VietnamTransportationHow to Bring Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

How to Bring Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

There are many laws regarding foreigners and expats in Vietnam, and importing a vehicle into Vietnam is perhaps one of the most complex laws. Those who consider bringing their vehicles into Vietnam must keep in mind that import taxes and duties are high, and procedures can become complicated. However, taking notes of some guidelines can ensure the process remains relatively straightforward as long as you follow all regulations and prepare the correct documentation.

Prerequisites Conditions on How to Bring Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Conditions for Foreign Drivers in Vietnam

– Must have a foreign passport or other alternative documents at least 6 months old from the issued date.
– Must have a visa compliant with the temporary residence law in Vietnam (except a visa exemption). See the most updated Vietnam Visa Information here.
– Must have an appropriate driver’s license compatible with the vehicle type intended for operation.

Related: How to Get a Vietnam Driving License

Conditions for Foreign Vehicles in Vietnam

  • The type of car must have less than 9 seats or be a motorbike.
  • Cars used for personal transport must be equipped with a steering wheel on the left side.
  • Ownership of a vehicle must be under the name of a foreign individual or organization.
  • The vehicle must have an overseas registration plate number.
  • The vehicle must be certified for safety standards in the owner’s home country.

For more information regarding your specific type of vehicle, contact your trusted vehicle transport service. After meeting the prerequisites, the next step is determining if your car meets the eligibility requirements to be imported into Vietnam.

Vehicle Requirements for How to Bring Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

1. The vehicle’s present owner must be the original owner. If the vehicle has changed ownership since the original title was issued, the vehicle cannot be imported into Vietnam.

2. The vehicle must be no more than five years old, legally registered in the owner’s home country for more than six months, and have a minimum mileage of 10,000 km.

It is important to note that cars should not be disassembled when transported to Vietnam. Significant modifications in the car’s appearance and specifications, such as an engine swap or the VIN (vehicle identification number), will further complicate the process

Motorbikes will follow the same procedure as cars in terms of import requirements. However, the engine size of the motorbike must be 175 cc or greater. An important thing to consider is that the import duties for a motorbike can easily be more than 100 percent of the motorbike’s value.

Related: How to Transport Your Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

Procedures and Required Documents for How to Bring Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

The following step on how to bring your own vehicles to Vietnam will guide you through the procedures for obtaining the necessary documents. It is recommended that you prepare these documents well in advance to reduce any hassle that may occur during the process.

how to bring your own vehicles to vietnam ports map
A map showing where the seaports that allow vehicles to enter Vietnam are located

Vehicles may enter Vietnam through any of these four ports:

  • Cai Lan in Ha Long City
  • Hai Phong
  • Da Nang
  • Ho Chi Minh City

Your vehicle will need to be registered with Vietnam Custom. The required application forms can be obtained by visiting their website or contacting them by phone.

Main Customs Office in Vietnam

Block E3, Duong Dinh Nghe Street, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay District, Hanoi

Other Customs Offices throughout Vietnam

At: No 5, Ben Doan Street, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province

At: 65 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Hoa Cuong Nam, Hai Chau, Da Nang

At: No 22, Dien Bien Phu Road, May To Ward, Hai Phong City

At: Ham Nghi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Required Documents

The following documents need to be presented to Vietnam Custom authorities to import your vehicle into the country successfully:

  • An application form for importing an automobile into Vietnam
  • An automobile import license
  • A bill of lading
  • A customs declaration for export/import
  • A vehicle registration certificate

In addition, you will need to present to the customs officer the following documents:

Note: It is essential to know that the household registration book may no longer be needed as the Vietnamese government has restructured residency management.

After presenting the required documents to the customs officer, the vehicle will be physically inspected. At this stage, Import duties must be paid to Vietnam Customs before the vehicle can be released.

Registration for your Vehicles

To continue bringing your own vehicles to Vietnam, you will now need to register them. After customs have accepted your vehicle, it will be subjected to a safety and environmental control standards test that it must pass to receive a certificate of technical safety and environmental protection. Next, you will have up to three working days to apply for vehicle registration in Vietnam. Both certificates must be submitted to Vietnam Customs to complete the processing of your vehicle.

After completing all the previous steps, you must register the vehicle with the local police traffic office. The following documents need to be presented to the traffic office:

  • Certificate of Vehicle Inspection
  • Vehicle Registration Declaration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Owner’s valid passport
  • Owner’s visa

Vietnamese License Plates

The final step in how to bring your own vehicle to Vietnam is obtaining a permanent license plate. A Vietnamese license plate will only be issued after registering with a police traffic officer. Foreign license plates may not be used in Vietnam. A temporary license plate will be issued once the application for a license plate has been submitted and expires within 20 days. The temporary license plate may be extended once for 20 more days if needed.

how to bring your own vehicles to vietnam NN

A foreign car with the NN license plate

The number of foreign vehicle license plates will always be preceded by NN or NG, which indicates the vehicle is foreign or diplomatic. Other letters and digits will represent the city and province of where the vehicle was registered.

Taxes And Duties for Bringing Your Cars to Vietnam

As mentioned briefly at the beginning of the article, the tax rate for importing vehicles into Vietnam will be relatively high. Rates will generally vary depending on the vehicle’s value and information, its country of origin, and your shipment details.

Vietnam vehicle import taxes and duties:

  • Value Added Tax (VAT) – 10% of the CIF value (cost, insurance, freight) + applicable duties.
  • Special Sales Tax (SST) – 10-70% for vehicles under 24 seats

Final Words on How to Bring Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Though it is perfectly acceptable to rent a car, learn how to ride a motorbike, or use ride-hailing services as an alternative for traveling around Vietnam, having your vehicle may work best when you’re settling down in Vietnam. Bringing your cars or motorbikes to Vietnam has more legal complications, but it can be the most viable option for settling down in Vietnam. Hopefully, this brief guide will aid you in navigating the challenges of this task.

Find car rentals in Vietnam:
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