A plea for going legal

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Most expats return to their home country every year or at least every few years. I have no need to do that except for the one thing which I would consider a gross waste of money to handle. When my driver's license from the US was valid there was no problem getting a license here; but since it has expired, there are problems now.

My wife and I went to the local traffic/licensing office about a year ago (after I'd seen an article saying the "theory" part of the examination can be translated) and tried to have this done.

The answer was a straight No: It could only be taken in Vietnamese. In most larger states in the US, one of the languages your driving examination can be taken in is Vietnamese. While I can speak some Vietnamese, reading and writing it is still beyond me.

My license in the US was endorsed for cars, motorcycles, and large trucks.

Is there a way to take the written section in English anywhere in Vietnam? I want to be legal and have been driving for the past three years without a license simply because there seems to be no answer to this problem. I know of other expats who have paid a bribe to get this done, but it seems that I cannot even find anyone to take the bribe ­any more.

By Bob Johnston, Thanh Nien News
The writer is an American expat who runs a café in the south-central province of Phu Yen

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