Vietnam - Is your international driving licence valid?

chrisynok

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
You are required to have a Vietnamese driving license to drive in Vietnam, but most locals and tourists get by fine without one. The Vietnamese traffic police tend to leave the tourists alone because they don’t feel confident to deal with it. An international licence is not valid.

If you have a driving license, i advice you bring it with you, through my experience, and our customers feedback, in the unlikely event you are stopped, they are happy to accept an international license. It’s also been known for them to charge you a small amount if they won’t accept your license or you are unable to produce a license (roughly $5)

It is possible to obtain a Vietnamese driving license but there are some requirements. You must have a valid international driving license and a 3 month Vietnamese visa. It can take some time to process the application (up to 7 days) the license will allow you to drive motorbikes.

Please fill free to contact me if you need more information or help to obtain a Vietnamese licence.

Chris
Flamingo Travel Vietnam
 

Ally

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
PCX - with custom valve caps
Hi there Flamingo Travel Vietnam & a very warm welcome to RideAsia :)

I am sure that many people on this forum will benefit from your input. Please fell free to contribute where ever you see appropriate.

We would highly recommend you posting an advert in the Vendors section here..., that's free advertising. Your signature or other references to your site / company within your posts will also be very welcome. And that's also FREE !

Hope that is clear enough ;)

Thanks very much for taking the time to sign up.

Ally
 

chrisynok

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Obtaining a Vietnamese driving License

You have to be a resident to obtain a Vietnamese license, however it is still possible to obtain one if you’re not a resident. ??? There is a company in HCMC who is able to help foreigners with the process without being in Vietnam and also without being a resident; it’s a perfectly legal and a straight forward procedure.

In order to make the application you need:

· A copy of your valid driving license (front and back)
· A copy of your passport and visa (the visa must be a valid visa and not an invitation letter which is normally issued to tourist to present at
customs to obtain an entry visa)
· 1 photo 3x4
· Your signature
· The license fee is roughly 2,300,000 VND (20,800 VND = $1) you can make the payment when you collect the license
· The process time is 11 working days

When I first heard about this I was a bit suspicious, i wondered if they are issuing real driving licenses but they assured us there all real, they explained we can make the payment after we receive the license giving the opportunity to verify it with the police to make sure it is a real registered license. (In Vietnam a lot of the time it’s not what you know it’s who you know) The office is in HCMC, I’m happy to help anyone that wishes to forward the documents to our office in Hanoi so it will be ready for you on your arrival to Vietnam even if you are not one of our paying customers we are always happy to help anybody and we are always happy to provide any information from our experience and knowledge for free. On another note it is a similar process when it comes to tourist visa extensions. It can now be very difficult to extend your visa however we still obtain visas extensions for our customers, they are sent to HCMC where it’s a straight forward process. (The regulations on visa extensions are continually changing it’s a real headache)
I understand a lot of people like to do things correctly and legally especially when traveling abroad as I do myself but in my experience in Vietnam you can have all the correct documents in place and in a lot circumstances the Vietnamese people including the police would expect you to pay a fine or in rare circumstances in case an accident was to accrue you would be expected to pay if necessary the third party an agreed amount which is normally a very small amount for damage and injury, however having the correct documents in place will make life easier to obtain medical insurance from your country of residents. Please read the small print of your medical insurance policy because there are a lot of restrictions with most insurance companies. e.g. motorbike cc, you must have a valid Driving license and insurance from the country you are driving in. There are specialist insurance companies out there who will cover you for medical insurance only if you have a valid international driving license from your country of residents.

In order to make an application you can send an email to the address below for more information on how to obtain a Vietnamese license you can visit the website below (scroll down the page to the English section)

Email: vanphongankhang@gmail.com
website: http://vietnamdriverlicense.blogspot.com

I hope it helps I tried to be as clear as possible

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

Chris
Flamingo Travel Vietnam
 

chrisynok

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
It’s true you do need to be a resident to obtain a Vietnamese license, however it is still possible to obtain one if you’re not a resident. ??? There is a company in HCMC who is able to help foreigners with the process without being in Vietnam and also without being a resident; it’s a perfectly legal and a straight forward procedure.

