'Electric bicycles don't require license plates': Minister

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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A student rides an electric bicycle in Ho Chi Minh City. Electric bicycles are common among Vietnamese students. Photo credit: zing.vn
An official with the Ministry of Public Security Wednesday denied reports that the owners of electric bicycles will have to apply for license plates under a circular that takes effect on Sunday.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, deputy chief of the ministry’s Department for Road-Railway Traffic Police, told the press that only electric motorbikes must  be registered and that's been the case since July 1 of 2009.
As of the end of last year, only 21 electric motorbikes had been registered for license plates across the country, according to Nguyen Quoc Thang, deputy chief of the department’s vehicle registration division.
Under the existing laws, without license plates, electric motorbikes are not allowed to be used. Anyone found riding an illegal bike is subject to fines of VND300,000-400,000 (US$14-18.7), Tuan said, stressing that relevant agencies are going to crack down on such violations.
Asked about the differences between electric motorbikes and electric bicycles, Thang said Vietnamese law describes an electric motorbike as having an engine with a capacity smaller than four kilowatts and a top speed of 50 kilometers per hour.
An electronic bicycle must top out at no more than 25 kilometers per hour.
In order to register their electric motorbikes, foreigners must submit their applications to municipal and provincial traffic police, Tuan said.
Required documents include passports, permanent residence cards or temporary residence cards (for those living in Vietnam more than one year), and work permits.
Registration fees have been set at VND500,000-4 million ($23.4-187.5), depending on the bike’s price, in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

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