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.

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