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Gov't in talks with Austria after Taiwan-issued driving permits declined

05/23/2024 03:59 PM
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The two covers of the international driving permit issued by the government in Taiwan. The new cover (right) has "Taiwan" added since 2022. CNA file photo
The two covers of the international driving permit issued by the government in Taiwan. The new cover (right) has "Taiwan" added since 2022. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday said it has been engaging in talks with the Austrian government after it was recently informed that Taiwan-issued International Driver's Permits (IDP) would no longer be accepted in the European country.

Before the issue is resolved, the government has temporarily suspended accepting Austria-issued IDPs in Taiwan, MOFA deputy spokesman Hsiao Kuangwei (蕭光偉) said.

The ministry confirmed a day earlier that it had been notified by the Austrian government of its decision to no longer accept Taiwan-issued IDPs.

The confirmation was made after Taiwan's representative office in Vienna last week asked for clarification on the matter. This followed complaints it received from Taiwanese travelers after they were unable to use their IDPs in Austria.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, the Taiwanese representative office in Austria did not say if the Austrian government provided reasons for its decision, saying only that it is working to resolve the issue ahead of the upcoming peak summer travel season.

Meanwhile, the Austrian Office in Taipei told CNA on Thursday that it had not been made aware of the Austrian government's decision ahead of time. It added that it has since been relaying Taiwan's reaction back to Vienna, including the decision to suspend the acceptance of Austrian-issued IDPs.

The office is still waiting for their government's official response and will make more details public when it has more information, an office staffer told CNA.

The office represents Austria's interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

Previously, those holding a Taiwan-issued IDP were able to drive in Austria if their stay was shorter than six months. Individuals residing in Austria for over six months are required to obtain an Austrian driver's license.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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The Austrian Federal Chancellery building in Vienna. File photo courtesy of Austrian Federal Chancellery
The Austrian Federal Chancellery building in Vienna. File photo courtesy of Austrian Federal Chancellery
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