Last Updated on 12-30-2023

When you first move to Taiwan to work, among other things, you might wonder if it is legal for you as a foreigner to drive there; and if so, can you use your home country’s driver’s license or must you apply for a Taiwan driver’s license.

Since most of us arrive in Taiwan for the first time with only a 30 or 60-day visitor’s visa, therefore, you can’t get a Taiwan driver’s license and must use an international driver’s license to drive. However, if you decide to stay longer, it would be recommended to get a Taiwan driver’s license.

If you want to start driving in Taiwan, you need to make sure you have your paperwork in order. By the end of this article, you will know how to drive in Taiwan by either converting your home country’s license to a Taiwan driver’s license or by using an international driving permit.

How do you get a driver’s license in Taiwan?

If you already have a driving license in your home country, there are two options for you:

You can exchange your home country’s license for Taiwan’s license

If you’re lucky enough, your country might have a reciprocal driver’s license agreement with Taiwan, which means if Taiwan driver’s license is valid in your country, then yours will also be valid in Taiwan. All of these agreements are listed by region on the DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles) official website. You should then be able to drive in Taiwan using your driver’s license for 30 days after your arrival.

If you’re eligible to swap your license for a local one, you’ll need to bring the following documents to a DMV office in Taiwan:

  1. The original and a photocopy of your passport (valid for more than 6 months).
  2. Three (3) 1-inch color photos (with white background) taken within 2 years.
  3. An ARC with total validity of over six months.
  4. A valid overseas driver’s license and a photocopy.
  5. A completed driver’s license registration form.
  6. A health check report from an approved hospital.
  7. Proof of entry or exit record (this should be a stamp in your passport).
  8. NT$200 as an application fee.

NB: If your original license was issued in a language other than English or Chinese, you need to translate it into Chinese and have it verified by the Taipei representative office in your country. Once you obtain the Taiwan driver’s license, it will be valid for a period of three years.

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Source: TTstudio

You can apply for an international driver’s license

If you will stay in Taiwan for less than a year and already have a license from your home country, you can apply for an international drivers license. In some cases, you might need to do that in your country before you travel or at your country’s representative office in Taiwan. In other cases, the registration must be completed at the DMV office in Taiwan.

The following documents are required:

  1. An ARC with total validity of over six months.
  2. The original and a photocopy of your passport (valid for more than 6 months).
  3. Three (3) 2-inch color passport photos.
  4. Your driving license.
  5. NT$250 as an application fee
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Source: Alexlmx

Car rental in Taiwan

Renting a car in Taiwan is one of the most practical ways to explore the country. You are free to explore at your own pace and discover everything the island has to offer. Renting a car also allows easier access to some popular tourist spots such as the Taroko Gorge.

Car rental places can be found next to most airports and in all major cities. Among popular car rental agencies, you can find IWS car rental, Avis car rental, or you can use the Taiwan iRent app. The rental price varies from NT$1,000 to NT$3,000 a day, depending on the company. Discounts are also available for multiple-day rentals and weekday rentals.

Things to know about driving in Taiwan

  • In Taiwan, the driver’s seat is on the left side of the car, and all cars must drive on the right side of the road.
  • Taiwan is the scooter capital of the world, so when driving in big cities, you will see many of them at once.
  • There are cameras on every street (speed cameras and red light cameras). But, most GPS systems in Taiwan will tell you where they are and warn you when you approach them. You will also find pictures across the streets that tell you to slow down because there are cameras in front of you.
  • In some big cities, there are a few lanes that are only for buses. It is not advised to drive on them.
  • Some lanes are only meant for scooters or motorcycles.
  • Driving in Taiwan might be scary because there are a lot of cars on many one-way streets. If you take a U-turn well… The most famous ones in Taipei City are Xinyi Road and Ren’ai Road.

Taiwanese drivers hardly ever care about your life and death when you are walking along the crosswalks, so as a pedestrian you should really be careful.

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