Scooter license in Taiwan

 Now that I have gone through the scooter license process I thought I would share my experience and the process. I would first like to mention that if you have a car and scooter license or either of from your home country, you may be able to exchange it for a local license quite easily. First you will need to check whether there is a reciprocity agreement in place by going here. It isn't done on a country by country level for the most part, instead it is based on individual states provinces, territories etc. For instance a California license cannot be exchanged. Unlike what I was told when I tried to exchange my license I was told they would take my home license from me, and as such I decided against exchanging it. I tried at two different offices and both told me the same thing. They were adamant that they would not let me keep my existing license.

Now for the driver's license process and how I did it. As I live in Banqiao I completed the entire process at Banqiao Motor Vehicles Supervision Station (台北區監理所板橋監理站) which is at 235新北市中和區中山路三段116號

Step 1 - need to get pictures taken which can be done nearly everywhere. I got mine in a booth at Taipei Main Station. There's a booth at the place that does the physical exam, but I got lucky doing it beforehand, as the booth there was out of service. 11 pictures cost $100 NTD

Step 2 - physical exam - for my physical exam I went to 佑林診所 附設汽機車考照體檢處(板橋監理站對面)which is across the street from the exam center at 23546新北市中和區中山路三段69號. The process here is all paper based and they will have you perform the following:

  • Colour blindness test
  • They will have you stand on a machine that will measure your height and weight
  • Vision test - it's a chart with Es on it facing up, down, left or right from large to small print. Can memorize the chart which seems to be what most do. You just need to point in the direction the E is facing when they choose one. They test one eye at a time. 1 and above is a pass.
  • Squats - this is done in a separate room in front of a doctor. You do one squat and you pass
Once you are done with the tests they will put a stamp on the blue form. The cost of the physical exam is $170 NTD

Step 3-5 are the actual exam steps, but before I get there this is what I did in between to prep for it.

Scooter rental - okay so I obviously couldn't rent it myself, so I got a local friend to rent one. I rented mine from the Banqiao location of this company - They charged $300/day NTD and $2,000/week NTD if no holidays fall within the rental period or $2,400/week if there is a holiday. I rented a scooter twice, as I failed the written test the first time I took it. You should note that not all of their scooters are equal even though they are all the same make and model. Before committing to the scooter you should take it out to test how it handles driving in a straight line slowly, and for a small turning radius. These are really important factors for passing the exam. I practiced on a side road by Far Eastern Hospital each night around 7:30 pm

The following is how things work at the exam center itself on the day you book your first test:

8 am - 8:30 - can practice driving the actual exam course
8:30-9:20 - registration - you need to pay $250 NTD to go through all of the steps. If you fail the written or actual exam you will need to pay $125 NTD each time you redo it. Need to wait a minimum of 7 days between tries.
9:30-11:30 - there will be a one hour video followed by a one hour class which is mandatory and all in Chinese. If you fall asleep they will wake you up. There will also be a 10 minute break in between. You only need to do this once, so even if you fail this won't repeat.
11:30-13:00 - can practice driving the actual exam course
13:00-13:30 - written exam
14:00 onwards - actual exam

Should you fail the written exam the schedule will look as follows:

8 am - 8:30 - can practice driving the actual exam course
8:30-9:20 - registration - you need to pay $125 NTD 
9:30 - written exam center opens and you get 30 minutes to do the test
10:00-11:30 - can take the actual exam

Should you fail the actual exam the schedule will look as follows:

8 am - 8:30 - can practice driving the actual exam course
8:30-9:20 - registration - you need to pay $125 NTD 
8:45-11:30 - can take the actual exam

Steps 3 to 5 take place at the examination centre with step 3 being watching the video and one hour class all in Chinese

Step 4 - the written exam. The first time I wrote the exam I did not prepare properly for it and as such I failed it because I didn't know all of the fines, demerit points, license suspension and revocation rules etc. For the second time I tried to create a cheat sheet or learning guide to memorize the rules instead of memorizing the 1,600 questions and answers of which only 50 will be on the test, but I failed miserably at this. The reason I couldn't do it is that the answers change. There is no consistency between the questions and answer. As such I cannot provide a summary of what one should know. That said the following are the files you can study from:

True/false and multiple choice questions along with signage can be found here. You will need to do a search for 'English' which result in 6 files. Sometimes the search won't work and you will have to go through the entire list and find the files manually.

