Photo: On the road to Banlung.

Motorbiking in Asia forum

Motorbike licenses

Posted by scarfie on 26/8/2009 at 10:17

I'm just wondering if you need a license to ride motorbikes of all cc sizes?
My travel insurance motorbike cover only covers me if I hold a valid license in Vietnam. I am aware that International Licenses aren't accepted. My girlfriend and I are only in Vietnam for 3 and a half weeks, so are their any other options for us if we want to ride motorbikes?

#1 scarfie has been a member since 18/8/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by somtam2000 on 26/8/2009 at 16:58 admin

In theory yes, in practise, most tourists ride bikes without one.

I contacted a friend who runs motorcycle tours out of Hanoi and he said the following:

"There's a change going on: foreign tourists cannot get a motorbike license in Vietnam but can apparently use their international riding license for a short while. Last week the Vietnamese embassy told Belgian tourists in Brussels that it was possible. No word yet on when any of this starts, but seems change is on the way."

The thing is, even if this was announced officially tomorrow it would probably take some time to filter down to street level policing. That said, having an international riding license would be a good start.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,931
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Posted by scarfie on 27/8/2009 at 02:57

I'm just worried about motorbiking or scootering and not being covered by insurance. I might check out what the insurance company says about international licenses in 'Nam.

#3 scarfie has been a member since 18/8/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by BruceMoon on 27/8/2009 at 05:01


I've just bought another yearlong insurance policy (here in Oz). In the process, after some of the conversations here on Travelfish, I decided to investigate whether motorbike riding was covered, and any applicable details.

I found some companies cover motorbike riding, but only if you are licensed to drive in the country you ride in. I figured this was a waste of time - other Travelfish readers wrote about how it's almost impossible to get a licence.

Some companies said riding was covered IF, I have a motorcycle licence to ride the appliable class of motorbike in my home country, AND I had an international drivers licence.

The company I went with said I was OK up to 200cc, BUT I needed an International licence, and I HAD to wear a helmet.


#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by johnjones on 24/12/2009 at 01:49

Thanks for posting this, I knew very little about international licenses and recently started to ride my bike again and next time I go on a trip I am definitely looking into getting a motorbike.

#5 johnjones has been a member since 24/11/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by MADMAC on 27/12/2009 at 10:42

Man, the "licensed in the country you are in" seems to be quite the hurdle. If you are on a 30 day tourist visa, it's hard to imagine how you can get a drivers license in that country. I had to have a one year visa in Thailand and a residence here before I could get my license.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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