A2 License and Foreign License Conversion:

Hey guys, anyone Interested in converting your existing foreign car or motorcycle license to a Vietnamese license? Keep reading the following for the current information. (as of December 2018)

Some background for you: I’m in the country as a tourist. My job requires frequent travel across the globe, so I don’t work in Vietnam. I’ve been here almost a year; a couple of weeks at a time.

After trying to figure out how to drive an A2 motorcycle 100% legally in Vietnam, I finally figured it out! I had of course searched the web for relevant information, but there seems to be a fair amount of confusion on the matter; as I understand it, partly because there was a change of procedures and laws a few years ago. Even several motorcycle dealers said that it couldn’t be done. (perhaps because I’m not a resident?) As I was shopping for a “real motorcycle”, I was researching my options. Most said just to carry some “coffee money”. I of course had my “American” International Driver’s Permit to legitimize my “American” license; which may be “legal”-as Vietnam recognizes the (insert formal name here) treaty- but it’s usually not recognized by the traffic police. I wasn’t concerned while riding a scooter, but I wanted to be legit before purchasing a motorcycle requiring an A2 license.

The following instructions are based solely on my personal experience. I started with knowledge of a fabled “conversion office” from a fellow expat (Perhaps I had missed this as I was mostly searching for information pertaining to A2 licenses.) and the help of my Vietnamese fiancé. Cost may vary a little as this is Vietnam. We were learning as we went, so we took a few missteps: I’ve organized the instructions in a efficient order, but you never know what might throw them off.

As I’ve already stated, I already had an “American” driver’s license, which included a motorcycle endorsement. About a week or so later I had my Vietnamese drivers license, including car (B1) and motorcycle (A2, larger than 175cc)

Please note: I’ve included specific locations in HCMC. There may be other, closer options for you, but I wanted you to be able to follow my instructions with as little uncertainty as possible.

Taking a buddy to translate is highly recommended.


Here are the steps:

1) go to the district 3 People’s Committee:

99 Trần Quốc Thảo, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

2) take a number. Press the 3rd button for translation service. (Button 1 is for picking up something already translated. We didn’t know this and sat for about 45 minutes before figuring it out.)

3) after getting a number, go get the your license copied. (Same floor.) this is the only thing you will need copies of to get the translation made.

4) After your number is called; go requests he translation. (320k VND for fast translation. (Apx. 1 hour.) The fast service may only be available before 11am if I understood correctly.

3) now that you have more time, go make copies of visa, passport, and after receiving it, the translation of drivers license. X2 of each. Or you can do this somewhere else if you desire.

4) After you have the translation and required copies, take the papers to the Department of Transport:

252 Lý Chính Thắng, Phường 9, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh

5) Fill out 1 form, submit the copies, and pay 60k, if I remember correctly. Then have your picture taken.

6) Decide to either return and pick up your license in a week or so, or have them mail it to you. (There is a postal desk there.)

7) Wait. Drink some Coffee.


Hopefully this has helped you. I’ll respond to questions as I can, but currently I’m vacationing in the North and only posted this because I had forgotten to months ago.


Cheers,
Daniel

Great post. Doing the same when my new visa arrives.

I used a fixer named Minh Minh for an A1, he is in the Facebook saigon motorbike group. Already having a motorcycle qualification (weekend class for $250 in California) on my home country driver's license, he charged $35 for A1, $300 for A2. No tests to take.

I gave him photo of passport and driver's license, a week later I had to meet him outside the government office. I took his paperwork inside, paid a fee, not much, at the window, came outside, paid Minh $35 for A1. Except the government gave me A2.

Note: My Viet license expires when my home country license expires, so I'll have to repeat process next year.
Note: There is also a lifetime driver's license you can get, I think you have to take a test, I dunno.

gobot :

I used a fixer named Minh Minh for an A1, he is in the Facebook saigon motorbike group. Already having a motorcycle qualification (weekend class for $250 in California) on my home country driver's license, he charged $35 for A1, $300 for A2. No tests to take.

I gave him photo of passport and driver's license, a week later I had to meet him outside the government office. I took his paperwork inside, paid a fee, not much, at the window, came outside, paid Minh $35 for A1. Except the government gave me A2.

Note 1: My Viet license expires when my home country license expires, so I'll have to repeat process next year.
Note 2: There is also a lifetime driver's license you can get, I think you have to take a test, I dunno.
Note 3: Laws change all the time here, expect this thread to go obsolete.

gobot :

Note: My Viet license expires when my home country license expires, so I'll have to repeat process next year.

Now that bit of information sucks.  I renewed my Driver's License in February when I was home as it expires March 22 and I won't be in the US again until May.  The state has to now mail them to our home address and after processing and mail it didn't make it until after I left.

