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I have a UK driving licence and am planning to hire a car in Taiwan for a few days but am finding conflicting information about International Driving Permit.

According to the AA website in Taiwan IDP is valid for 30 days; over 30 days IDP and UK licence must be endorsed locally at a motor vehicle office (photo and passport required)

Information on the Foreign Travel Advice: To drive in Taiwan you need an International Driving Permit (IDP). Once in Taiwan, you will need to take your passport, IDP and a passport photograph to the nearest Vehicle Registration Department and apply for a driver’s licence visa, which will then be secured in your IDP.

If the latter is correct, would that mean that renting a car straight from the airport is rather impossible and one has to visit a Vehicle Registration Department first? Or this information only applies to visits over 30 days long?

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The government advice is a little confusing. Your IDP is all that is required when entering as a tourist for a visit of 30 days or less.

I've picked up cars at the airport, but I've also found it's better value if you are staying in Taipei on your first night, to rent in the city and have a vehicle delivered to your hotel in the morning.

Driving in Taiwan is pretty straightforward. Tolls are collected electronically and you will need to settle these when you hand the car back. If you get a parking ticket, you can settle it at any convenience store.

  • Thanks for your answer. Renting in the city is an option for me. Out of interest, which company do you use for renting in the city? Or do you do it through the hotel? – Jerry Dec 16 '18 at 11:08
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The two important points are:

  1. Those who will be staying in Taiwan for 30 days or fewer can drive in Taiwan without registering an international driving permit.
  2. Individuals who are going to stay in Taiwan for more than 30 days should apply to register an international driving permit with the Motor Vehicle Offices.

https://tpcmv.thb.gov.tw/English/ServicesEng/LicenseEng/ManagementEng/ManagementEng01.htm

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It took me three trips to as many post offices to get the International Driving Permit for Taiwan!

On the first occasion, I was told my photo did not meet the passport photo requirements where the background colour needed to be of a light shade but not white. This was obviously a misinterpretation by the post office clerk as all that was needed was a passport size photo of the applicant. It was pointless to waste time debating this with some sell important but ignorant clerk so I decided to try another post office later.

And you know what, the photo was not an issue at the second branch at all! However, Taiwan was not on the printed list the clerk used as her reference, so no, an IDP could not be issued for a country not on the printed list!

I left the counter to do a research online as to which of the three conventions Taiwan was a signatory of, and ascertained it was the 1949 one so I went back to the same clerk and explained this. She simply repeated that as Taiwan was not on her printed list, no IDP could be issued!

Having learned from the two unsuccessful attempts, I went to a third post office to give it another go. This time, the staff at the counter knew exactly what she was doing, having no issues with the photo, and simply asked which country or countries I intended to use the IDP for, or if I knew which of the three conventions I would require. Voila, I got my IDP in a few minutes after saying the 1949 convention!

I hope this would help would be applicants to avoid having to waste time with some ignorant or unhelpful post office clerks!

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