice versa. We were surprised to learn that a very large number of states have driving reciprocity with Taiwan.

You can consult this list to see if your state does. I was not confident that I understood the data on this list correctly, so I went to the DMV to make sure Washington State and Taiwan have reciprocity, and I was assured they in fact do.

Therefore, we needed to follow these steps to get our Taiwanese drivers licenses:

First, we needed to make an appointment at the American Institute of Taiwan in Taipei to get our licenses authenticated. In order to do so, make a "notary" appointment.

Second, we needed to collect the following documents to bring to our A.I.T. appointment: our Washington State drivers licenses, our passports, our Alien Resident Cards, and a photocopy of our Washington State drivers licenses (front and back). Also, we had to bring 1,500 New Taiwanese Dollars each for the notary fee.

Third, after getting our licenses authenticated, we needed to get an eyesight check at a DMV clinic. This only cost 150 New Taiwanese Dollars due to our socialized health insurance. There, we were also able to get the necessary 1 inch photos for our Taiwanese licenses.

Lastly, we had to go to the DMV to apply for our licenses and show the appropriate documentation so we did not have to take either the written or driving tests.

We walked out of the DMV that day with our Taiwanese drivers licenses. I won't say the process was a piece of cake because Sean had to take a morning off work to go to Taipei and we had to visit a clinic and the DMV, but still, it was pretty dang cheap and easy to get licensed to drive a car here.

Check out this link for more information!

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