In order to make the application you need:

· A copy of your valid driving license (front and back)
· A copy of your passport and visa (the visa must be a valid visa and not an invitation letter which is normally issued to tourist to present at
customs to obtain an entry visa)
· 1 photo 3x4
· Your signature
· The license fee is roughly 2,300,000 VND (20,800 VND = $1) you can make the payment when you collect the license
· The process time is 11 working days

When I first heard about this I was a bit suspicious, i wondered if they are issuing real driving licenses but they assured us there all real, they explained we can make the payment after we receive the license giving the opportunity to verify it with the police to make sure it is a real registered license. (In Vietnam a lot of the time it’s not what you know it’s who you know) The office is in HCMC, I’m happy to help anyone that wishes to forward the documents to our office in Hanoi so it will be ready for you on your arrival to Vietnam even if you are not one of our paying customers we are always happy to help anybody and we are always happy to provide any information from our experience and knowledge for free. On another note it is a similar process when it comes to tourist visa extensions. It can now be very difficult to extend your visa however we still obtain visas extensions for our customers, they are sent to HCMC where it’s a straight forward process. (The regulations on visa extensions are continually changing it’s a real headache)
I understand a lot of people like to do things correctly and legally especially when traveling abroad as I do myself but in my experience in Vietnam you can have all the correct documents in place and in a lot circumstances the Vietnamese people including the police would expect you to pay a fine or in rare circumstances in case an accident was to accrue you would be expected to pay if necessary the third party an agreed amount which is normally a very small amount for damage and injury, however having the correct documents in place will make life easier to obtain medical insurance from your country of residents. Please read the small print of your medical insurance policy because there are a lot of restrictions with most insurance companies. e.g. motorbike cc, you must have a valid Driving license and insurance from the country you are driving in. There are specialist insurance companies out there who will cover you for medical insurance only if you have a valid international driving license from your country of residents.

In order to make an application you can send an email to the address below for more information on how to obtain a Vietnamese license you can visit the website below (scroll down the page to the English section)

Email: vanphongankhang@gmail.com
website: http://vietnamdriverlicense.blogspot.com

I hope it helps I tried to be as clear as possible

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

Chris
Flamingo Travel Vietnam
 

chrisynok

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
You do need to be a resident to obtain a Vietnamese license, however it is still possible to obtain one if you’re not a resident. ??? There is a company in HCMC who is able to help foreigners with the process without being in Vietnam and also without being a resident; it’s a perfectly legal and a straight forward procedure.

In order to make the application you need:

· A copy of your valid driving license (front and back)
· A copy of your passport and visa (the visa must be a valid visa and not an invitation letter which is normally issued to tourist to present at
customs to obtain an entry visa)
· 1 photo 3x4
· Your signature
· The license fee is roughly 2,300,000 VND (20,800 VND = $1) you can make the payment when you collect the license
· The process time is 11 working days

When I first heard about this I was a bit suspicious, i wondered if they are issuing real driving licenses but they assured us there all real, they explained we can make the payment after we receive the license giving the opportunity to verify it with the police to make sure it is a real registered license. (In Vietnam a lot of the time it’s not what you know it’s who you know) The office is in HCMC, I’m happy to help anyone that wishes to forward the documents to our office in Hanoi so it will be ready for you on your arrival to Vietnam even if you are not one of our paying customers we are always happy to help anybody and we are always happy to provide any information from our experience and knowledge for free. On another note it is a similar process when it comes to tourist visa extensions. It can now be very difficult to extend your visa however we still obtain visas extensions for our customers, they are sent to HCMC where it’s a straight forward process. (The regulations on visa extensions are continually changing it’s a real headache)
I understand a lot of people like to do things correctly and legally especially when traveling abroad as I do myself but in my experience in Vietnam you can have all the correct documents in place and in a lot circumstances the Vietnamese people including the police would expect you to pay a fine or in rare circumstances in case an accident was to accrue you would be expected to pay if necessary the third party an agreed amount which is normally a very small amount for damage and injury, however having the correct documents in place will make life easier to obtain medical insurance from your country of residents. Please read the small print of your medical insurance policy because there are a lot of restrictions with most insurance companies. e.g. motorbike cc, you must have a valid Driving license and insurance from the country you are driving in. There are specialist insurance companies out there who will cover you for medical insurance only if you have a valid international driving license from your country of residents.

