Who are entitled to convert foreign driver licenses into Vietnamese ones for use in the country?
Under Article 37.5 of the Ministry of Transport’s Circular 12/2017/TT-BGTVT dated April 15, 2017 (revised under Circular 38/2019/TT-BGTVT of October 8, 2019), if wishing to drive in Vietnam, the following people may convert their valid foreign driver licenses into Vietnamese driver licenses of equivalent categories:
1. Foreigners who are residing, working or studying in Vietnam, hold diplomatic identity cards, official-duty identity cards, temporary residence cards, residence cards, sojourn cards or permanent residence cards for a residence duration of at least three months;
2. Foreign tourists who drive foreign-registered vehicles into Vietnam;
3. Vietnamese nationals (bearing the Vietnamese citizenship) who return to Vietnam after a period of residing, studying or working in foreign countries and wish to use driver licenses issued by authorities of such foreign countries in Vietnam.
However, as specified in Article 37.6 of Circular 12/2017/TT-BGTVT, even if a person falls into one of the above-mentioned categories, he will still be disallowed to convert his foreign driver license into a Vietnamese one in case:
(i) His foreign driver license is a temporary driver license;
(ii) His foreign driver license is an international driving permit;
(iii) His foreign driver license has expired or is erased or torn to an extent that it no longer contains sufficient information as required or contains different driver identity features;
(iv) His foreign driver license is issued ultra vires;
(v) He is physically unfit for driving under Vietnam’s regulations; or,
(vi) He is a Vietnamese national and holds a driver license issued by the authority of a foreign country but his period residence in such country is less than three months and therefore not enough for driver training as required by the law of that country.- (VLLF)