Mechanical questions can be found here. You will need to do a search for 'English' which result in 2 files.Sometimes the search won't work and you will have to go through the entire list and find the files manually.

After you have gone through the 1,600 questions, you can gauge how well you would do on the actual test by taking the sample test here. These tests are exactly the same as the one you will write. The first time I took the test I was scoring between 84 and 88 on the simulated tests, and got 84 on the actual. For my second attempt I did not score less than 92 and ended up with 98 on the actual.

Step 5 - the actual exam

The actual exam is made up of the following components:

  • slow and straight driving - most people fail the test right here at the start. You need to drive at a slow pace in a straight line. The width of the lane is 0.4 meters or 1.5 feet and it is 15 m to 49 ft long. You can't do anything wrong on this section. Your feet must be on the foot rests, can't touch the lines on the outside of the lane, and need to spend a minimum of 7 seconds from start to finish
  • Pedestrian cross walk - the light will flash and you will need to stop before the white line. You should turn on your left blinker here while waiting. When the lights turn off you need to look both ways and make a left turn. turn your blinker off.
  • hook turn aka double turn - stop before the line if the light is red otherwise you can keep going straight. If the light is red you will need to look both ways after it turns green and before proceeding. You need to apply the brakes as you turn into the turn waiting area. 
  • Once you are in the waiting area you can turn on your left blinker, adjust your bike to proceed straight, and wait for the light to turn green. Once green look both ways and proceed straight
  • As you proceed straight you will need to change lanes but your left blinker is already on so just need to look left before changing lanes and proceed

  • 180 degree turn - as your blinker is still on look left before the turn and proceed, as you go straight change the blinker to the right blinker and complete the 180 degree turn
  • with the turn complete you will need to stop before the white line before the stop sign ahead of you. Turn your left blinker on and whenever ready look both ways and make the left turn. After completing the turn, turn your blinker off
  • You are now at the end of the test with the final piece being the railroad crossing. Stop in the box and wait for the railroad crossing lights to turn off. Once off look both ways and go straight to exit.
If you can do all of the above you will pass your test, and you will need to go back to the registration counter, pay $200 NTD and collect your license. Should you fail, don't stress over it, as most do, just rebook and try again in 7 days or more.

Here are some things I found really helpful to pass the test:
  • Practice the 7 seconds as many times as you can. You also get two tries, so if you don't nail it on the first try you can attempt it again. Don't focus on what's underneath or right in front of you. Instead focus on the finish line, this should help keep you slow and steady.
  • Practice the double turn or hook turn. The most difficulty I had with it was using the brakes as you are already travelling at a slow speed
  • Practice the 180 degree turn to ensure you can make it without your legs touching the ground along with the blinker change
  • Practice making exaggerated head movements for turning left, right and the lane change
  • I practiced on a side street and a parking lot for 5 days at night. The day before the test I went to the exam centre to practice between 11:30 and 12:30, and as I had to come back for the actual exam I practiced at 8 am on the day off
  • You can watch others practicing and doing their exams which helps as well 


  1. All you needed was to indicate ONE correct E direction??!?! What if you got the other 24 E's directions wrong?!?!?

    oh, and one squat?!?? mmmmmk

    1. Sorry, seems as though I might not have explained the Es properly. They decrease in size.
      It's similar to the normal eye test with different letters on each row going from large to small, except to make it easy for them they use nothing but Es here. Depending on where in the chart you start getting the directions wrong is how they decide your score.
      The one squat thing.... Really not sure.


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