Necessary documents to apply vietnamese driver license conversion for foreigners in vietnam


Disclaimer: All listed costs, requirements, locations, và procedures are subject lớn change at any time pursuant with Vietnamese laws with little or no advance notice.

You are encouraged to verify with the Department of Transportation in the thành phố where you are located for the most up lớn date information.

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Table of Contents

1. Foreign Driver Licenses Are Not Valid in Vietnam2. International Driver Permits: A Grey Area3. Requirements for a Vietphái nam Driver’s License4. Getting Your Vietphái nam Driver’s License at the Department of Transportation5. Department of Transportation Locations in Cities of Interest6. Duration of Your Vietphái mạnh Driver’s License Limited khổng lồ Your Visa or Work Permit7. Renewing Your Vietnam giới Driver’s License8. Using Agents to lớn Process Your Paperwork9. Recent Developments in Vietnamese Traffic Laws10. Additional Tips for traveling by Car or Motorcycle in Vietnam

If you’re staying for longer than 3 months, it is advisable lớn arrange your own transportation rather than using taxis or Grab for the duration of your stay, as many short-term tourists bởi.

The time and cost investment involved in the process of acquiring a driver’s license in Vietphái nam tilts in favor of getting one the longer you plan lớn live in Vietnam.

If you do want lớn drive sầu a vehicle in Vietphái mạnh, be it a motorbike or a car, you are obligated by law khổng lồ get a driver’s license in Vietnam.

Not only is it illegal lớn drive without a valid driver’s license issued in Vietnam giới, but it also is safer for you and everyone else.

One important thing lớn rethành viên is that, without a valid driver’s license, your health insurance may not cover you in case of an accident.

Think twice before you drive sầu without the appropriate paperwork!

It should also be noted that driving a motorbike in Vietnam giới naturally carries more physical risks lớn yourself than driving a oto.

However, driving a oto has risks of its own. For example, if you get in an accident where the other party was driving a motorbike, they could be seriously injured or worse.

Even if you were not at fault, you may still get the blame for the accident no matter how much you might plead your case with the local police.


If you plan khổng lồ operate a motorbike larger than 50cc or drive a oto, you are required lớn obtain a valid driver’s license. This guide explains how khổng lồ bởi vì so.

1. Foreign Driver Licenses Are Not Valid in Vietnam

Can’t we just use our driver’s license from our own home page country và Điện thoại tư vấn it a day? The answer is generally no.

We are aware of two exceptions which both are temporary & limited in nature.

These two exceptions are ASEAN Driving Licenses and International Driving Permits governed by 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

A driver’s license from any of the other ASEAN member nations has a limited validity in Vietnam.

Of course, even if ASEAN driver’s licenses may be recognized in certain circumstances as valid in Vietnam giới, it is still best lớn obtain a local Vietnamese driver’s license as soon as you can.

Fortunately, the solution to lớn this is quite easy. You can “convert” your home page country’s license to lớn a local Vietnamese driver’s license.

How long this takes depends on whether your driver’s license already allows you khổng lồ operate a oto or a motorcycle in your home page country.

If your home country’s license already allows you to lớn drive a car or a motorcycle, you can convert it to a Vietnamese driver’s license without needing to lớn take a driving chạy thử.

However, if that isn’t the case, you will need khổng lồ pass a practical driving chạy thử.

2. International Driver Permits: A Grey Area

Vietphái mạnh is a member of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. This means that if your IDPhường is governed by that 1968 convention, it has a (limited) validity in Vietphái nam.

However, throughout recent years, we have heard of cases of traffic police telling foreigners that their IDPs governed by the 1968 convention are not valid.

The argument for using an IDP. is that it can be a decent short-term solution until you get your papers in order for a local driver’s license.

A valid 1968 IDP coupled with local insurance may be helpful in getting coverage in case of an accident.

IDP.. is never valid in your country of residence. Therefore an IDP.. is at most a temporary solution & you need lớn get a local DL as early as possible.

However, an IDP is convertible to a local Vietnamese driver license & therefore a practical tool khổng lồ make the process of acquiring a local Driving license easier.

Related reading: More information on IDPs from a foreign-run motorxe đạp rental company.

3. Requirements for a Vietphái nam Driving License

The requirements you need khổng lồ apply for a Vietnam driver’s license are as follows:

Required documents:*

One copy of your passport with the photo lớn page and the visa page (both visa and passport must be valid).One copy of your home country’s driver license, with a translated & notarized version (you would need khổng lồ take it to lớn a public notary first).Three passport size photos (approximately 4 centimet x 3 cm).135,000 VND (about $6 USD for processing fee).

Source: Vietphái mạnh Visa Immigration

*Cheông xã with the local Department of Transportation since the rules are different in each major city or province.


The total cost will be up lớn but rarely more than 500,000 VND (about $22 USD), which includes notarization, translation, photos, và licence fees.

New law as of 2020:

Minimum visa duration required in order khổng lồ get a Vietnamese driver’s license is 3 months.

In other words, if you only have sầu a 1-month tourist visa, you will not be able to lớn obtain a driver’s license (in which case, it probably would not be worth the time investment anyway).

4. Getting Your Vietnam giới Driving License at the Department of Transportation

When you have all the required documents, visit the nearest Department of Transportation in your location.

Once you hvà in your documents, they will request khổng lồ take a head photo of you for the driver’s license.

After getting your pholớn taken, they will make copies of all your documents và return the originals lớn you.

This will be about a 15-20 minute wait if it’s not a busy day at the office.

You will also pay a 30,000 VND processing fee.

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They may ask you khổng lồ come baông xã at a later date (about 5 khổng lồ 10 business days) lớn piông xã up your new license, or give sầu you the option lớn have sầu it shipped to your address.

