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ARCs now accepted as primary ID to apply for telecom services

The National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced new regulations that would allow foreign residents of Taiwan to apply for mobile phone numbers and other telecommunications services using their Alien Residence Certificates (ARC) or Alien Permanent Residence Certificates (APRC). Recent amendments to Article 27 of the Administrative Regulation Governing Type II Telecommunications Business gives foreign residents the option to use their either passports or ARC/APRCs when applying for new mobile phone numbers and related telecommunications services, effective from 9 December 2015 onwards. This latest measure is an example of implementation of an official notice by the National Development Council (NDC) on 6 October to all government departments stating that they should treat ARC/APRCs as equivalent to Taiwanese IDs for identification purposes. The letter states that ARC/APRC holders do not need to present their passports for identification purposes.

ARC/APRC holders can already use their cards to open a bank account in Taiwan. The latest move will make it easier for foreign residents in Taiwan to apply for telecommunications services, thereby making one more routine business transaction more convenient for foreign residents in Taiwan.