May 23, 2019
DOL Director Teresa Berntsen, right, welcomed Alex Fan, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle, for a reciprocity agreement renewal signing Thursday.
The Department of Licensing on Thursday commemorated the renewal of an agreement that makes it easier for drivers from Taiwan or Washington state to transfer a license from one place to the other.
The reciprocity agreement allows Taiwan nationals living in Washington, such as college students, to skip the driving and written licensing exams if they are already licensed to drive in Taiwan. Washington residents living in Taiwan have the same option.
In the five years since the initial deal was reached, more than 2,300 Taiwanese drivers have obtained Washington driver licenses through the reciprocity process.
Renewal of the pact was formalized in a signing ceremony in the office of DOL Director Teresa Berntsen, who was joined by Policy and Legislative Director Beau Perschbacher. Representing Taiwan were Alex Fan, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle, and consulate Tony, Nien-Tzu, Hu.
“The signing of this agreement highlights the strong relationship between the state of Washington and Taiwan,” Berntsen said. “It also demonstrates our joint commitment to streamline the licensing process.”
Drivers from Taiwan seeking a Washington license will need to visit the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle to have their current license properly translated and verified prior to visiting a DOL licensing service office.
DOL has reciprocity agreements with four other jurisdictions: British Columbia, Germany, South Korea, and Japan.
March 21, 2019
DOL’s Beau Perschbacher, center, and Meg McCann welcomed Uli Fischer, Boris Ruge, and Ulrich Suedbeck (left to right) of Germany.
This week, the Department of Licensing — represented by Beau Perschbacher, center, and Meg McCann — welcomed some special guests from Germany: Uli Fischer, Boris Ruge, and Ulrich Suedbeck (left to right).
They were in Olympia for a ceremonial signing to commemorate the renewal of a driver license reciprocity agreement. The pact allows Germans living in the state to exchange their German license for a Washington one without having to go back through the testing process. The same courtesy is extended to Washingtonians living in Germany.
The agreement has been in place for 14 years, during which time more than 4,000 Germans have obtained Washington driver licenses via the agreement.
August 7, 2014
OLYMPIA— A new driver license reciprocity agreement between Taiwan and Washington state will make life a little easier for drivers wanting to transfer a license from one place to the other.
The agreement allows Taiwan nationals living in Washington, such as university students, to skip the driving and written licensing exams if they are already licensed to drive in Taiwan. It gives the same option to Washington residents living in Taiwan.
“This agreement allows the Department of Licensing to honor the driving tests previously taken by a citizen of Taiwan just like we would when serving a currently licensed driver from another state,” Department of Licensing Director Pat Kohler said.
Driver licensing officials here and in Taiwan worked together to evaluate each other’s driver licensing requirements and testing processes. This ensures drivers who hold either license are fully qualified to operate a vehicle safely in both places.
The agreement was finalized at a signing ceremony on August 5th in Olympia. Director General Andy Chin of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle joined Licensing Director Kohler in signing the agreement.
The agreement takes effect immediately. Drivers from Taiwan seeking a Washington license will need to visit the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle to have their current license properly translated and verified prior to visiting a DOL driver licensing office.
Lt. Governor Brad Owen signed the agreement as a witness when it was signed by Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei during a trade and cultural mission in June.
“I see this agreement as a small, but important step—one of many—that have been taken in recent times to make commerce, travel and tourism that much easier between Taiwan and the state of Washington,” Owen said.
This is Washington’s fourth international driver license reciprocity agreement. The state has similar agreements with British Columbia, South Korea, and Germany.
May 25, 2011
South Korea traffic.
On May 24, Washington state entered a driver license reciprocity agreement with the country of South Korea. The agreement was signed by Licensing Director Liz Luce and South Korean Consul General Young-wan Song at a ceremony attended by Governor Chris Gregoire.
The agreement recognizes that, based on similar driver license testing procedures, drivers from both places are similarly qualified to drive. Director Luce said this creates an opportunity to streamline a process.
“When a licensed driver from our state is planning on moving to South Korea for a few years, the last thing they want to worry about is retaking their driver license tests, Luce said. “Now, they won’t have to.”
Likewise, South Korean citizens with driver licenses who come to live in our state will be allowed to get a Washington license without retaking driving tests here.
Gov. Gregoire pointed out that South Korea is our state’s fourth largest export market and said this agreement will strengthen our state’s bond with this important international partner. Washington state has similar driver license reciprocity agreements with British Columbia and Germany.