Tip for Expats in Vietnam – Renewing Your Vietnamese Driver’s License

Yesterday I posted my first official blog, Tip for Expats in Vietnam – Obtaining a Driver’s License in Vietnam, discussing the steps to get a brand spanking new Vietnamese driver’s license to drive your brand new (well probably used) motorbike with the other 4 million bikes on the Ho Chi Minh City streets. As mentioned in the blog, the steps are described are limited to expats with a VALID license in their home country, and their Vietnamese license WILL expire when their home country license expires.

The good news…. it is very simple process to renew if you can maintain your home license as well. This blog describes the process I took in 2012 to renew my license, only 3 months after getting my original Vietnamese license (it’s all about timing or lack of timing sometimes).

Prerequisites

  • Requestor must be at least 18 years old.
  • Valid (not expired) Passport.
  • Valid (not expired) Vietnam Visa, with at least 3 month stay (i.e. Valid from X until Y = 3 months or greater)
  • A valid (not expired) Vietnam Driver’s License.
  • A valid (not expired) national/international driver’s license.  Should be valid longer than 1 year.

Required Documents

Translate Your Renewed Home Country Driver’s License

  1. Bring your Passport and international/national Driver’s License to 47 Le Duan, District 1. Enter the building from the front-center and turn immediately left, the office is on the right.
  2. Go to the copier and have 3 copies made of each (about 2,000/VND each).
  3. Go to Window 8 (I think is the number) it is the 3rd or 4th window from the left and place your documents (including the original Passport and driver’s license) in the bin at the window, sit down and wait.  They will call you when they are ready. They will give you back the Passport (they keep your driver’s license for translation), and a receipt with date to return.
  4. On date of return go back to the same window and place your receipt onto the metal peg in front of the window, then sit and wait to be called.
  5. When called, give the payment and receive the documents including your original driver’s license.

Portrait Photos

  • Get 12 portrait photos (3cmx4cm) with blue background (any photo development shop does this service).

Process Documentation

  1. Take all the documents listed above (including originals) to 252 Ly Chinh Thang, District 3 (when you turn onto Ly Chinh Thang off of the circle where CMT8 intersects, turn left down the first alley and keep going straight, the office is the last building on the left). Go to upstairs and to the right to enter the office. Go to the first window on the right and hand in all the documents. They do an initial verification, then will then be given another form to fill out.
  2. Fill out the form and take it down stairs to get 3 copies of it and then provide it back to the person behind the window.
  3. They will give you a receipt and date to return to pickup the new license.
  4. Wait either 1 or 2 weeks (I think it is 2 weeks) and return to 252 Ly Chinh Thang, District 3 to get your license.

You will need to provide them your old license. They will then give you your new license along with all the paperwork you handed in.  DO NOT LOSE THIS PAPERWORK. You will need this for future renewal and/or replace your lost one.

And that is the conclusion of my knowledge related to Driver’s License in Vietnam. Happy and SAFE travels!

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