Vietnam Motorbike License
License & Laws
To legally drive a motorbike with an engine capacity over 50cc, Vietnamese law requires that you have, and carry with you at all times, a valid Vietnamese Motorbike License.
In some instances, a recognized international driving permit, with a motorcycle endorsement may suffice, but bear in mind this may not always be accepted by the police.
There are two types of motorbike licenses in Vietnam: A1 and A2. An A1 license permits you to ride a bike under 175cc and the A2 means you can ride a bike over 175cc.
If you don’t have a valid Vietnamese Motorbike License and you’re only here for a few days, then save yourself the hassle and rent a 50cc motorbike or an electric bike. You don’t need a valid license for either of these.
Applying for a Vietnamese Motorbike License
If you’re planning to stay in Vietnam for a little longer and crave more than 50cc, then apply for a Vietnamese Motorbike License using a reputable and trusted agent within the country. This is quite a process and a little costly (usually involving a practical test if you don’t already have a motorbike license from you home country), but it’s worth it if you’re here for the long haul.
If you do have a valid motorbike license in your home country then you may be able to apply for a Vietnamese Motorbike License with much less hoo-hah, but this isn’t the case for every country. Best you check with a reputable agent to understand what you need to do.
Remember to triple check your travel insurance policy to ensure you’re covered for any medical treatment you may require as a result of a motorbike accident. If you’re driving more than 50cc without a license, no insurance policy will cover you in the event of an accident. And if you’re driving 50cc, check your policy to see if you’re covered.
Drink-driving laws changed in Vietnam in January 2020, with a zero tolerance approach.
For an idea of the fines and possible suspension you will receive if caught driving after just a sip of beer, see our Vietnam Driving License page.
Renting a Motorbike in Vietnam
Renting a motorbike in Vietnam is simple, with a shop, café, hotel or homestay on every corner willing to rent you a motorbike for around 150,000 VND (or 6.50 USD) per day.
What’s more difficult however, is finding a bike to rent that is safe and insured so to help out we’ve compiled below a list of reputable companies in Hoi An and Danang that we would happily recommend.
You’ll likely be asked to leave your passport for the period of the rental agreement. Try and avoid doing so – instead pay a deposit or leave a scanned copy of your passport.
Da Nang Motorbike Rental
Here’s our recommended list of Da Nang motorbike rental companies:
EZ Bike Rental Danang
Hoi An Motorbike Rental
Here’s our list of recommended Hoi An motorbike rental companies:
Hoi An Bike Rental
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can foreigners drive a motorcycle in Vietnam?
Yes, but to drive a motorbike over 50cc legally you need a valid Vietnamese Motorbike License.
2. Is it safe to ride a motorcycle in Vietnam?
Yes, if you know what you’re doing and if you have a Vietnamese Motorbike Licence (legally required for a bike with an engine over 50cc). If you are planning to ride a motorbike, then expect the unexpected. The traffic is mostly chaotic in Vietnam and road rules may be different to what you’re used to.
3. How much does it cost to rent a motorbike in Vietnam?
There are a variety of motorbikes you can rent in Vietnam including different engine sizes which are either manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic – all varying in price and requiring different skill levels to ride.
The cost of renting a motorbike in Vietnam can start around 150,000 VND (up to 6.50 USD) per day with cheaper rental rates usually available for those renting longer term.
Remember though, cheaper isn’t necessarily better, so expect to pay much more for a good, safe bike that has been well maintained.
4. Are motorbikes safe in Vietnam?
Whilst lots of places will be willing to rent you a motorbike, finding a bike that is well maintained and in a safe working order can be challenging, and you’ll need to pay more for the luxury of safety.
In any case, be sure to check the bike over extensively before agreeing to rent it. Pay close attention to the condition of brakes and tyres, checking for any visible oil leaks and testing its brake and indicator lights.
More reputable rental companies will include 24/7 roadside assist as part of the deal but check if this includes the cost of replacing a punctured tyre – it usually doesn’t.
5. Can a foreigner buy a motorbike in Vietnam?
If you have the cash, you can buy a motorbike in Vietnam. But just because you own it, it doesn’t entitle you to drive it without a license. To drive any bike over 50cc legally, you will need a valid Vietnamese Motorbike License.
If you do decide to buy a bike, ensure the seller includes the bike’s original Vietnamese Blue Registration Card which you will be asked to present if you’re stopped by police or planning to cross the country border.
If you’re buying a motorbike in Vietnam, please note that insurance is compulsory and costs only 65,000 VND a year. So, there’s no excuse not to have it.
6. Do I need to insure my motorbike in Vietnam?
All petrol motorbikes in Vietnam need to be insured. If you’re renting a bike in Vietnam, make sure it is insured by the owner.
More reputable companies will rent bikes with copies of the required Vietnamese Blue Registration Card and insurance card affixed so that you can present it to police if you’re stopped. If they’re not provided by the owner, ask for them for before agreeing to rent.
If you own a motorbike in Vietnam, insurance can be purchased for around 65,000 VND per year. You will need to present your bike’s Vietnamese Blue Registration Card to get the insurance.
Also check your Travel Insurance policy to make sure any medical treatment required as a result of a motorbike accident in Vietnam is covered – most policies will state that you must have a valid license within the country of travel to be insured.
7. Do I have to wear a helmet in Vietnam?
It is a legal requirement for you to wear a helmet when riding a motorbike in Vietnam. Most reputable rental companies will provide a quality helmet that provides full coverage, as part of the rental agreement.