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.
- 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.