SteinNebraska :
gobot :

Note: My Viet license expires when my home country license expires, so I'll have to repeat process next year.

Now that bit of information sucks.  I renewed my Driver's License in February when I was home as it expires March 22 and I won't be in the US again until May.  The state has to now mail them to our home address and after processing and mail it didn't make it until after I left.

Many licenses expire per your visa, if you have a 3-month visa, the license only lasts for 3-months.

The process that was given for the A2 is the same for the A1 and car license.

colinoscapee :

Many licenses expire per your visa, if you have a 3-month visa, the license only lasts for 3-months.

The process that was given for the A2 is the same for the A1 and car license.

Yes, I was aware of this and that's the reason I waited to get the license thus far.  My current visa expires April 1.  My new one is due to arrive next week (one year DT Visa) and I was going to get the A2 license then.  This new news pushed it yet another month.

To bring my commentary to a close I went with my wife yesterday and followed the instructions in the original post exactly it worked perfectly. On the final step waiting to pick up my A2 license on June 5.

Hey SteinN, I’m glad to hear it went well.

Were the money amounts correct? It had been some time between doing the conversion and writing up the instructions.

Also, for anyone who didn’t notice, my numbering of the steps was a little inconsistent. Haha! When I realized it, it was too late to edit.

The one hour service was in fact 320K but they are all in a meeting so we got four hour service for the same price.  Lucky us.

Had we agreed to wait until the next day it would have been 170K instead of 320K but I didn't want to come back.  The A2 license itself was 135K VND.

New development - I went to get my license renewed today.  Everything was going along fine until I got to the second location with all of the copies and translation and they asked for a copy of my police registration certificate.  I wasn't aware of this new development and don't have it so I couldn't finish the application today.  My wife is calling the landlord to get one for me.  I don't have one for this house.

Moral of the story... wife knows best 😉
Always handy to have a local especislly one you can trust go with you

Oh, she went with me.  She didn't know that the rule had changed, either.  I didn't need it last March when I got my first one.  Lady behind the counter told her it was a recent change.

SteinNebraska :

New development - I went to get my license renewed today.  Everything was going along fine until I got to the second location with all of the copies and translation and they asked for a copy of my police registration certificate.  I wasn't aware of this new development and don't have it so I couldn't finish the application today.  My wife is calling the landlord to get one for me.  I don't have one for this house.

Sounds like the landlord is trying to bypass the green mafia.

Silly question... whats is A2 licence ?

Jlgarbutt :

Silly question... whats is A2 licence ?

Bikes over 175cc.

colinoscapee :

Sounds like the landlord is trying to bypass the green mafia.

No, he's a good guy.  He is on the spot here fixing anything immediately.  He did get it for my wife and daughter when they needed it to enroll for school here.  He will get it done.  It's actually his brother's house who lives in Australia.  He just takes care of it for him so he isn't spending "his money".  I never asked for it before.  I know they are supposed to do it automatically but I didn't care.

Last week I went to the same place, and it took me about less than 20 minutes to finish process submit my paper works. I didn't go to people community to get the translation, and I used Translation service company to get it,  It cost me around  150K VND + 135k VND for paperwork + 30K VND for the postal service.

Contem talk :

I didn't go to people community to get the translation, and I used Translation service company to get it,  It cost me around  150K VND + 135k VND for paperwork + 30K VND for the postal service.

Don't get me started on that one.  I heard about it from my wife sitting there in front of the office the several times during the 35 minute wait for translation that she could have done it yesterday herself without a wait.  I didn't know that could be done so it wasn't even on my radar.  I just blindly followed the directions above.  I can't base it on her getting a license as they don't have any translations required.

SteinNebraska :
colinoscapee :

Sounds like the landlord is trying to bypass the green mafia.

No, he's a good guy.  He is on the spot here fixing anything immediately.  He did get it for my wife and daughter when they needed it to enroll for school here.  He will get it done.  It's actually his brother's house who lives in Australia.  He just takes care of it for him so he isn't spending "his money".  I never asked for it before.  I know they are supposed to do it automatically but I didn't care.

Ive had friends evicted due to owners not registering them, mind you, it was in a smaller city where old habits are hard to kill.

Just checked.  Sounds like I'll have it tomorrow.

Is it me or are there a lot less tay driving around now?

Has there been a clamp down on drivers without licenses?

I saw the scariest thing last week, traffic police waving down drivers with a stun gun threatening anyone who tries to do a runner.

Do you know the process of adding an A2 status on a currency Vietnamese A1 License? I have my Vietnamese A1 License but want to driver a bigger bike.

Ren1818 :

Do you know the process of adding an A2 status on a currency Vietnamese A1 License? I have my Vietnamese A1 License but want to driver a bigger bike.

