Foreigners are scrambling to register for driver's licenses in Ho Chi Minh City despite the fact that Vietnam will begin recognizing international licenses in 2015.
Most foreigners sought to localize their B1 and B2 driver's licenses (for 4-9 seat cars) and have applied to take tests for motorbike licenses, according to Vo Trong Nhan, head of the licensing division of the city’s Department of Transport.
The agency accepts applications from foreigners who wish to localize their international driver's licenses and to obtain new driver's licenses at 252 Ly Chinh Thang Street in District 3.
Foreigners must obtain a license to drive a motorbike in Vietnam whether they have been licensed to drive a car or not.
The Tien Bo Driving School in Tan Phu District has been assigned to organize driving tests for foreigners, Nhan said.
Meanwhile, starting next year Vietnam will begin to issue international driver's licenses to local citizens and simultaneously recognize licenses issued by foreign countries .
Nguyen Van Quyen, deputy head of Vietnam's Roadway Directorate, said that this new policy represents a step toward further global integration.
In related news, relevant authorities in Vietnam are rushing to print new plastic driver's license cards for drivers seeking to get rid of their laminated paper licenses.
The deadline for holders of automotive driver's licenses is next year.
Tran Bao Ngoc, a senior official at the Ministry of Transport, said a widespread misunderstanding of the deadline for holder's of motorbike licenses has caused something of a rush on their office.
Holders of laminated paper motorbike licenses issued before 2003, 2004 and 2007 will have to change over to the new plastic cards by 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively, he said.
Those who obtained paper motorbike licenses between 2007 and 2010 will have to obtain a new cards by 2019.
Those who obtained their paper motorbike license after 2010 will have to obtain a new license card by 2020.