How to be legitimate in Vietnam. Drivng license - Bike Insurance - Ownership papers

Discussion in 'Vietnam - Road Trip Reports' started by chrisynok, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. chrisynok

    chrisynok Ol'Timer

    Help with organizing a Driving license in Vietnam!
    At Flamingo travel we help provide foreigners with real genuine Vietnamese driving licenses. The application takes up to 14 days without having to complete any theory exams or driving tests. The license allows you to drive up to a 175cc a motorbike. The cost is $130 and is valid for 1 year. We can also add additional years, which costs $25 per year. In order for us to process the licence application, we will need is a scanned copy of your passport, a full driving license from your country and a full visa which you can arrange in a Vietnamese embassy in your country.

    Ownership papers
    When it comes to renting a bike the law has changed two months ago and you can now drive a rental bike without the papers being in your name and without having the ownership documents, just as long as the motorbike rental company has been issued the certificate by the Transportation Minister ‘s office to do so, which we have. I can guarantee most other bike shops don't.
    The law also states now that you can own and drive a bike without the papers being in your name. However, you must have permission from the previous owner to do so and it has to be put in your name within 15 days after purchasing it.
    If you borrow a bike from someone and you don’t have the ownership papers the police will need to contact the owner and investigate to see if it is a legitimate claim and not a rental motorbike.

    Bike Insurance in Vietnam
    Having the license and Insurance can help with any police matters and also most importantly with any medical insurance that you might have. Please check your insurance policy to see exactly what you are covered for. Most medical insurance covers you up to a 125cc and they also offer add on to cover a higher cc motorbike but it could be void if you don’t have a Vietnamese license and insurance in place.
    If you rent a bike then the rental company has to provide you with insurance and we do but it is void without the customer having a Vietnamese license and again i can guarantee most bikes shops don't provide genuine insurance. Our bike insurance is 3[sup]rd[/sup] party only. Please note this insurance is very basic and I doubt you would ever have the opportunity to use it, even if you are involved in an accident, as in most cases you need to resolve the matter on the spot and not through your insurance. However, if the police are called you will be able to provide them with the valid documents, which will help your situation.


    If you have any question you can leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you or email me directly:

    Head office in Hanoi
    Add:# 66 Dao Duy Tu Str, Hanoi , Vietnam
    Tel: +84.4 3926 0938 Fax: +84.4 3926 0938
    Hand phone: +84.912 214 554
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  3. purcitron

    purcitron Member

    good info.
    -so an international drivers (moto) license is not sufficient?
    -what is the approximate cost of insurance, including medical, for 10 days please?
  4. chrisynok

    chrisynok Ol'Timer

    LICENSE UPDATE: January 2015

    · It’s no longer possible to convert just a car licence to a Vietnamese A1(175cc) and B1(7 seater car) following the procedure i explained in my previous post.

    · You can convert your driving license to the equivalent for the duration of your visa – It takes 7 days to process and all original documents, including a valid visa are required.

    · If you have a car license from your country of residence, you can void the theory test and just complete a practical test to get an A1 (up to 175cc) Vietnamese bike licence with no expiry date. This procedure is only available in HCMC. After the practical test is complete it takes 7 days to process the licences. This is great for expats living in Vietnam.

    Are international license valid in Vietnam is the big question?

    According to the news, from the start of January 2015 international driving licences from 72 countries are valid in Vietnam. I have read this information, from a number of different reliable sauces. However, I just got off the phone to the transportation office and I can confirm, that International licenses from 72 countries are now valid. I have yet to experience first hand or hear any feedback from our customers relating to this. I'm also interested to see, how the police in the remote areas will deal with this, as their English is limited and wouldn't be able to translate the license. Anyway, the police would always find a reason to fine you, even if you have the correct documents in place, but they do tend to leave tourists alone.
    The good news is, if tourists are coming to Vietnam to tour by motorbike, and their license is valid, it will make purchasing medical insurance a lot easier and cheaper to obtain.

    In my experience, in Vietnam nothing is straightforward, and I'm sure there will be some additional requirements and procedures to make the international license valid, but according to the transportation office, international licenses are valid to the equivalent in Vietnam, without any additional documents or procedures.

    Soon as i have any more information from customers or the transportation office I will post it here.

    Medical Insurance:

    This is something you need to arrange from your country of residence. If your international driving license is valid in Vietnam, it will certainly make life a lot easy and cheaper when purchasing travel medical insurance. Most insurance companies will require you to abide by the law or it will void your insurance. If you can't abide by the law, you would have to take out a specialist insurance, which will be more expensive but will most likely cover you for driving illegally in Vietnam.

    If your license is valid in Vietnam, it still doesn't mean you are driving completely legal. Like most countries, Vietnam is no different, and you are required to have bike insurance, bike ownership papers and the bike has to be registered in your name, which is impossible to do unless you are a resident here.

    The new law states, if you borrow a friends bike they have to be able to validate that they authorized you to drive it with their permission, and the ownership papers must be in their name, which on most occasions it's not. Its common here for locals to buy bikes without transferring the ownership papers into their name.

    Legal registered tour rental companies, are legally allowed to rent out bikes up to any cc, as long as the papers are real and in the tour operators owners name. Its required that all rental bikes should come with basic 3[sup]rd[/sup] party insurance, but its so basic that you could never make a claim. However, it allows you to drive legally to validate your travel medical insurance.

    Alot of rental / tour companies here in Vietnam are not legal registered tour operators and if they are, there's a possibility some of their bikes are not registered in their name.

    In Vietnam fake papers are common here especially for the bigger bikes. The likely reason that a lot of bigger bikes have fake papers are because the original owners didn't want to pay the high tax load, so smuggled the bikes in illegally, and because bigger bikes aren't common here, papers from a different lower cc bike are used instead. However, the engine is clearly a lot bigger, and the serial numbers don't match and the papers only match the number plate. This can cause complications if the police are involved or are required to be involved with the claim. With regards to being stopped by the police to check and validate legality by the police, then they tend to leave tourists alone.

    Check list when renting a bike in Vietnam:

    • Check to see if the rental company is a legal certified registered tour operator
    • Check to see if the bikes are in their name and make sure the bike has the correct registered engine size cc.
    • Check the engine number, frame serial number, number plate all match the blue card ownership papers.
    • Check and ask them to produce the bikes 3rd party basic insurance
    • Check and read their contact thoroughly to avoid being scammed for over priced bike damage

    If you ever have to make a medical travel insurance claim, its always best to avoid saying it was related to a bike, but on some occasions the police are, or have to be involved so it can become difficult to say that.

    Always best to try to do things the legal correct way when visiting any country and always read your medical insurance policy thoroughly to avoid any potential complication if you have to make a claim.

  5. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    I did read from another forum where person went to Vung Tau police station asking if his IDL was valid and they looked it and as it did not say "Vietnam" in it they said it was not valid, but they did show another what did had text "Vietnam" and they said it was valid in Vietnam.
    There are 2 IDL (Geneve 1949 and Wien 1968.) it seems Vietnam only ratified IDL from 1968.

    Is there now a way to get A2 if you have full european license??
  6. chrisynok

    chrisynok Ol'Timer

    From the start of January 2015 international driving licences from 72 countries are valid in Vietnam.

    It's possible to arrange an A2 license in HCMC but it requires a lot of time to wait for the availability of the practical test and you also are required to have a A1 (upto 175cc) license already in place. However, If your European license is already valid in Vietnam it might not be worth trying to get the A2.

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