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Is converting foreign driver’s licenses required in Vietnam?

Thursday, March 14, 2024, 08:17 GMT+7
Is converting foreign driver’s licenses required in Vietnam?
Illustrative photo: Ngoc Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Do foreigners intending to drive in Vietnam need to convert their driver’s license into a Vietnamese version, or can they utilize an international driver’s license?

For that question, lawyer Hoang Van Chien from the Hanoi Bar Association responded “unnecessary,” albeit with certain conditions.

Particularly, if a foreigner possesses a valid International Driver’s License issued by the competent authorities of countries participating in the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, they are not required to obtain a Vietnamese driver’s license, pursuant to the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport’s Circular 12/2017/TT-BGTVT.

This stipulation also applies to Vietnamese residing abroad who wish to drive in Vietnam.

Additionally, Article 11 of the transport ministry’s Circular 29/2015/TT-BGTVT requires individuals with International Driving Permits (IDPs) issued by Vienna Convention signatory countries to carry their IDP and national driver’s license with endorsements for the class of vehicle they drive in Vietnam.

If a foreigner does not fall into the aforementioned category, they must complete the necessary procedures to convert their license to a Vietnamese driver’s license in order to legally drive in Vietnam.

Vietnam joined the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 2014, but it only commenced the conversion and issuance of driver’s licenses to foreigners in 2016.

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