In order to make an application you can send an email to the address below for more information on how to obtain a Vietnamese license you can visit the website below (scroll down the page to the English section)

Email: vanphongankhang@gmail.com
website: http://vietnamdriverlicense.blogspot.com

I hope it helps I tried to be as clear as possible

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

Chris
Flamingo Travel Vietnam
 

bishop99

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
If someone's driving license is expired in Vietnam then what is the procedure to renew it in? Or how many months remaining in your international driving license to travel in other country?
 

LivinLOS

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Bikes
Gas Gas 250 (Trials), YZ250 (enduro), DRZ440 (Supermoto) CBR900 Streetfighter (scary !!)
If you happen to have a Thai license it should be valid in Vietnam. Not news to most maybe.

View attachment 14833

View attachment 14831
The question is, do the police know this ??

Personally, no one stopped us or gave us any grief in Vietnam.. The cops didnt seem like other developing nations cops looking to make a problem to make you pay to solve it. I am sure in the event of an accident it could be an issue but I kind of have the mentality that any accident is going to need paying for and issues like who was at fault, license details, insurance just bargaining points. The key being, dont have an accident.
 

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I wasn't stopped in about 3,000 - 3,500km of riding. I was pointed at (ie being pulled over) up near the China border at one stage, as I was overtaking someone around a corner. The cop realised I was a foreigner and simply pointed to the guy I was overtaking and pulled him over instead. I went through dozens of police check points.
 

VietHorse

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam
Bikes
Hornet250, Shadow400, SuperFour400, Hornet919 x 2, VFR800 x 2
I 've never seen any foreigner here has legal driving license without resident. There may be the mechanism which mentioned by chrisynok which I 've never known.
Great to see the newspaper from nightrider70. However, I don't think the Polices on the road they know about that.
So, to be safe with that, you should have a referenced circulation/degree/agreement or something Govt official about that - and more importantly, it is translated into Vietnamese. :)
I would say it more worthy for you if you are in a trouble with a case, those documents will back you up.
Less worthy at any police checkpoint along the way.
Don't worry, just show to the Police that you are foreigner, be nice to them, you should be in good shape.
 

chrisynok

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Update: 30th September 2013

Help with organizing a Driving license in Vietnam!

At Flamingo travel we help provide foreigners with real genuine Vietnamese driving licenses. The application takes up to 14 days without having to complete any theory exams or driving tests. The license allows you to drive up to a 175cc a motorbike. The cost is $75 for the duration of your visa or for $95 for 1 year. We can also add additional years, which costs $25 per year. In order for us to process the licence application, we will need is a scanned copy of your passport, a full driving license from your country and a full visa which you can arrange in a Vietnamese embassy in your country.


Ownership papers
When it comes to renting a bike the law has changed two months ago and you can now drive a rental bike without the papers being in your name and without having the ownership documents, just as long as the motorbike rental company has been issued the certificate by the Transportation Minister ‘s office to do so, which we have. I can guarantee most other bike shops don't.
The law also states now that you can own and drive a bike without the papers being in your name. However, you must have permission from the previous owner to do so and it has to be put in your name within 15 days after purchasing it.
If you borrow a bike from someone and you don’t have the ownership papers the police will need to contact the owner and investigate to see if it is a legitimate claim and not a rental motorbike.