It will be easy or almost impossible based on your answer to one question:

Do you have a motorcycle endorsement on a current valid US driver's license?

If so it would be easier to just get a new license with A2.
If not you have to pass a written test, only available in Vietnamese, and then pass a driving test where the instructor will tell you what to do, again in Vietnamese.

Thank you for the reply. I don’t have a motorcycle license from back home. I officially have an A1 License as of today with the help from my Vietnamese GF. Didn’t have to take the written exam only had to do the practical since I translated my US DL for cars to a Vietnamese one. I wonder if she can sit with me and translate everything for the A2 written and practical exam? 🤔 Will ask her to call and check. If not then I’m going to have to look into using a DL agent which charge an arm and a leg. 😢

If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Hopefully it will be cheaper since I already have my A1. 🤞

If anyone is interested in getting a Vietnamese A1 License here is the site that explained everything to me and was overall very accurate. Please not I’m not affiliated with this site, just giving a friendly recommendation to anyone interested. Total cost for me was a little under 1,000,000 VND, it did take quite a bit of my time but I have plenty of that not so much money though 😅

mysaigoncity.com/vietnam-driving-license/

A2 tends to be a different animal.  I do know that some of the motorcycle dealers that sell bigger cc bikes have a proce$$ that can get a foreigner an A2 license.  If I remember correctly it was around 7,000,000.  I read about it on a dealer site.

Thank you so much for letting me know about this option.

I know some foreigners that were able to pay an agent to get them a lifetime A2 license for about 5 mill but that was near the end of last year before Covid hit. Things have changed quite a bit since then.

My GF, who helped me get my A1, talked to the Vocational Colleges 7, where I took my practical exam, and was told that I could pay about 1 mill to take a Vietnamese class that will teach me how to pass the theory test and the practical exam. It's a 2 day course but all in Vietnamese, which sadly I know nothing of. They did say that the test is 20 questions, multi choice, and done on the computer. Have to get at lease 18 correct to pass. I can take both the written and practical as many times as I want after the course, paying an additional 50k for each additional written and 100k for each additional practical.

Anyway, thanks again for telling me about the dealer option. I'm going to buy a new Honda, hopefully the dealer can recommend some agents.

Ren1818 :

Thank you so much for letting me know about this option.

I know some foreigners that were able to pay an agent to get them a lifetime A2 license for about 5 mill but that was near the end of last year before Covid hit. Things have changed quite a bit since then.

My GF, who helped me get my A1, talked to the Vocational Colleges 7, where I took my practical exam, and was told that I could pay about 1 mill to take a Vietnamese class that will teach me how to pass the theory test and the practical exam. It's a 2 day course but all in Vietnamese, which sadly I know nothing of. They did say that the test is 20 questions, multi choice, and done on the computer. Have to get at lease 18 correct to pass. I can take both the written and practical as many times as I want after the course, paying an additional 50k for each additional written and 100k for each additional practical.

Anyway, thanks again for telling me about the dealer option. I'm going to buy a new Honda, hopefully the dealer can recommend some agents.

Hi, I did the A1 test at the main test center yep I paid 3.5mill 12th December 2018, everything was through a local guy, on the practise day there was around 12 of us jumping on the bikes and doing the test track, we were briefed about the computer part of the test, on the test day we as a group were put through the test track then sent up stairs to wait,, we were the last ones to do the test.
After the test we went down and handed out printed out test answers to the guys in the test booth.

12 days later I got my shiny life time A1 VN licence, well worth the money as every policeman that has stopped me for some random excuse just shakes his head hands my licence, blue card and insurance back and waves me off bcause he cant fine me for having no licence or insurance, just love the sad eyes as I wave him goodbye with huge grin.

Sad to hear you cant do it now if thats the case, I also have converted my car licence so I have both A1 & B2 VN licence.

When buying a used motorbike is it recommended that the seller sign a title transfer form? Is there such form?

I want to buy a used but pretty new Honda CB150R or CB300R, depending on how my A2 License goes. The 150 goes for about 80M VND and the 300 goes for about 110M VND.

I will for sure have the bike checked out by a professional mechanic before buying. Will use this company’s service.

https://truongdaotaolaixehcm.com/en/bo- … a-bang-a2/

If anyone has any tips or recommendations on buying a relatively high priced motorcycle, please let me know.

Also, a friend recommended using The service of someone through FB, who’s also an expat, for my A2. 6M VND, not theory or practical exam, just get the card and after about a month my license info can be verified on Vietnam’s transportation website:

https://gplx.gov.vn/default.aspx

You put your DL # and birthdate on the top right and then you can see your info in the system. My B2 checks out. I’m still waiting to pick up my A1 from the transportation office but will verify that card once I have it.

