If, like me, you have travelled to Taiwan for a longer-term stay but for some reason or another do not have an ARC, to do pretty much anything important, you'll want to get a Uniform ID Number. My uncle who lives here set me up with the details, but essentially the easiest way to do this is in person at one of the National Immigration Agency's (NIA) Service Centres. I went to the one in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, but there's a whole bunch around the country.
The procedure is listed on their website, but basically you go to the centre with your Passport, a photocopy which includes your passport and possibly some other form of photo id) and fill in a form. (I used my New Zealand drivers license, and it may or may not be needed to get an ID number but I can tell you with certainty that it's required for setting up a phone account). Once you've filled out the form, it's a few minutes wait and you'll be given a sheet of paper with a number on it. AWESOME.
Now with this number, you can:
- Open a bank account
- Open a phone account
Easy, right? :)