Getting a scooter driving license in Taiwan

While a lot of people drive without licenses, if you are going to be staying in Taiwan for a long time (especially in the bigger cities) it’s definitely a good idea to get one.  And it’s ridiculously easy.  There are different classes of licenses (50cc scooter, 51cc-249cc, 250cc+, car…etc etc).  Most of the scooters here fall in the 51cc – 249cc category (mine is a 125cc), and if you are a foreigner looking to get a scooter, most likely it will be one of these.  So here’s how you go about getting a license for a 51cc – 249cc  scooter.

You need:

  • 3 Driver’s licence pictures (I think, they’re 1 inch, but any photo shop will know what the dimensions are)
  • ARC valid for 1 year or longer
  • Around 700NT – 1000NT ( I forgot exactly how much I paid at the various steps, so this is ballpark)
  • At least 18 years of existence
  • A heartbeat and a somewhat functional brain.

First, get a health check.  This is different from your visa health check, so go to a local hospital and get one done for 150NT – 300NT and 2 pictures.  Show them this.  They check your vision, hearing, height and weight. Oh ya, and you also have to do a few squats.  Easy.

Next, read up on the road rules and signs for the written test.  The written test consists of True/False, Road Signs and Multiple Choice questions.  I found that reading through once was sufficient.  I think you need around 85% to pass.  Most are common sense with a few new road signs thrown in.  Some of the questions are pretty hilarious, so it’s actually a fun read.

Then, find a test centre. You can do the written as well as the “road” test in 1 1/2 hour or less (depending on how many people are there).  In some centres you can rent a bike, but some you can’t.  Googling your city or town will get you the closest one.  I went to the one in Hsinchu:

Note, for a 50cc scooter all you need is the written test.  You don’t need to do a road test.  They will charge you around 300NT – 500NT.  The English version is done on a computer.  Practice it here.

Finally the “road” test.  And it’s not even on a road.  You have to drive the scooter around an oval track with 2 stops.  The only somewhat difficult part is the stability test, where you have to drive slowly along a straight, narrow path without touching the edges.  You must complete this part in over 7 secs or you fail.

And thats it!  Take your last picture and they will issue you a brand spanking new licence right away.

If you fail either the written or the practical test, you have to wait a week before you can re-attempt them.  You must pass both at the same time to get your license.

3 Responses to “Getting a scooter driving license in Taiwan”

  1. 1 james July 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I live in Hsinchu County, so I will or could be taking the test there. I have taken it before (failed the riding part), how often is it given? I took the written test 2 years ago, is it still valid or need to take it again?

  2. 3 danlockyer March 5, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Can you rent a motorcycle, for the test, from the hsinchu test centre you went to?

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