In Vietnam, bikes play an essential role in transportation. Naturally, having a driver’s license is crucial for most bikers.
If you’re planning to ride a bike in Vietnam, be aware that Vietnam no longer recognizes foreign driving licenses due to recent legal changes. Only International Driving Permits and Vietnamese bike licenses are valid. Continue reading to gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s driving license regulations.
IDL – 1968 Convention International Driving License
Starting August 1st, 2016, Vietnam introduced the IDL (International Driving License) in line with the 46/2016/ND-CP decree. This is a welcome development. However, it’s limited to just 3 countries as per the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic concerning IDPs. For validation, it’s imperative to carry both your original driving license from your home country and an appropriate motorcycle qualification. By doing so, you ensure your riding activities in Vietnam are lawful.
IDP – 1949 Convention International Driving Permit
Several countries, such as Australia, UK, USA, and Canada, recognize the 1949 Geneva Convention rather than the 1968 Convention. Regrettably, if you hail from one of these nations, your IDPs won’t be valid for riding motorbikes in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, if you’re riding a motorbike with an engine capacity exceeding 50cc, you must possess either a Vietnam motorbike license or an International Driving License. For bikes with a capacity under 175cc, an A1 license is required, while those over 175cc necessitate an A2 license.
Vietnamese Driving License Status
Currently, for tourists in Vietnam, obtaining a motorbike license appears to be an unattainable task solely with a tourist visa. The essential prerequisites are a business visa, a work permit, or a residence card. These are also necessary for the registration of motorbikes within the country.
Status 1: While possession of a driving license from your home country does permit you to drive cars or motorbikes, this is often the sole documentation tourists have. Regrettably, as of the present moment, there isn’t a mechanism in place to convert an international driving license into a Vietnamese motorbike license.