Vietnamese driving licences are valid in more than 70 countries, Nguyen Van Quyen, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Roads for Viet Nam, tells the Tin Tuc (News).
Will you tell us about the decision to allow foreigners with international driving licences to drive on Viet Nam's roads from 2015?
As part of our international co-operation programme on road transport, the Ministry of Transport instructed the Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam (DVRN) to develop a proposal to join the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, including road signs, traffic lights and drivers' licences.
Under the proposal, Viet Nam will recognise and accept international driving licences issued by authorities from countries that have joined the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
Vice versa, as a signatory to the Vienna Convention, Vietnamese citizens residing, working or studying in countries that are members of the convention can use drivers' licences issued by Vietnamese authorities.
Viet Nam will have completed all the procedures regarding mutual recognition of international driving licences among signatories of the Vienna Convention as from January 1, 2015.
How has the DRVN prepared for this?
To prepare for that day, the Ministry of Transport has issued various documents on training, testing and granting driving licences, including the recognition of international driving licences from countries that are part of the Vienna Convention.
In Viet Nam, the DRVN is preparing to issue international driving licences to Vietnamese citizens who want to drive their cars while they are abroad.
To have an international driving licence, the applicant must have a valid Vietnamese driving licence. They must also fill out an application form. According to the Vienna Convention, Vietnamese international driving licences will be accepted in 70 countries. The expiry date of the international driving licence will be the same as the applicants' domestic driving licence.
The licences themselves will be in Vietnamese, but will also be available in English, French, Russian and Chinese.
What about the case of left hand drive cars?
Under the Vienna Convention, there are no additional requirements for holders of international driving licenses when they use either right or left hand drive cars. However, it is recommended that the drivers should be aware of the road traffic law in the country they intend to visit. Luckily, all signatories to the convention use the same road signs.
What's the most valuable thing for Viet Nam when it joins the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic?
In the process of international integration, including the Vienna Convention, Vietnamese drivers can use their international driving licences granted by authorised Vietnamese agencies when they are abroad, and won't need to change their licences as they did in the past.
Similarly, foreigners in Viet Nam can use their international driving licences from their own countries to drive on Viet Nam's roads. In short, the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic will save people money. — VNS