They will give sầu you a receipt that you will need to lớn present to the office when you pichồng it up, or lớn the courier if you chose to lớn have it shipped.

If they inkhung you that you need khổng lồ take a practical driving thử nghiệm, the motorbike driving chạy thử is only 15 minutes & quite easy.

In most cases, you would not need lớn take a written theory kiểm tra if you already have a driver’s license from your trang chính country.



If you vì chưng not know how to lớn speak Vietnamese, taking a local frikết thúc with you khổng lồ translate will definitely make the process smoother.

It should also be noted that a car driving thử nghiệm may be more complex & take more time, especially if you are used lớn driving automatics, as many cars in Vietnam are manual.

5. Department of Transportation Locations in Major Cities

The following are addresses & locations in the four major cities of Vietnam where expats can apply for their driver’s licenses.

Hue – 10 Phan Boi Chau, Vinch Ninh, Hue

Da Nang – 24 Duong Tran Phu, Thach Thang, Hai Chau

Ho Chi Minch City (Saigon) – 63 Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minch City

Hanoi – 2 Duong Phung Hung, Van Quan, Ha Dong, Ha Noi

6. Duration of Your Vietphái mạnh Driving License Limited to lớn Your Visa or Work Permit

The process of getting a driver’s license in Vietnam is straightforward và usually takes about two weeks provided you have all the required documents.

However, one important thing khổng lồ be aware of is that the expiration date on your driver’s license will be limited to the duration of your visa, residency permit, work permit, or the expiration date on your home country’s license, whichever is the shordemo.

For example, suppose the driver’s license from your trang chính country doesn’t expire in five years, and your work permit is valid for two years from today’s date.

However, your visa limits your stay to only one year. In this case, your Vietphái mạnh driver’s license will have sầu an expiry date that matches the date your visa expires—in other words, it will only be valid for one year.

If you have a visa that is valid for 3 months, your driver’s license will only be valid up khổng lồ the kết thúc of that 3-month visa.

This means that if you renew your visa, you will also have lớn renew your driver’s license.

There is a possible exception—though it is not clear whether it is still being put inkhổng lồ practice: In some government offices or with some agents, you may be able to get a lifetime driver’s license as a foreigner, but you would have sầu lớn pass the theory chạy thử in Vietnamese.

Rules likely differ from province to lớn province.

7. Renewing Your Vietnam Driving License

Fortunately, renewing your driver’s license is very easy.

Each time you will only need to submit your old Vietnamese driver’s licence và your new visa, and pay for the new licence.

In some cases, they may request to lớn see your driver’s license from your home country, in which case it’s straightforward to show them the original and a certified copy (provided it has not already expired).

8. Using Agents to Process Your Paperwork

You have sầu the option khổng lồ use an agent if you can’t read or speak Vietnamese.

For a little extra money (roughly $40-70 USD), you can have an agent process the paperwork on your behalf.

They will handle the certification và notarization on your copies of your driver’s license, & fill out the application on your behalf.

You would still need lớn arrive at the Department of Transportation office lớn get a photo lớn taken, return roughly a week later to lớn piông chồng up your new license, & pay the 30,000 VND license processing fee (about $1.50 USD).

If you don’t want khổng lồ use an agent or pay extra for their services, you can still take a trusted local with you to lớn translate.

9. Recent Developments in Vietnamese Traffic Laws

In the past several months, Vietnam has been passing many new laws effective sầu this year và traffic rules are no exception.

1. Zero tolerance for drunk driving

Vietnam is taking drunk driving very seriously.

In light of a recent spate of road accidents throughout 2019, 40% of which alcohol was a factor according to lớn WHO, Vietnam recently passed the Law on Preventing Alcohol Harmful Effects effective Jan 1, 20trăng tròn.

Under the tough law, if caught driving with influence of alcohol, motorbike drivers and car drivers not only face fines of $258-345 USD và và $1,292-1,723 USD respectively, but may also have sầu their driver’s licenses suspended for up to two years.

2. Using earphones while driving is prohibited

Another new traffic rule is the prohibition of earphones use while driving.

If caught using earphones while driving, you may face the following fines:

1 to 2 million VND (about $45-90 USD).Your driver’s license may be suspended from 1 to 3 months, or up khổng lồ 4 months if there was a traffic accident involved.

10. Additional Tips for traveling by Car or Motorcycle in Vietnam

Wear a helmet if you ride a motorbike

Follow the traffic laws in Vietphái mạnh khổng lồ the best of your ability. Drive sầu with a valid license, obey traffic lights, use turn signals, and use the proper lanes.

Most importantly, wear a helmet while riding a motorbike!

DOT certified full-face helmets provide the best protection. Be aware that most helmets sold in Vietphái nam don’t provide much, if any, protection in the sự kiện of a crash.

If you don’t have sầu a DOT helmet, wear a similar one as locals vày as it’s better than nothing. Besides, it is virtually guaranteed that the police will pull you over if you drive sầu without a helmet.

Instead of driving a car, you have sầu the option of hiring a full-time driver

If you aren’t confident in navigating the chaotic traffic on Vietnamese roads or communicating with the police if anything goes wrong, you have sầu the option of hiring a local to lớn drive sầu for you on a full-time basis.

Vietphái nam has plenty of people offering a oto & a full-time driver as a packaged service, và many expats take advantage of this.

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This is a great way to shield yourselves from the financial, legal, and physical risks of driving yourselves in Vietphái mạnh. In addition, GRAB taxis are available and work very well in most cities.

Relax and enjoy!

Finally, when you’re on the road—relax, obey the laws, & enjoy! The traffic và roundabouts may get some getting used to lớn, but soon enough you will enjoy what Vietphái nam has to lớn offer outside of the tourist districts!