Just wanted to give an update on my quest for my A2 license. I haven’t found anyone that help thus far. Had lots of leads but all of them have said that they can’t do it right now because the cops are cracking down. I did manage to finally pick up my A1 license last week but they misspelled my name. 😂 they will be shipping a new one to me sometime in the next 2 weeks. All, I was surprised and happy to find out that my A1 license is a lifetime license ✊. Thought it would expire based on my TRC but I lucked out.

DannyBoy_83 :

Hey guys, anyone Interested in converting your existing foreign car or motorcycle license to a Vietnamese license? Keep reading the following for the current information. (as of December 2018)

Some background for you: I’m in the country as a tourist. My job requires frequent travel across the globe, so I don’t work in Vietnam. I’ve been here almost a year; a couple of weeks at a time.

After trying to figure out how to drive an A2 motorcycle 100% legally in Vietnam, I finally figured it out! I had of course searched the web for relevant information, but there seems to be a fair amount of confusion on the matter; as I understand it, partly because there was a change of procedures and laws a few years ago. Even several motorcycle dealers said that it couldn’t be done. (perhaps because I’m not a resident?) As I was shopping for a “real motorcycle”, I was researching my options. Most said just to carry some “coffee money”. I of course had my “American” International Driver’s Permit to legitimize my “American” license; which may be “legal”-as Vietnam recognizes the (insert formal name here) treaty- but it’s usually not recognized by the traffic police. I wasn’t concerned while riding a scooter, but I wanted to be legit before purchasing a motorcycle requiring an A2 license.

The following instructions are based solely on my personal experience. I started with knowledge of a fabled “conversion office” from a fellow expat (Perhaps I had missed this as I was mostly searching for information pertaining to A2 licenses.) and the help of my Vietnamese fiancé. Cost may vary a little as this is Vietnam. We were learning as we went, so we took a few missteps: I’ve organized the instructions in a efficient order, but you never know what might throw them off.

As I’ve already stated, I already had an “American” driver’s license, which included a motorcycle endorsement. About a week or so later I had my Vietnamese drivers license, including car (B1) and motorcycle (A2, larger than 175cc)

Please note: I’ve included specific locations in HCMC. There may be other, closer options for you, but I wanted you to be able to follow my instructions with as little uncertainty as possible.

Taking a buddy to translate is highly recommended.


Here are the steps:

1) go to the district 3 People’s Committee:

99 Trần Quốc Thảo, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

2) take a number. Press the 3rd button for translation service. (Button 1 is for picking up something already translated. We didn’t know this and sat for about 45 minutes before figuring it out.)

3) after getting a number, go get the your license copied. (Same floor.) this is the only thing you will need copies of to get the translation made.

4) After your number is called; go requests he translation. (320k VND for fast translation. (Apx. 1 hour.) The fast service may only be available before 11am if I understood correctly.

3) now that you have more time, go make copies of visa, passport, and after receiving it, the translation of drivers license. X2 of each. Or you can do this somewhere else if you desire.

4) After you have the translation and required copies, take the papers to the Department of Transport:

252 Lý Chính Thắng, Phường 9, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh

5) Fill out 1 form, submit the copies, and pay 60k, if I remember correctly. Then have your picture taken.

6) Decide to either return and pick up your license in a week or so, or have them mail it to you. (There is a postal desk there.)

7) Wait. Drink some Coffee.


Hopefully this has helped you. I’ll respond to questions as I can, but currently I’m vacationing in the North and only posted this because I had forgotten to months ago.


Cheers,
Daniel

Yup, in theory, a good idea. At least 1 thing, I know for sure: the driving licence will expire with each expire data of you legal stay in Vietnam (30 day visa, the Lic will expire on the day of visa expire date, 90 day visa, it will expire also on the expire day). Any extension to a visa, you will have to make a new  one. You can't extend/renew a driving lic as a foreigner.

Ren1818 :

If anyone has any tips or recommendations on buying a relatively high priced motorcycle, please let me know.

Be very careful re: the 'Bluecard'... and check to see the numbers on the card match those stamped on the engine and chassis.

It's complicated, and Google translate doesn't help much with the several Vietnamese language website explanations I have found. In essence, there are real Bluecards, fake Bluecards... and everything 'in between'. In advertisements: "HQCN" means real Bluecard; and "MBC" & "GTHL" are two types of fake Bluecards. The exact same 100 mil. VND bike with a GTHL could be worth 200 mil. with a HQCN.

This is the best English language explanation I have found -
Motorbike Bluecard

My A1 is a lifetime A1 with now expiration date and my TRC expires in 2021. Not sure if this was a one off and I was just lucky but it is possible to get a lifetime A1 as a foreigner doing this conversation process. I used the steps on this site but essentially what the original poster said is the same thing.

https://mysaigoncity.com/vietnam-driving-license/

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