Vietnam Traffic Law 2020 – All Key Changes for Safe Motorbike Driving in Vietnam

If you’re interested in driving a motorbike during your trip in Vietnam or if you’re planning on moving to Vietnam for a short or long period, knowing some of the top tips and insider advice on safe motorbike driving here would be crucial. I covered the basic rules and best advice on surviving the hectic traffic as well as safely driving around like a pro in my previous article, Top Insider’s Tips on Safe Motorbike Driving in Vietnam. You can go check it out for the useful information I put together from my own experiences as well as from my local friends.

Whether you’re a beginner in motorbike driving or a pro like locals or most of expats living in Vietnam, I thought it’d be great to share with you some of the updates of traffic laws and regulations in 2020.

The reason why I’m writing this article at this time is because this is the hottest and most trending news amongst Vietnamese citizens right now. Everywhere you go, locals will be talking about this news about driving regulations being tightened. 

Whilst most of the basics are pretty much the same as you’d expect in most other countries, there are some major changes (mostly to Vietnamese people) that are clearly going to impact their lifestyle and maybe yours too. 

So I’ll list down the changes made that are implemented and effective from the first day of this year, 2020. 

Vietnam Traffic Law 2020
Infographics of Traffic Law changes and implementation from 2020 (source: Dangcongsan.vn)

These are all specific to when you’re driving a motorbike and fines and penalties are different from driving a car.

1. Using mobile phone or audio equipment while driving

Fine: 600,000 – 1,000,000VND (approx. 30 – 50USD) 

confiscate driver’s license 1 – 3 months

 

 

2. Passing red light

Fine: 600,000 – 1,000,000VND (approx. 30 – 50USD) 

& confiscate driver’s license 1 – 3 months

 

3. Driver’s license

Fine: 800,000 – 1,200,000VND (approx. 40 – 60USD) if you do not have one

100,000 – 200,000VND (approx. 10 – 20USD) if you did not bring it with you

 

 

4. Blue card (ownership card of the vehicle)

Fine: 300,000 – 400,000VND (approx. 15 – 20USD) if you do not have it

100,000 – 200,000VND (approx. 5 – 10USD) if you did not bring it with you

 

 

5. Speeding

Fine: over 5 – 10 km/h: 200,000 – 300,000VND (approx. 10 – 15USD)

over 10 – 20 km/h: 600,000 – 1,000,000VND (approx. 30 – 50USD) 

over 20 – 35 km/h: 400,000 – 500,000VND (approx. 20 – 25USD) and confiscate license 2 – 4 months

over 35 km/h: 400,000 – 500,000VND (approx. 20 – 25USD) and confiscate license 2 – 4 months

 

6. Driving under the influence (alcohol)

Fine: <0.25: 2,000,000 – 3,000,000VND (approx. 100 – 150USD) and confiscate license 10 – 12 months

0.25 – 0.4: 4,000,000 – 5,000,000VND (approx. 200 – 250USD) and confiscate license 16 – 18 months

>0.4: 6,000,000 – 8,000,000VND (approx. 300 – 400USD) and confiscate license 22 – 24 months

Most of the violations above are quite common to be seen on road here and these changes are a huge stir in the Vietnamese people’s minds and daily life because the government is trying to implement this new scheme aggressively.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is really common here because almost everyone has a motorbike and takes it everywhere they go even when they’re going out for drinks. The previous law was only penalising those with over 0.25 from breathalyser, but it’s increased to more specific categories and much heavier fines. 

Since its implementation, from just two days of 1st and 2nd January, 2020, local news reported that there’s been 615 cases of drunk drivers and penalised over 800 million VND. With this new set of laws and higher penalties put into practice, there’s got to be a change of people’s habits.

Blue Card only applies to those who live in Vietnam, so it would not matter if you rent a motorbike from a shop. All of my local friends recommend me not to carry it when I drive as it’s much easier to just say that I’m a tourist. I believe that could be true, but I’d recommend you carry it with you if you’ve got one. 

Also, some parts like driver’s license and blue card are not crystal clear how they could check if you’ve forgotten it at home or you do not own one. But I guess we’d have to wait and see how they will handle this matter. 

Final Thoughts

Like I mentioned at the beginning, these changes are probably not very surprising for many of us from abroad and won’t be a huge difference to us. But it could be very helpful to know the most up-to-date and current regulations and updates, so that we can continue to drive safely around and enjoy the experience!

So happy and safe driving, everyone! 

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