Photo: On the road to Banlung.

Motorbiking in Asia forum

Motorbikes & Travel Insurance

Posted by caseyprich on 29/11/2010 at 07:05


So - planning a trip to Laos (Bolavan Plateau) and have a quick question about anyone with experience on travel insurance and Pakse/Laos motorbikes.

I have a driver's license in the USA (live in China) but do not have an international driver's license. I've heard that the law in Laos is that you need to have an international driver's license but I've heard that doesn't really matter when renting a bike. However, does that matter if you get into an accident and want to collect on travel insurance?

I'm honestly wondering if I should get travel insurance to protect me on my motorbike when I may not be able to collect since I was 'technically' in violation of the law.

Any thoughts appreciated.

#1 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by exacto on 29/11/2010 at 08:36


i've rented motorbikes in laos a few times and nobody has ever asked for my US license, much less an international one. i didn't rent a scooter the last time i was in Pakse, however, so can't say for sure if they are stricter there or not. i'd be surprised if you couldn't rent one even without an IDL though.

there are a few companies that issue IDL's online as long as you provide photos and other details. it isn't cheap from what i can tell. if there is an auto club or something like that where you live in china, maybe they can issue one for you too.

before you shell out the cash for an IDL, you might want to read the fine print on a few different travel insurance policies to see what they say about motorbikes and scooters. you might very well find a policy that fits your situation.

anyway, i ran out of time and didn't make that bolevans motorbike trip on my trip last time. sure wish i did. it looked awesome. hope you have a great time. cheers.

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Posted by somsai on 29/11/2010 at 23:21

I've never bothered with any paper work of any kind. License, or insurance, but then I don't get in accidents either.

I got a International License once in Taiwan using my residency visa and US license, wasn't so hard, people at motor vehicle department in Taipei were helpful, used it at a traffic stop in Thailand, whole thing was written in Chinese, no ticket.

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