According to Vietnamese law, when residing in Vietnam, you will need to hold a Vietnam driving license to drive on the roads. And to have it, you can convert your current national driving license to the Vietnam driving license or apply for the test to get one. A motorcycle endorsement is needed if you want to ride the motorcycle.
For travelers and tourists who stay in Vietnam for a short period, there are no clear rules or laws prohibiting or allowing their ride on the roads. Vietnam has only recently accepted International Driving Permit issued by the countries signed in the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic. If you are not on the list of these countries, you cannot drive in Vietnam because you cannot convert your home country license into a Vietnam license with a tourist visa (short-term, under three months). In this case, if you want to explore Vietnam, you can opt for a motorbike ride with i Tour Vietnam city tours.
Vietnam has issued a decree (effective since 2015) to legalize the use of an International Driving Permit (IDP) in the country. If you are from a country listed in the 1968 Convention agreement, all you need to do is bring this document and your national driving license with you in case you have to present them to the police and the authorities. You won’t need to convert the license to a Vietnamese license. However, the IDP issued under the 1949 Convention is not recognized in Vietnam, unfortunately.
When using the IDP in Vietnam, there are two things you should remember:
1. the endorsement of your driving license need to be of the vehicles you want to drive. For example, your driving license and IDP saying you can drive cars only, so in Vietnam, you can only drive cars not motorcycles, and vice versa.
2. and the other important thing is the validity of your IDP. If your IDP is expired, you cannot use it in Vietnam either. In that case, you will have to renew it or apply for the test to take a Vietnam license (for residents longer than three months).
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Vietnam Driving License Class A1
A1: motorcycle with engine size from 50cc to 175cc
A2: motorcycle with engine size larger than 175cc
A must-have condition for all of the cases is that you have to acquire a Vietnam visa for stay longer than three months. If you don’t have it, the only way you can drive in Vietnam is the IDP.
First Scenario. If you have a driving license with a motorcycle endorsement, all you need to do is convert it.
Converting to Vietnam Motorcycle License Process | How to Get a Motorcycle License in Vietnam:
1. For Residents in Vietnam
Send a copy of all of the following documents to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam or the Department of Transportation close to where you reside:
• Convert license request form
• Translation of the national license that is notarized by the authorized notary offices or Embassy, Consulate in Vietnam where the translator works
• Copy of passport (pages of passport number, your name and picture, expire date, and Vietnam visa/custom stamp marker), residence card/documents
• You will have to take a picture at the place you submit and present the original of those documents.
2. Tourists Driving from Other Countries to Vietnam
Send a copy of all of the following documents to the Department of Transportation:
• Convert license request form
• Translation of national license that is certified by authorized notary offices or Embassy, Consulate in Vietnam where the translator works
• Copy of the documents of entry and exit of Ministry of Police or copy of passport (number, name and picture, expire date, and the page that certified your entry to Vietnam)
• 1 picture of 3x4 cm, blue background
• You will have to present the original of those documents to verify when receiving the driving license.
Convert license request form (Appendix 20)
After 5 working days, you should be able to get the Vietnam license.
It is valid for the vehicles you are qualified to drive with your national license. The license is valid for the period of time stated in your visa, before your national license expires and before Vietnam license expires. For tourists from other countries coming to Vietnam, the license is valid for the period of time stated in their visa and before Vietnam license expires.
Second Scenario. If you have a driving license but don’t have a motorcycle endorsement, you will need to pass the motorcycle riding test without taking the theory test.
Figure 8 Riding
Third Scenario. If you don’t have a driving license, you will have to take both motorcycle riding and a theory test.
Notes: All of the questions and answers in the theory test are in Vietnamese and you cannot have any assistance during the exam, so you will have to be fluent in Vietnamese enough to take the test about traffic laws and riding skills.
Applying for the test | How to Get a Motorcycle License in Vietnam:
1. Conditions to take the test:
• You will have to register with a training center to take the test. During the training, you will have a 12-hour course for an A1 license (7 hours of theory and 5 hours of practice) or a 32-hour course for an A2 license (12 hours of theory and 20 hours of practice).
• Residents in Vietnam
2. Registration process:
You will have to submit to your training center:
• Training and test request form
• Copy of passport (over 6-month till expiration), residence card (temporary or permanent)
• Health check-up result
And your training center will send these documents to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam or Department of Transport along with their test request list which should have your name on it.
Training and test request form (Appendix 7)
Within ten days after the theory and field test (carried out in one day), you should be able to receive the result and granted the license.
It could be tedious with all the process but the good news is Vietnam license for A1 and A2 Class is perpetual, you don’t have to renew it.
|Grant/convert license||VND 135,000|
|Theory test||VND 40,000|
|Riding skills test||VND 50,000|
|Theory training fee||VND 50,000|
|Riding skills fee||VND 20,000|
Table of fees regarding convert and grant new Vietnam Driving License
Get a travel insurance plan for your trip to Vietnam:
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I have Vietnam license A1 but would like A2 to buy a bigger motorbike. Can you help upgrade my license or arrange a test?
I have a full motorcycle license from the UK, how much is it to convert to an international license?
I want to buy a bigger bike in VN
from what ive seen some people save had success and other documentation says they UK never signed the 1968 papers only the 1949 ones whicn vietnam does not accept. if you are on a touist visa. also not going to happen unless you apply for a temp licence. they are expensive and only last a couple of months. good luck though, post how you got on!