New Taiwan-Nevada Driver’s License Agreement Shifts Ties into a Higher Gear

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by Zhengqi Wang
A new reciprocity agreement between Taiwan and Nevada gives road test exemptions for drivers holding a valid license issued by the other government. Image: Wikipedia by Arichnad

Taiwan and the US state of Nevada recently signed a reciprocal driver’s license agreement, Taiwan’s Ministry of foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on May 26th. Taiwan is the first foreign government with which Nevada has signed such an accord. With the new agreement, Taiwanese drivers with a valid driver’s license issued by the Taiwan Ministry of Transportation and Communication are exempt from taking a road test when they apply for a Nevada driver’s license. The reciprocal agreement will make things easier for business people, students, and academics in Nevada, with the aim of creating more trade and communication opportunities between Taiwan and Nevada.

Taiwan and Nevada enjoy a strong economic relationship. Nevada’s exports to Taiwan reached $47.3 million in 2014, making Taiwan the state’s 9th largest export market in Asia, and 23rd largest export market globally. The high-tech sector and clean energy industry are key factors for growing the trade relationship between Taiwan and Nevada. Nevada’s computer and electronic products exports to Taiwan account for 47.3% of total exports, valued at $22 million. Taiwanese investment also supports and creates jobs in Nevada, as well. For instance, in 2012 Amexcom Electronics in Carson City attracted a $9 million investment from Taiwanese companies.  The relationship also extends to non-economic areas, with a sister partnership between Taiwan and the state of Nevada.

Taiwan now has reciprocal driver’s license agreements with 17 states in total, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. Other Asian countries have also signed similar reciprocal driver’s license agreements with a number of US states. Under the terms of Texas law, applicants who have valid driver’s licenses issued by South Korea or Taiwan are not required to take the knowledge or skills exams in order to drive in Texas. Maryland has foreign reciprocity agreements with South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. South Carolina and South Korea signed a similar agreement in 2014. 

Zhengqi Wang is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and is a student at American University.