Exploring the landscape of Vietnam by motorbike is a must when traveling here. Why? By traveling by motorbike, you can enjoy the beauty of nature, distinctive culture, unique cuisine, and the friendliness of people here in the most authentic way.

To have an enjoyable experience when traveling in Vietnam on your own motorbike, you should consult and research carefully where you will go so that you can prepare the necessary personal items. And one of the important things you must have is an International Driving License.

A driver’s license is compulsory for the Vietnamese people. For foreigners, an International Driver’s License is required if they want to ride a motorbike in Vietnam.

Do not worry if you do not know this, I will help you learn all about the International Driving License in Vietnam through this article.

Traveling By Motorbike In Vietnam
Traveling By Motorbike In Vietnam

What is an international drivers’ license in Vietnam?

An IDP/IDL(an international driver’s permit/international driver’s license) is a type of driver’s license that allows foreigners to use when traveling to another country without having to change to the driving license of the host country. Vietnam now accepts international licenses of 85 countries participating in the Vienna Convention 1968.

If you are a citizen of one of the 85 countries participating in the Vienna Convention, you can use an International Driving License to drive in Vietnam. In case you are not a citizen of the countries participating in the Vienna Convention, it is necessary to carry out the procedures to convert your national driving license to the International Driving License. Learn more about Driving License Conversion in Vietnam.

In case of not carrying the national driving license, you will be punished under Decree 100/2019 / ND-CP, the specific penalties are as follows:

– A fine of between VND 800,000 and VND 1.2 million shall be imposed on drivers of 2-wheelers with a cylinder capacity of under 175 cm3 (Point b, Clause 5, Article 21).

– A fine of VND 3-4 million for the driver of a 2-wheel vehicle with a cylinder capacity of over 175 cm3 (Point c, Clause 7, Article 21).

– A fine of VND 4-6 million for the driver of a car and similar vehicles (Point c, Clause 8, Article 21).

What you need to note before changing your national driving license into an international driver’s license

Foreigners in Vietnam can buy and register an International Driving License to be able to legally drive a car or ride a motorbike in Vietnam. The required procedure is:

  • Valid passport.
  • Letter of introduction from the Vietnamese agency managing the office/company or foreign individual
  • Valid sales documents.

Any foreigner who has an international driving license or national driving license (issued by a foreign country)which is still valid will be allowed to change into the Vietnamese driving license with the same validity period as the driving license issued in the home country.

But remember that your license does not exceed the time limit prescribed for a Vietnamese driving license (from 3-5 years). Procedures for changing driver licenses are carried out at the Vietnam Road Administration or the Provincial and Municipal Transport and Public Works Services.

However, you need to note 2 things:

  1. The International Driver’s License is only valid for traveling, visiting relatives, short-term business trips.
  2. The International Driver’s License is not valid for immigration purposes.

Time to change the international driver’s license and costs

When you have all the necessary documents for the conversion of an international driver’s license, you can contact the Vietnam General Department of Roads to convert your driver’s license. 

Or you can go to a reputable service company and hire their services. You will find dozens of companies that help to convert your driving license in Vietnam. An outstanding name we want to mention here is BM Travel Adventure – one of the most prestigious travel companies in Hanoi. If you rent their motorbikes or take a Vietnam motorbike tour here, they will provide you with this service for free. All you need to do is contact them and prepare the necessary documents.

Benefits of having an international drivers license in Vietnam

Some highlights

  • An international driver’s license that is as meaningful as your local domestic license is translated into the international language and used more widely. It is valid for use in 192 countries around the world.
  • You do not need a domestic driving test to get an international driver’s license. This is considered the most favorable point for people who want to own an international driver’s license without having enough time to take the international driver’s license test.
  • An international driver’s license is also used as a passport. Owning an international driver’s license, the cardholder can easily rent a hotel or do other procedures upon request of Passport confirmation. This is a very special feature that not any other card can do except the international driver’s license.

When you violate traffic laws

When you violate traffic laws, presenting legal documents will help you avoid trouble with the police. All procedures will take place faster if you already have an IDL.

When you have an accident

When you encounter a serious accident, the police will quickly appear and solve it. After their small investigation, they will determine who must be responsible for.

In this case, having a valid driver’s license and legal documents will be beneficial to you. As we mentioned above, a driver’s license is like a passport, it will help the police identify you when you have an accident.

Insurance enterprises are not entitled to compensation for damage in the following cases:

  • The intentional act of causing damage to the car owner, driver or victim.
  • Drivers who cause accidents intentionally flee without fulfilling the civil liability of their owners or motorized drivers
  • Driving without a driving license or an inappropriate driving license. If the driver has his/her driving license revoked for a definite or indefinite period, it shall be regarded as an invalid driving license.

In conclusion 

Now you reach the end of this article. I hope that my article can help you with more understanding of the International Driving License in Vietnam. Hope that you will have a Vietnam motorbike trip full of fun, joy, and safety. Thank you and see you next time.

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