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Buying Selling a Scooter or Motorcycle in Taiwan
Your trusty steed & two-wheeled motorvator often has had many incarnations. When its time for your ride to start its new journey in the hands of another, you'll need to know all about transferring ownership of a scooter. Here are the details.
There are two parts to this process:
Insuring / Transferring Existing Insurance to New Owner
Transferring the Title
The necessary documents:
- Both parties' ids, a valid arc & passport if you are from overseas
- The seller's stamp, or a signature in person if you are from overseas
- The current insurance card
- The current owner's registration 行照
- The scooter's title 牌照登記書
Step 1, Insurance At the Current Owner's Insurance Agent
Before the DMV will transfer title of your scooter they have to see that it is insured in the new owner's name. Taiwan has a no-fault insurance system - more about this later - meaning that there is a universal basic level of insurance required to get on the road. Few people bother to go beyond these minimums. As such, the old owner's insurance level & conditions are likely to be just the same as the ones you'll have, and the insurance agent is largely immaterial - almost everyone has the same coverage. So, when it comes time to buy a used scooter, most buyers just opt to continue with the previous owner's policy & agent.
It's very routine.
You go in and tell the agent:
"Hi. Here's my buddy. She wants to buy my scooter. She wants to assume my insurance." 我想要辦理機車強制險過戶.
The agent will no doubt heave a sigh, shuffle to the card catalog, pull your file and with leaden ennui give you the forms to sign.
It is possible to get an entirely NEW policy, but most people just transfer the existing insurance into the new owner's name since it's going to be at the same level of insurance. Plus, since this no-fault insurance is quite inexpensive, many buyers find themselves getting scooters with insurance that is paid well in advance. With most insurance agents there is no fee to transfer the insured from old owner to new.
Step 2, Title Transfer 機車過戶 At the DMV
With the insurance transfer finished your scooter is now insured in the buyer's name and the DMV will allow you transfer its title to them.
Soooo...what do you do next? Head on down to the DMV? Of course. But, whatever you do DON'T LET YOUR PURCHASER DRIVE YOUR SCOOTER TO THE DMV. Although it is INSURED in the new person's name, it is still OWNED by YOU!
OK, now that you're at the DMV, you can get down to the business of assuming or shedding ownership of the vehicle in question.
Its at the DMV where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, as any tickets or other levies will now be revealed to you. Further, if your scooter happens to be one that was unduly liberated from the ownership of another party, all of this will also come to light.
The cost of transferring title is NT$150. You will need to fill out a Title Transfer Application 過戶登記書, in duplicate. One of these the DMV will keep.
You take the Title Transfer Application to the counter and present it to them along with the following documents:
- The current owner's registration 行照 - the DMV will keep this.
- Both parties' ids, a valid arc & a passport if you are a foreigner.
- Both parties' stamps or your signatures.
- An Insurance card showing at least one month paid.
- The scooter's title 牌照登記書
- The NT$150.
Now, if the current owner of the scooter - your co-teacher, girlfriend, neighbor - can't find the title, the DMV will check their records. As long as the seller's id matches the name of the title holder, they will go ahead with the transfer & re-print the title, but now with your name on it.
Out the Door
So, you handed over all of the necessary documents & paid the NT$150. What will you have once you leave?
- One of the two Transfer Applications 過戶登記書 you filled out in duplicate.
- A New Registration 行照
- The title 牌照登記書 - the original if your seller had it, now amended with your name on it, or a new title with only your name on it if the original owner did not have the title with them.
This process will also transfer the license plate. So, you will now have not only the old owner's scooter but also the license plate that it rode in on. If you are truly longing for that "TCHR-007" vanity plate, you can apply for it at this time, for NT$1000. If the scooter is 6 years or older, they would run it through a basic mechanical test (basically - can it stop?!) before you transfer the title. If your scooter takes & passes this test you'll get a stamp on the transfer application 過戶登記書
So, there you have it. Happy scootering, happy motoring!