The International driving permit is not valid in Vietnam. All foreign visitors who wish to drive in Vietnam need to have a temporary Vietnamese driver license. To obtain the temporary Vietnamese driver license, visitor should contact any office of the Provincial Public Transportation Service of the Vietnamese Department of Communications and Transport. Any foreigner can register for a temporary driver license in Vietnam if he had a valid driver license issued by his home country. The temporary Vietnamese driver license is only granted to a visitor who have valid travel visa for a period of at least three months in Vietnam. Any applicant must submit:
  • a valid passport with 3 month visa,
  • an original driver license,
  • a petition requesting driver license,
  • a notarized copy of original driver license,
  • a Vietnamese translated copy (notarized) of original driver license,
  • a copy of passport,
  • three passport-sized photos.
To convert an International driving permit into a Vietnamese driver license, the applicant must hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit of at least three months validity.

The main Vietnamese road traffic rules:

  • Traffic moves on the right side of the road.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • The minimum age to drive trucks is 21 years.
  • Individuals aged 24 years or more are permitted to drive vehicles carrying from 10 to 30 passengers. To drive a vehicle with more than 30 passengers, a driver must be at least 27 years of age.
  • The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.05%.
  • The maximum speed for trucks is 80 km/h (50 mph), but on the most roads speed is 20km/h – 40km/h.
  • The speed limit is 30km/h – 40 km/h (19-25 mph) in urban areas and 40km/h – 60 km/h (25 – 37 mph) on rural roads.
  • The use of crash helmets for motorbike riders is mandatory.
  • The bicycle rider can carry only one passenger.
  • In urban and residential areas, drivers must not sound horns from 22:00 (10 p.m.) to 05:00 (5 a.m.), except emergency vehicles.
  • Driving and parking on the emergency lane is prohibited.
  • The police phone number is 113.

Additional information:

  • There are many tax collection stations on Vietnamese roads.
  • Motorcycles are more than the number of cars in Vietnam.
  • The city streets are busy for all 24 hours with motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians. Traffic is chaotic and accidents occur frequently.
  • Driving at night is especially dangerous as roads are poorly lit.

Vietnamese Road Vocabulary

 Driving Overseas - Short Information