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Friday, August 12, 2022

Driver license for foreigners working in Vietnam

Updated: 10:21’ - 05/04/2018

I am American currently working under a three-year contract in Vietnam and have a driver license in the US which has just expired. I want to be licensed to drive to work 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.

Driver license for foreigners working in Vietnam__Photo: Internet

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.

Validity duration of Vietnamese driver licenses for automobiles

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.

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.

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.

• In Ho Chi Minh City:
  252 Ly Chinh Thang street, District 3.

• In Hanoi:

  16 Cao Ba Quat street, Ba Dinh district, or 2 Phung Hung street, Ha Dong district.- (VLLF)


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