Can I Drive in Vietnam with a Foreign License?

Yes, you can drive in Vietnam with a foreign license, but there are some important things to keep in mind. At, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to navigate the roads safely and legally.

Driving with a Foreign License

International Driving Permit (IDP) booklet – facilitates legal driving abroad

If you’re just visiting Vietnam for a short time, you can use your foreign driver’s license to operate a vehicle. However, it’s important to note that your license must be valid and unexpired. You should also carry an international driving permit (IDP) along with your foreign license. The IDP is a translation of your license that makes it easier for local authorities to understand.

Keep in mind that even with a foreign license and IDP, you can only drive in Vietnam for a limited time. If you plan to stay in the country for more than three months, you’ll need to obtain a Vietnamese driver’s license.

Renting a Vehicle

Renting a motorbike in Vietnam – explore the country at your own pace

Many visitors to Vietnam choose to rent a vehicle during their stay. If you’re planning to rent a car or motorcycle, you’ll need to present your foreign license and IDP to the rental company. They may also require additional documentation, such as a passport or proof of insurance.

It’s important to choose a reputable rental company and thoroughly inspect the vehicle before driving away. Make sure you understand the rental agreement and any additional fees or charges.

Traffic Laws and Safety

Pedestrians crossing busy street in Vietnam – be alert and anticipate sudden movements

Driving in Vietnam can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to the local traffic laws and customs. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Traffic in Vietnam moves on the right side of the road
  • Motorcycles and scooters are extremely common and often weave in and out of traffic
  • Horns are used frequently to alert other drivers of your presence
  • Traffic lights and stop signs are not always followed strictly
  • Pedestrians often cross the road unexpectedly

To stay safe on the roads, it’s important to drive defensively and remain alert at all times. Wear a helmet if you’re riding a motorcycle or scooter, and always buckle your seatbelt in a car. Avoid driving at night if possible, as road conditions can be more hazardous.

Vietnamese Driving License Requirements for US Citizens

If you’re a US citizen planning to stay in Vietnam for an extended period, you’ll need to obtain a Vietnamese driver’s license. The process for getting a license varies depending on the type of vehicle you’ll be driving and the length of your stay.

To get a Vietnamese driver’s license, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your valid US driver’s license
  • Your passport and visa
  • A medical certificate from a licensed doctor in Vietnam
  • Proof of residency in Vietnam
  • A completed application form

You may also need to pass a written test and a practical driving test, depending on the type of license you’re applying for. It’s important to note that the written test is typically in Vietnamese, so you may need to hire a translator to assist you.

If you’re planning to drive in Vietnam for an extended period, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws and customs. can provide you with more detailed information on the process of obtaining a Vietnamese driver’s license as a US citizen. Click here to read more about: Vietnamese driving license requirements for US citizens.

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