Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Taiwan Drivers License

After staying in Taiwan over a year my international driver's license expired, making it illegal for me to drive. It became time for me to get my own driver's license in Taiwan.  After studying and trying to work around a busy schedule, the test kept getting pushed back. Eventually I finally made it out to the test. Part of the hassle is the times for the test and the drive to where you can take the test is almost an hour away.

The first part of the test is the written test. I went to the 2nd floor of the building sat down at the computer and began answer multiple choice questions. The English translation is quite difficult to get through for some of the question. One of the question I received had one wrong answer and then the first to answers were written exactly the same. I put my finger to each word to check if I read it right, and every word was the same. Do I choose right answer A or right answer B? I went with B. At the end of the test I received one more question wrong then I was aloud to make. Failing the test really isn't a big deal seeing as it only cost me $13 to take the test and the next time I try to take it, it will only cost $8. The part that makes it painful is the distance.

Finally after another month or two, the day came were it was time to go get this test finished. I studied a little more using the Online Practice Test (You can click the link to try the test for yourself), rounded up my translator and headed out to the testing grounds. I ended up arriving 5 min late. I had to wait 2 hours now to take the test. Instead of driving all the way back home only to return, I went out for some lunch.

We sat in the breakfast shop until is was starting to close, we had about one hour left to kill. Amy and I decided to go to the hair salon. If you get your hair washed they will also give you a shoulder massage all for about $4.

Finally the time came, we returned to the testing facilities, I sat down at the computer desk and began taking the test. About three of the question asked me a question like this, "When driving on the freeway you are to follow the road regulations and signs." True or False. Well, that was easy. Along with all the other questions I received. Last time it was asking me stuff like, "If you run a red light and your seat belt isn't on you will... A: have to pay a $3,000NT. fine B: have to pay a $5,000NT fine. or C: have to pay a $6,000NT fine. Those kind of question become a blur while studying, because you are use knowing how much the fines are in America.

I finished my test and passed with an 85%. Then it was onto the driving test. The funny thing is, that Taiwan's driving test  doesn't really relate to the road. The test is taken in an area that has been designed for a driving test, with a car that has the mirrors positioned at the ground in a way that is effect for the test but not for driving on the road. You never go out on the road even in drivers Ed (from my understanding). The first part of the test you have to do an S curve.  If you get to close to the yellow line a sensor will go off. The guy before me hit the sensor while going around the second corner of the S curve automatically failing the test.

I got in the car drove slowly around the curve and made it, but the hard part was going backwards. I paid to practice at a facility that mimics the actually test (strangely it cost more to do the practice then the actually driver's test). The S curve backwards was always the difficult part for me. However, I made it through.

The second part of the test is parking. The first one is backing up into a parking space (everything has sensors). I didn't start turning quite soon enough causing my back tire to slightly hit the yellow line. I received 16 points off. That leaves me with 84 points, if you get a 70 or lower you fail. Then you have to parallel park. I accomplished that one just fine. After continuing out of the parking section you have to stop at a stop light and go when it turns green.

The fourth part of the test you have to drive up a bridge thing with each of your wheels between to 2 groups of sensor lines, 2 lines for each side of your car. Once you are close to the top but still on the hill you have to stop with your car on a red line, put on the hand break then proceed with out only back roll.

Then you go over the hill and have to stop at an imaginary train crossing, and then an imaginary crosswalk. After that your almost done, then you drive down a narrow straightaway with sensors on both sides of the car. After that you are done. And I passed! Now I am ready to drive on the Taiwan roads in either a car of 50cc scooter.

More Information on getting your License in Taiwan

Video of the Driving Test Course

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