Uk Idp No Longer Accepted...bugger

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by laura, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. So, my boyfriend and I head to Vietnam in 6 days to ride from Hanoi to HCM.

    This morning, I popped over to the UK Government's travel advice website to check last minute medical stuff, and spotted a note that as of December 2017 (24th, to be exact), the UK IDP is no longer accepted in Vietnam.


    We both hold full UK motorcycle licences and have arranged IDPs. We've already paid for flights, accommodation, and sorted bike hire with Flamingo as well as specialist biking holiday medical insurance.

    What the funk?

    Now, I'm not looking for anyone to tell me its ok to ride 'illegally' in Vietnam, but I guess I'm asking if we'd be bloody stupid to do so?!?
  2. Sorry, what exactly is nonsense?

    The Vietnamese authorities have advised the UK Government that, with effect from 24th December 2017, British issued IDPs are not accepted. This doesn't impact IDPs/licences from other countries, just British issued.

    Here is the info Safety and security - Vietnam travel advice - GOV.UK
  3. Are the british IDPs any different than IDPs issued in other countries?

    As far as I know there are two different «conventions» of the IDPs, namely the 1949 convention and the 1968 convention. Most western countries has afaik signed both conventions so automobile associations in these countries will issue both conventions and the countries will recognise both conventions from foreign visitors. My local automobil association office always ask me where Im going when I go there and ask for an IDP, they will then look at their list of which country has signed which IDP convention and issue the right one (hopefully, they do make mistakes in those offices as well)

    But for countries in Asia it might be a bit different. I dont know about Vietnam but for example Thailand has only signed the 1949 convention and will thus only recognise that specific one. Not that it matter much for a local brownshirt, he will hardly be able to tell the difference from a IDP and your library card. But if anything serious happens - you better have the the correct IDP.
  4. From what I understand, the UK has only signed the 1949 convention but abides by the 1968 treaty as a non-state-party. I presume it was because of this that Vietnam previously accepted British issued IDPs, but I'm now guessing that was a discretionary decision.

    The wayback machine shows the UK government website from April 2017 where it specifically says IDPs with a UK licence are accepted from Oct 2015: Safety and security - Vietnam travel advice - GOV.UK

    Now it says Vietnamese authorities have, in Dec 2017, advised that British issued IDPs are not accepted: Safety and security - Vietnam travel advice - GOV.UK

    Maybe the UK Govenernment we're originally misinformed about their position in Vietnam with the 1949/1968 issue. Or perhaps Vietnam opted to accept British 1949 IDPs on a discretionary basis due to the UK's abiding status to the 1968.

    Either way, it is quite clear now, and its put a massive headache on our holiday plans.

    Whilst I'm sure we may not face much of a problem if we get stopped randomly, its the fact our insurance etc is now likely to be deemed invalid, despite being purchased in good faith based on advice.
  5. Hi Laura,

    fact is that you need a legal drivers license. That's the way it is in GB as in all other countries.
    Fact is as well that local authorities might not always so picky about the drivers license. They might be or not. It all depends on the driver, the way the driver responds, acts, behaves.
    The police might stop you and they might have a look at your documents but as they mostly can not speak and write English you might get along with what you have as long as it looks legal. Eventually you tip a little bit. You might even get around all over Vietnam.
    The situation changes dramatically if you have an accident, specially when persons are injured. Without legal papers you are really in big trouble.
    The rental agent doesn't care about your drivers license as they just want to rent out their vehicle and eearn money. They might tell you whatever you want to hear and very often they don't know by themselves.
    I'm driving since almost three years in this country, mostly an 1975 army Jeep and I've been stopped only once. I got out of it as the police and I couldn't communicate due to the different languages. I have a local drivers license but didn't even show this one.
    I've been here with a super bike and got pulled over right after I crossed the border. Not havening any legal paper it was a serious, critical situation and only because the police didn't know how to handle the situation nothing happened. But to tell you the truth: I wouldn't count on that again.

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