Bike Insurance in Vietnam
Having the license and Insurance can help with any police matters and also most importantly with any medical insurance that you might have. Please check your insurance policy to see exactly what you are covered for. Most medical insurance covers you up to a 125cc and they also offer add on to cover a higher cc motorbike but it could be void if you don’t have a Vietnamese license and insurance in place.
If you rent a bike then the rental company has to provide you with insurance and we do but it is void without the customer having a Vietnamese license and again i can guarantee most bikes shops don't provide genuine insurance. Our bike insurance is 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] party only. Please note this insurance is very basic and I doubt you would ever have the opportunity to use it, even if you are involved in an accident, as in most cases you need to resolve the matter on the spot and not through your insurance. However, if the police are called you will be able to provide them with the valid documents, which will help your situation.
If you have any question you can leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you or email me directly: chris@flamingotravel.vn
-
FLAMINGO TRAVEL
Head office in Hanoi
Add:# 66 Dao Duy Tu Str, Hanoi , Vietnam
Tel: +84.4 3926 0938 Fax: +84.4 3926 0938
Hand phone: +84.912 214 554
Email: info@flamingotravel.vn Website: www.flamingotravel.com.vn
Skype : flamingotravel.com.vn

DSC04240.jpgDSC04243.jpgDSC04244.jpg
 

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
Bikes
4 Wheels
This is from the Offroad Vietnam website (Vietnam Motorbike Driving License | Vietnam Motorbike Rental) and not yet officially confirmed but it appears that Vietnam finally will accept the International Driving Permit as a valid driving licence in Vietnam. Not sure if the "ASEAN" driving licence will be accepted as well but it is quite easy to get and International Driving Licence in Thailand if you hold a Thai driving licence (plastic card with the size of a credit card and also know as ASEAN driving licence) with a validity of 5 years.

VIETNAM MOTORBIKE DRIVING LICENSE

The government is working on accepting international driving license from 2015 but we would need more details, instructions and time to officially confirm this good news.
 

chrisynok

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Are international license valid in Vietnam is the big question?

This is from the Offroad Vietnam website (Vietnam Motorbike Driving License | Vietnam Motorbike Rental) and not yet officially confirmed but it appears that Vietnam finally will accept the International Driving Permit as a valid driving licence in Vietnam. Not sure if the "ASEAN" driving licence will be accepted as well but it is quite easy to get and International Driving Licence in Thailand if you hold a Thai driving licence (plastic card with the size of a credit card and also know as ASEAN driving licence) with a validity of 5 years.

VIETNAM MOTORBIKE DRIVING LICENSE

The government is working on accepting international driving license from 2015 but we would need more details, instructions and time to officially confirm this good news.
LICENSE UPDATE: January 2015



  • · It’s no longer possible to convert just a car licence to a Vietnamese A1(175cc) and B1(7 seater car) following the procedure i explained in my previous post.



    · You can convert your driving license to the equivalent for the duration of your visa – It takes 7 days to process and all original documents, including a valid visa are required.



    · If you have a car license from your country of residence, you can void the theory test and just complete a practical test to get an A1 (up to 175cc) Vietnamese bike licence with no expiry date. This procedure is only available in HCMC. After the practical test is complete it takes 7 days to process the licences. This is great for expats living in Vietnam.


    Are international license valid in Vietnam is the big question?


    According to the news, from the start of January 2015 international driving licences from 72 countries are valid in Vietnam. I have read this information, from a number of different reliable sauces. However, I just got off the phone to the transportation office and I can confirm, that International licenses from 72 countries are now valid. I have yet to experience first hand or hear any feedback from our customers relating to this. I'm also interested to see, how the police in the remote areas will deal with this, as their English is limited and wouldn't be able to translate the license. Anyway, the police would always find a reason to fine you, even if you have the correct documents in place, but they do tend to leave tourists alone.
    The good news is, if tourist are coming to Vietnam to tour by motorbike, and their license is valid, it will make purchasing medical insurance a lot easier and cheaper to obtain. Soon as i have any more information from customers or the transportation office I will post it here.

    In my experience, in Vietnam nothing is straightforward, and I'm sure there will be some additional requirements and procedures to make the international license valid, but according to the transportation office, international licenses are valid to the equivalent in Vietnam, without any additional documents or procedures.
 
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