″you’ve decided you may want to get a driver’s license in Hanoi. The good news is that it is possible. There are just a few things you need to know. But first, let’s talk about what not to do.
You will first need to know your status to start with.
Currently, it’s impossible to have a Vietnamese motorbike license if you travel on a tourist visa. You need a business visa, a work permit and/or a residence card. In fact, this also applies to registering motorbike(s) in Vietnam.
You have your home country driver’s licence and can operate either automobiles and/or motorcycles. However, you only have a tourist visa. Sadly, it’s impossible to convert to a Vietnamese driving license.
You have your home country driver’s license and can operate both automobiles and motorcycles. If this is you, you can obtain the equivalent driver’s licence in Vietnam, without the need to do a test. In short, it’s just about converting your license!
You hold your home country driver’s licence, but can only operate an automobile. If this is you, you can obtain a motorcycle licence after passing a motorcycle driving test. Luckily, there is no need to do a theory test.
You do not have any driver’s licence that allows you to operate an automobile or motorcycle. If this is you, you will need to pass both theory and driving tests to operate a motorcycle. Please note though, the theory test is in Vietnamese and on a computer screen with 20 questions and you must pass at least 18 of them. To make it more difficult, sadly you can’t have an interpreter. In other words, you need to be fluent in spoken and written Vietnamese.
You have your home country driving license with motorbike endorsement. In addition, you also have a valid international driving permit (IDP) from countries that signed 1949 Convention (found on the first page). Sadly, Vietnam doesn’t accept both of your licenses.
Converting Your Motorbike Driving License
It is the easiest way to get a Vietnam motorbike driving license. In other words, you don’t need to take any theory or riding test.
This could only be possible if you already had your home country motorbike driving license. In addition, you need to have a business visa and/or residence card of at least three month’s validity. It’s simply converting from your home country driving license to the Vietnamese license.
You need to have notarizing copies of your passport, visa and home country motorbike driving license (take 1-2 working days once you are in Vietnam). These documents can be done at any notarizing office. Then wait 7-10 days (Status 2 above) to have a your Vietnam motorbike driving license issued.
If you need a riding test (Status 3 above) then you need to wait a bit longer. Normally, they can arrange a weekly test somewhere in Hanoi. But sometime this can be longer.
In Hanoi, applications for temporary driver’s licences should be directed to the Hanoi Urban Transport Management and Operation Centre, 16 Cao Ba Quat street.
Applying For a Vietnamese Driving Licence
This is much more difficult way to get a Vietnam motorbike driving license. You need to take both theory and riding tests (Status 4 above). All questions an instructions are only in Vietnamese! You have to do this because you don’t have a valid home country car or motorbike driving license. Something like CBT from the UK is not enough.
To get a Vietnam motorbike driving license, the applicant must hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit or a work permit, a business visa of at least three month’s validity and a sponsor company. You need to have notarizing copies of your passport and visa (take 1-2 working days once you are in Vietnam). These documents are translated and notarized at any notarizing office. Then wait for your turn to do the theory and riding tests that can take up to a month.
Updated: You can try this website (https://www.e-ita.org/vietnam) to get the international driving license. They also abide by the 1968 Convention. The application process is 100% online and takes about 3 minutes including uploading a headshot.
Driver license for foreigners working in Vietnam
How can I take a driving test to have a driver license in Vietnam. What tests, driving test or traffic law test or both, will I have to take? If I have to take both driving and traffic law tests, is there an English version of traffic law test for non-Vietnamese speakers?
As a foreigner residing and working for a long term in Vietnam, you can surely obtain a driver license in Vietnam. First of all, you have to take both driving test and (road) traffic law test, even though you possess a US driver license.
A dossier you have to make for taking tests for a driver license in Vietnam must comprise:
• One photocopy of your passport.
• One photocopy of your visa/visa exemption paper which remains valid.
• Eight personal photos taken on a blue background.
• One photocopy of your driver license (PET card) for motorcycle, if any, granted in Vietnam.
A B1-class driver license is valid until the holder reaches 55 years, for women, or 60 years, for men. For drivers aged over 45 years, for women, or over 50 years, for men, a driver license is valid for 10 years.
If you have no other PET-card driver license, your B2-class driver license will be valid for 10 years.
Validity duration of Vietnamese driver licenses for automobiles
If you have another PET-card driver license, the driver license you are about to obtain will be valid until the expiration date of the previous driver license. For example: if your A1-class driver license is valid until January 1, 2020 (as your foreign driver license has been converted into a Vietnamese one, its validity duration is that of your visa or remains the same as in the US), you will be granted a B2-class driver license which will be valid until January 1, 2020.
Upon the expiration of the driver license, you may file an application to the provincial-level Transport Department for renewal according to your visa’s validity.
However, you may encounter difficulties when taking 450 traffic law test questions as well as 11-step driving test on field. You will also have to wait for a long time before you can take these tests.
Since you have a US driver license, you can apply for a renewed license in the US, then have it converted into an international driver license in Vietnam.
The choice of conversion into an international driver license can save your time and money without having to take tests. All you have to do is filling out a registration paper and basic formalities. With an international driver license, you can rent a car or hotel room without having to show your passport.
Where can i get motorbike licence in Vietnam?
- Add: 252 Ly Chinh Thang street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh.
- Add: 16 Cao Ba Quat street, Ba Dinh district, or 2 Phung Hung street, Ha Dong district.
Under the Transport Ministry’s regulations, you may convert your driver license into an international driver license in Vietnam if satisfying the following conditions:
• Being a foreigner residing, working or studying in Vietnam for at least 3 months.
• Having a foreign driver license which remains valid and is not erased and torn, and all personal identification details stated in the license.
The conversion will be carried out by the provincial-level Transport Department as soon as you show the following papers:
• Your passport.
• Your visa or temporary residence card.
• Two 3 cm x 4 cm photos.
• Your foreign driver license.
• Your temporary residence address in Vietnam.
After completing the formalities, you will receive the converted driver license within seven working days by person or by post.
The fee for driver license conversion in Vietnam is VND 135,000.
You may file a dossier of application for driver license conversion to the Transport Department of the province or city where you reside.