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Procedure for Getting a Drivers' License in Saigon

 
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 492
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:21 am    Post subject: Procedure for Getting a Drivers' License in Saigon Reply with quote

Just thought I should put this link here in case anyone is interested:

http://www3.sgtvt.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/web/data/news/2008/3/4501/case1.htm

I got my Vietnamese license about a year ago and, although it was a bit of a hassle, I think it is well worth doing. The main reason I did it was because my medical insurance wouldn't cover me if I got involved in an accident while driving without a valid license.
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Anh Dep



Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read where they are only giving a license as long as your visa is valid, if your married they will give you a one year license. One guy who does visas and licenses here said you have to renew each time your visa expires, which seems to be a hell of a lot of drama.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 492
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are supposed to get your Vietnamese license renewed whenever your visa or license from your home country expires. If you miss the renewal date, but still want a license, you will have to sit the diving test again (by the way, the test is an absolute joke). The renewal is not too bad. You just have to fill in a form, show some original documents, get some photocopies and photos and pay a small fee. You then collect your new license about a week later. My VN license is now valid for about two years, but that's because I have a residency card.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 162
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like 1st's link is to the fully legit, do it yourself way. It's pricier but this guy will do it all for you. http://vietnamdriverlicense.wordpress.com/ Scroll down the page to the English section. In HCMC, he is on Dein Bien Phu. Just bring in the original passport, license and photos. He will make and certify the copies and does all the legwork for $75US.

Just like the official way, the potential hangup is that your home country license must specifically include motorcycles. Also, although you may have been driving a 1200cc Harley in the US, you will only get an A1 good to 150cc. The big plus is that the license he gets you has no expiration, just like VN drivers.

I also had a CDL in the US and now I can only drive trucks up to 3500kg. I guess I will have to forget any career aspirations about driving a semi between HCMC and Hanoi.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The headline of this thread is a little misleading. Not to take away the good intentions of the OP, just to clarify.

The link is how to exchange a driver's license. Also, your national or international driver's license must be eligible to operate a motorcycle as well.

I would like to know how to obtain a driver's license without exchanging mine, or if I don't have one at all. I met a gal the other night who did this, but I wasn't able to get the details from her. I just don't want to go to the DMV without being fully prepared. I can imagine what that would be like.
However, meeting her did open the possibility of getting a license without paying high black market fees.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 162
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tigerstyleone wrote:
... getting a license without paying high black market fees.
I notice that over time I have made mental adjustments about what I consider a lot of money. After over a year here, the $75 (1.5 triệu) I spent seems like a fortune but if you consider how many copies to certify at how many consulates, translators, and government offices, I feel pretty sure it would take a full day or more even if you were very lucky. In getting my work permit, I went downtown three times to find the office I needed to visit closed because of fire department drills. We all know this kind of thing is not unusual.

Tigerstyleone wrote:
The link is how to exchange a driver's license. Also, your national or international driver's license must be eligible to operate a motorcycle as well.
I would like to know how to obtain a driver's license without exchanging mine, or if I don't have one at all.
Vietnamese are apparently translating their idiom to the word "exchange" but you don't have to give up your actual license, just a certified photocopy. If you don't have a motorcycle endorsement or have no license at all, maybe you are stuck with the black market route.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 492
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
It looks like 1st's link is to the fully legit, do it yourself way. It's pricier but this guy will do it all for you. http://vietnamdriverlicense.wordpress.com/ Scroll down the page to the English section. In HCMC, he is on Dein Bien Phu. Just bring in the original passport, license and photos. He will make and certify the copies and does all the legwork for $75US.

Just like the official way, the potential hangup is that your home country license must specifically include motorcycles. Also, although you may have been driving a 1200cc Harley in the US, you will only get an A1 good to 150cc. The big plus is that the license he gets you has no expiration, just like VN drivers.


If you can get a license with no expiration date then that's definitely the way to do it! I know quite a few people here who just 'bought' a license with no expiration. It's the real license (apparently registered and everything) and they just avoided all the hassles by giving some tea money. A friend of mine had a lead on where to find someone who could do it, but she hit a brick wall and, from what I hear, it is not as easy as it used to be.

In regards to having to have a motorbike license from your home country, I didn't. I just have a car license. Because of this I had to head towards the airport on a Sunday morning and do the 'driving test'. The test involves riding around witches hats for about two minutes and the examiners don't even bother watching Rolling Eyes. One of my friends went to the cafe right next to where they test, drank beers and watched others going around the witches hats until his name got called.

TRH wrote:
Tigerstyleone wrote:
... getting a license without paying high black market fees.
I notice that over time I have made mental adjustments about what I consider a lot of money. After over a year here, the $75 (1.5 triệu) I spent seems like a fortune but if you consider how many copies to certify at how many consulates, translators, and government offices, I feel pretty sure it would take a full day or more even if you were very lucky. In getting my work permit, I went downtown three times to find the office I needed to visit closed because of fire department drills. We all know this kind of thing is not unusual.

Tigerstyleone wrote:
The link is how to exchange a driver's license. Also, your national or international driver's license must be eligible to operate a motorcycle as well.
I would like to know how to obtain a driver's license without exchanging mine, or if I don't have one at all.
Vietnamese are apparently translating their idiom to the word "exchange" but you don't have to give up your actual license, just a certified photocopy. If you don't have a motorcycle endorsement or have no license at all, maybe you are stuck with the black market route.


TRH, IMHO, hit the nail on the head. If you don't have a license from your home country then, my understanding is, you have to do the theory exam in Vietnamese plus the driving exam.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my driving licence a few months ago. Just to add, your photos need to have a blue background, despite the official website specifically stating that you need a white background.

And my licence has no expiration date. It's one of the fancy new credit card style ones, rather than the laminated card that they used to give out. I did it all myself, rather than going through an agent, so I assume it's the standard now.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 492
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks I'm With Stupid. Good point about the blue background. I had to do that when I got my license renewed not that long ago. However, for some reason, my license will expire. If I am still in Vietnam by the time it runs out, hopefully, the next one I get will not have an expiration date.
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Demonietto



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
I got my driving licence a few months ago. And my licence has no expiration date. It's one of the fancy new credit card style ones, rather than the laminated card that they used to give out.


Awesome. I was waiting for my one year visa to get processed before getting my license, then I heard the credit card style started in March, but looks like I'm going now. Did you go through the office on Ly Tu Trong?
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. Translations on Le Duan, healthcheck on Hai Ba Trung, then Ly Tu Trong to hand it all in and somewhere near the airport to actually do the test.
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