Starting on July 1, most motorists will not have to renew their driver’s license when it expires, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
The policy only applies to Republic of China citizens and foreigners holding alien permanent resident certificates (APRC). Professional drivers, Taiwanese without registered residences, foreigners without APRCs, and residents of China, Hong Kong and Macau would still have to renew their licenses, it said.
Department of Railway and Highways Director-General Lin Kuo-shian (林國顯) said motorists holding licenses for small passenger cars or motorcycles, or both, would no longer be required to renew their licenses every six years. The licenses will remain effective beyond the stated expiry date, he said.
About 12.08 million people hold licenses for private cars and 13.68 million own licenses for motorcycles, Lin said.
With about 9 million to 10 million people holding both car and motorcycle licenses, an estimated 15 million are set to benefit from the new policy, Lin said.
However, Lin urged motorists who want to use their driving permits in countries that recognize Taiwanese licenses to renew them upon expiration to avoid disputes with the transportation authorities in those countries.
The license renewal waiver is the latest in a series of government moves that included dropping the requirement for motorists to renew their vehicle registration cards in January this year.
Motorists also do not have to pay a fine of NT$300 to NT$600 (US$10 to US$20) if they forget to carry their driver’s license or registration card after the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Act Governing Punishments for Violations of Road Traffic Regulations (道路交通管理處罰條例) in April.
The ministry said that all these new measures are being implemented because of technology that allows traffic police to quickly identify and access information on motor vehicles and drivers.
Hsieh Chieh-tien (謝界田), director of the Directorate-General of Highway’s motor vehicle division, added that only first-time applicants would receive a copy of their driver’s license.
Motorists whose licenses are damaged or lost, who need to make changes to registered information or voluntarily want to have their licenses renewed can also ask for a copy, Hsieh said.
The new policy is estimated to cost the agency about NT$600 million in lost revenue.