Is an international driving license valid in Vietnam?
If you want to explore the top destinations of Vietnam by motorcycle or car, you will need an international driving license. Only the 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP) is valid for use in Vietnam. Other types of international driver’s licenses, including the IAA driving license, are not.
The validity of the International Driving Permit in Vietnam has been arranged through the 1968 Vienna Convention. The convention was signed by Vietnam at August 20, 2014 and established by law in Circular No. 29/2015/TT-BGTVT dated July 6, 2015.
Where do you want to ride a motorbike in Vietnam?
What happens if I drive in Vietnam without the proper licensing?
If you are stopped by the police, you will receive a fine and your vehicle can be confiscated. Also, driving a motorcycle without the proper licensing can affect the validity of your (travel)insurance in case of an accident. This is at the driver’s own risk.
Residents of which countries can use an international driving permit (IDP) in Vietnam?
Since 2014, most foreigners are permitted to drive in Vietnam with an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can only get your IDP in your home country, the permit cannot be obtained once in Vietnam or on the road. Driving with only a motorcycle license from your home country is not sufficient.
Take note, the 1968 Convention has not been ratified by countries as Australia, Canada, Iceland, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and United States of America. This means that an International Driving Permit obtained in these countries is not valid in Vietnam.
Click here for a list of all countries who signed the 1968 Convention. IDPs from those countries are valid in Vietnam.
Is the IAA international driving license valid in Vietnam?
No, IAA’s international driving license, issued by the International Automobile Association based in the United States, is not valid in Vietnam. The police will handle presenting an IAA international driving license as a violation for not having a driving license.
What permits do I need to drive in Vietnam?
In order to legally be allowed to drive in Vietnam, you need a (1) valid A1 or A2 driving permit from your home country, in combination with a (2) International Driving Permit (1968-version). Please check which kinds of motorized vehicles you can drive in Vietnam with your driving permit:
- AM license: 2 or 3 wheeled vehicles with an engine size up to 50cc
- A1 license: you can drive light motorbikes with an engine size up to 175cc
- A2 license: you can also drive bikes in category A1, as well as motorbikes with an engine size over 175cc
- B(1) license: car
Can I apply for a Vietnamese driver’s license?
Yes, although this is not convenient if your are visiting Vietnam as a tourist / with a tourist visa. To convert your driving licence into a temporary Vietnamese driver’s licence, you’ll need to hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit of at least three month’s validity.
Foreigners wishing to apply for a Vietnamese driver’s license or motorbike license must contact the nearest Department of Transportation for official instructions.