Taiwan Driving Guide: Things to Know for International Driver’s Licenses
Starting in 2023, more and more international travelers are booking car rental services with gogoout and exploring Taiwan independently. We have prepared a “Driver License Policies Guide” specifically for international travelers visiting Taiwan, which can be easily understood in just 5 minutes to make your journey smoother!
What is an International Driver’s License?
An International Driver’s License, also known as an International Driving Permit (IDP), is an international driving license that allows the holder to drive a private vehicle in other countries that recognize IDPs or have joined the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
Nowadays, there are frequent reports of scams related to International Driving Permits. If you want to apply for one, please make sure to contact the official traffic regulatory agency of the country that issued your original passport. Avoid seeking assistance from other channels to prevent potential fraud.
1-1 The interior page of the International Driver’s License
The interior page of an International Driving Permit typically includes several sections:
- The flag of the issuing country and the IDP number
- The holder’s basic information, such as name, photo, date of birth, passport number, etc.
- The expiration date of the IDP
- The categories of vehicles the holder is authorized to drive, such as categories A, B, C, D, and E
- The bottom of the page usually contains regulations and instructions related to the use of the IDP, such as validity period, restrictions on use, and other important considerations.
1-2 The expiration date of the International Driver’s License
Each country has different policies regarding the expiration date of the International Driver’s License. For example, the IDP issued by Taiwan is valid for three years from the date of issue, while some countries limit its validity to one year.
If you have already applied for an International Driver’s License, remember to check its expiration date before traveling to ensure that it is still valid and can be used.
2. Essential documents for renting cars in Taiwan as an international traveler
- Valid passport or residency permit: You need to present a valid passport or Taiwan residency permit as identification.
- International driver’s license: You need to have a valid international driver’s license or a translated version to prove that you have a legal driving qualification.
- Credit card: You need to have a valid credit card (not a debit card)
According to the “List of Major Countries’ Reciprocal Driver’s License Exchanges” reference criteria, countries or regions that have signed reciprocal driver’s license agreements with Taiwan can use their international driver’s license or local driver’s license to drive in Taiwan.
- First, go to the “Table for Driving License with Taiwan Reciprocal Countries” of Directorate General of Highways MOTC and find the corresponding continent or region according to your passport country.
- Download the Chinese or English version according to the language you prefer.
- After downloading, open the document and find your country or the different continents of the country.
The above chart will show whether Taiwan and that country have mutual recognition of the international driver’s license, or whether Taiwan recognizes driver’s licenses issued by that country.
Therefore, international travelers visiting Taiwan or Taiwanese travelers visiting other countries, remember to check the driver’s license regulations in this table and prepare the necessary documents to avoid any inconvenience while driving and traveling abroad.
International travelers from certain countries renting a car in Taiwan must bring additional documents as outlined below.
2-2 Travelers holding a Hong Kong driver’s license.
- Hong Kong passport
- Hong Kong official driver’s license with class 1
- Credit card (not a debit card)
Hong Kong currently has a trial program with Taiwan where their official driver’s license can be used directly to drive in Taiwan.
Reminder: for renting a car on Taiwan’s outlying islands, an international driver’s license issued in Hong Kong is still required in addition to the Hong Kong driver’s license.
2-3 Travelers holding a Japanese driver’s license
- Japanese passport
- Japanese driver’s license
- Translation of the Japanese driver’s license issued by the Japanese transportation authority
- Credit card (not a debit card)
Lastly, the official name on the international driver’s license is called the International Driving Permit (IDP), which is a government-issued document, not to be confused with the International Driver’s Licence (IDL).
To obtain a valid IDP, please apply through the traffic authority or government-authorized agency of your country. Non-governmental agencies issuing international driver’s licenses will not be accepted for car rental purposes in Taiwan.
See more details: Renting a Car in Taiwan: The Rental Process for International Travelers