The regulations on licensing are being compiled for the implementation in March or April next year.

Mr. Nguyen Thang Quan, head of the Vehicle Management Department under the General Department of Roads, said this type of driving license has a three-year term and the licensing fee could be set at VND155,000 ($7). The licence will use the same design as those of other countries, with information in five languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Russian and Chinese.

It is expected that the international driving licenses will be issued firstly in Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang.

Quan also said the licence can be used in countries using cars with right-handed wheel. He said drivers were responsible to learn about other countries’ traffic laws and road signs to ensure safety.

He added that international driving license issued in Vietnam can be used in 70 countries, mostly Europe, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.

Some domestic travel companies have offered services to get an international driving license which can be used in 192 countries, but this licence is granted by the United States.

A travel firm based in Cau Giay District, Hanoi advertises: "To get an international driving licence, you only need to submit your driving licence issued by Vietnam, copies of your ID card, your signature and $150 fee and wait from 7 to 10 days to take the licence".

However, according to Mr. Quan, this licence is invalid in Vietnam. If foreigners want to drive in the country, they must have a license from Vietnam. The General Department of Roads grants only international driving licences under the Vienna Convention that the Vietnamese Government has signed.

The Convention on Road Traffic, commonly known as the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, is an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and to increase road safety by establishing standard traffic rules among the participating parties.

The convention was ratified by 73 countries and by Vietnam at the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Conference on Road Traffic in Vienna in 1968, and came into effect in May 1977.

By Le Ha - VietNamNet Bridge - November 18, 2014