Wed, Feb 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

More Taiwanese benefiting from license agreements

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday touted its years-long efforts in signing reciprocal driver’s license agreements with US states and Canadian provinces, saying that the scheme has so far benefited 15,588 Taiwanese.

The government has since 2013 signed agreements with half of the 50 US states and nine of the 10 Canadian provinces, Department of North American Affairs Director-General Remus Chen (陳立國) said at a routine news conference at the ministry in Taipei.

The agreements allow licensed drivers from the signatory countries or areas to obtain a driver’s license in each others’ territory without having to take written and road tests, Chen said, adding that the lives of 10,710 Taiwanese traveling, studying or doing business in the US and 4,878 in Canada have became more convenient as a result.

“Last year, 6,457 Taiwanese obtained a foreign driver’s license without taking tests, which represents a 70 percent increase from the previous four years combined,” Chen said.

Several areas with higher concentrations of Taiwanese living abroad are covered by the agreements, including Texas, Florida, Washington and Massachusetts in the US, and Canada’s British Columbia and Ontario, Chen said.

Even though US states such as California and New York have reservations about signing such an agreement due to their sizable immigrant populations and more stringent driver’s licensing requirements, the ministry and its foreign representative offices are continuing to push for the reciprocal deal through various channels, Chen said.

According to the ministry’s Web site, 11 countries in Central and South America, 12 in Europe, 26 countries or areas in the Asia-Pacific region and 15 countries and areas in West Asia and Africa have also inked reciprocal driver’s license agreements with Taiwan.

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