Vietnamese driving licenses are mandatory for all drivers of motor vehicles as well as for riders of motorcycles with a capacity of over 50cc.
It is strongly recommended that New Zealander's consider carefully whether they should drive motor vehicles or motorcycles in Viet Nam as unfamiliarity with local driving conditions may result in serious injury, or a heavy compensation payment(s) or imprisonment as a result of any accident. Actual penalties are, of course, determined by the police and the courts. Serious accidents have occurred on motorbikes, with a high proportion of those involving head injuries. If you ride a motorbike, you should seriously consider wearing a protective helmet. It is law to wear a helmet on designated roads in Viet Nam.
How to apply for a Vietnamese driving license
New Zealander's eligible for driving licenses in Viet Nam include those who have lived, worked or studied in Viet Nam for at least three months and have legitimate driving licenses granted by their home countries.
If you have a New Zealand motor vehicle license but not a motorbike license, we recommend obtaining a Vietnamese motor vehicle license first and then apply and sit the written test for a motorbike license.
- Applicant must be at least 18 years of age
- Vietnamese visa must be for at least three months, and you must have lived, worked or studies in Viet Nam for at least three months
- You must hold a legitimate current New Zealand drivers license
To convert your New Zealand motor vehicle license into a Vietnamese motor vehicle license; the following documents are required:
- Obtain a translation of your New Zealand Drivers License into Vietnamese (it must be an exact copy of all information in the order it appears on your license).
- Have a copy in English and the translation in Vietnamese stamped by the Embassy or notarised locally, please remember to take your original license for sighting.
- Obtain four passport photos (this number could vary).
- Take all items above to the Office of Traffic and Public Works, 16 Cao Ba Quat Street, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi or 252 Ly Chinh Thang Street, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
- Obtain an application form, complete and sign the form, submit it and get it stamped there. You also need to take a copy of your visa and passport.
- It will take up to seven days from the date your application is submitted to convert your New Zealand motor vehicle license into a Vietnamese motor vehicle license. The motor vehicle license will be valid for up to five years or on the date when your New Zealand motor vehicle license expires.
To convert your Vietnamese motor vehicle license or your New Zealand motorbike license into a Vietnamese motorbike license; the following documents are required:
- Take your Vietnamese motor vehicle license or your New Zealand motorbike license (together with your original license for sighting) to 1 Quoc Tu Giam Street.
- Apply for a category A1 motorbike license, which is up to 175cc and "Khong thoi han" which means the motorbike license will never expire and is for life.
- Take two sets of forms obtained from this office and twelve passport photos (number could vary).
- Take a medical form and go to a hospital for a health check, they will provide you with a list of hospitals where you can do this.
- Obtain a written letter of introduction (in Vietnamese) from your employer to explain who you are, where you are from and you wish to obtain a Vietnamese motorbike license.
- Take this employer letter together with two copies of your passport and visa, stamped by the embassy or a local notary to 1 Quoc Tu Giam Street. They will contact you when you are required to sit your practical test.
- You will be required to sit a practical test.
- It is best to take a local with you to help guide you through the process.
- The process or required documentation above may be subject to change without notice. The New Zealand Embassy does not hold responsibility for any changes to the above process outlined above.