Todd Blackhurst
Driver’s License Question – I went to the driving office at the intersection of SanMin & Beitun road the other day to see about getting a driver’s license and they told me I would need to go to an office near Tunghai. Does anybody know where or what they are talking about? The lady (who was extremely polite and helpful) said I would need to go there to take the driving test and the written test. Has anyone done this recently? I have a Texas license and ARC. I did not get an international license (which I should have in retrospect). I would like a moto and car license. Thoughts and advice appreciated.

Michael Bailey
Up on DaDu mountain, behind DongHai University, there is a DMV. In the past you could take the drivers test at either DaDu mt, or Beitun. This is the first I’ve heard of them not doing it at Beitun.

Todd Blackhurst
Okay, I found the office on the map and their website. Does anyone know if they would accept the health form from my visa application if it’s recent as the medical check up?

Joseph Fritz
I would suggest that you get an IDL. I got mine after having come to Taiwan. Just make sure that when you order one, you get licensed for scooters and cars (even if your license doesn’t say so). Then all you have to do is go to the DMV with your license and IDL booklet and the Taiwan DMV will insert a little paper and that’s that.

Simon Eskrima
Yes, the DMV is on Dadu Mountain. Easier to get to if you come up the new road (Chang Xiang I think). I was in there a few months back and they said as long as I bring my foreign license they could apply for an IDL for me. The license would be valid for a year. However, I “misplaced” the paper copy of my UK license some time ago so am now taking lessons at the Buxiban close to the DMV…

Jacqueline Lopez
They won’t accept the health check from your ARC or visa application. They want a specific one which is performed at a tiny clinic down the road for 150. Check online, though, because there is license reciprocity for a very few states. Texas might be one of them…

Joseph Fritz
Taiwan should adopt the same policy for Texans (I think): i.e. as long as you have the IDL and TXDL, they should honor it at the TW DMV. You should be able to bring your DDL, IDL, and a photo, and they will glue an insert in your IDL. You can’t transfer your TXDL into a TWDL, but that doesn’t really matter, since your IDL works just as well.
An IDL is worthless, in terms of being an actual license. It’s nothing more than an official translation of your DDL. But, almost always, both are required to be a legal operator.

黎 安 妮
@Todd that’s weird bcoz I did the written test for my tw car license at the bei tun dmv 1 yr ago- I think she thought u might have asked for the practical. My advice do the written test and practical test at a vehicle buxiban- they’re authorized to do retrospect at the time I only found out afterwards. Btw- if you plan on getting a scooter license too- get your tw driver’s first – apparently when you do your scooter license then you only need to do the prac and no theory test again. Btw the dmv should have given you a list of where the medical test for your driver’s can be done. On a side note: if you have an Arc you will have to renew only your driver’s rider’s card- yearly or according to your exp. date.If you have a spousal arc or aprc then your driver’s/ rider’s card will be valid for 5 yrs.I would double check with the DMV though. Rules tend to change yearly here it seems.check- there’s an article about this. It has more info and links to all the stuff you’ll need. Goodluck

Todd Blackhurst
Here’s the update. I got my IDL from the place suggested in Joseph Fritz article and took it along with my ARC, a passport photo, my passport and Texas DL to the Taichung Motor Vehicle Office. The people there were very friendly and helpful although their English is limited, so if you go, I suggest being patient and thankful for any help they give. I presented all the above items to the License Desk and after a few minutes was told that with the IDL and my Texas DL together, I was OK to drive a car in Taiwan for one year from the issue date of my IDL. I am only certified to drive cars on my Texas DL, so I can only drive a 50CC moto here in Taiwan. If I want to drive anything larger, I would need to take the Moto Exam and Moto Driver test. I asked them if they would put a stamp of some sort in my IDL verifying their approval of my car license and they kindly filled out some paperwork and took my picture to keep on file. They attached the paperwork to my IDL and sent me on my way. They said I could take the exams at either the Dadu or Beituen location. Hope that is helpful

Joseph Fritz
I just lied on my IDL and said I was registered for cars and scooters, and when they looked at my DDL and didn’t see any special classification, I said that Arkansas’ law doesn’t have a special classification for cars/motorcycles/scooters and that it’s all covered under the same license (which is why the IDL had both classifications). Went off without a hitch.
I am glad it all worked out! I was worried about that vague Texas language, but I’m glad to see that my interpretation was correct. Gotta’ love legalese and…yes…it’s always nice when the bureaucracy works for us instead of against us.
Did you order the 10-year IDL, Todd?

Todd Blackhurst
Joseph Fritz, yes I did, but they told me they would only approve it for one year. ???

Joseph Fritz
Yeah, that’s the Texan policy, as well. They should re-approve it if you leave and re-enter after a year. As long as your IDL is good for a decade, you don’t have to keep getting new IDL. Hopefully you can do an online renewal of your DDL in Texas and have someone back there mail it to you here. Shouldn’t be a problem.

Seb Hofstede
sorry to sidetrack the conversation but can you do your driving test for reg heavy scooter at the beitun branch or will u need to mission it to the main office in tunghai?

黎 安 妮
@ Todd. Yip that’s about right. Just keep in mind you can drive with that but, if for whatever reason if you decide to stay longer or will be driving frequently- take the driver’s test. It sucks yes- but you never know.I have heard conflicting stories from people I know who had some experiences driving with just an IDL. It seems car insurance companies have a very different idea regardless of what the DMV says.It’s entirely up to you.

Todd Blackhurst
Seb Hofstede, the lady at the Dadu office told me I could take all the tests at either location, both driving and written. Leanie Wessels, thank you for your input also. Insurance is a whole other matter. I definitely want to be insured. If anyone has experience , good or bad, with getting car insurance, I sure would appreciate advice or even a recommendation.

Tom Beasley
car insurance is 1000- 2000 per year. Almost an afterthought. Its very cheap, so cheap I am not sure exactly how much. There are also different types of coverage….. You wont feel gouged