We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Level Contributor
185 posts
242 reviews
Save Topic
Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Me and my boyfriend are currently in Mui Ne and have heard about the corrupt police scam on westerners riding scooters. I have read some previous forums on this topic and some people are saying the police are using the fact that it is illegal to ride/drive on the roads without a Vietnamese license. I find this quite hard to believe, as in America and Spain for example, I am able to rent a car with only my British license. Surely the reason must be that we would not be insured out here? Anyway, it seems the best way to get about here is by scooter. I have tried to research the areas to avoid whilst on a scooter and it just keeps saying the road near the red sand dunes. Is this the only place to avoid? And where is this road? As we don't know the area we don't just want to accidentally end up on it. Thank you!

18 replies to this topic
Hanoi
Level Contributor
1,103 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

It is LEGAL to ride a scooter ONLY if you have an interntaional licence or a Viet one, ersreved to resident expatriates. Nobody has ever refused to rent you one with a national licenec (and even with none, tht'a nos 10 years that I rent scooters and NOBODY has ever asked me for a license, even the police !). The Muine Police is juts taking advantage of the fact that you have apparently no inter,national driving licence, and I am afarid that, if is is so, you are ideed driving illegally (it usually ends with 200 000$ after negotiation,

Level Contributor
185 posts
242 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Would that not be the same in the US and Spain though?

Yeah I read you can negotiate the price down but if I can avoid the areas altogether to avoid the stress that would be better. Do you know the areas to avoid please?

Ha Tien, Vietnam
Level Contributor
843 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Re #2 There's no such thing as an International Driving License.It's correctly called an IDP (International Driving Permit) which is basically a translation of your own national driving licence.If you hold one of these-AND your national driving licence,which covers you for the class of vehicle you are driving,then it is perfectly legal to drive a motorbike in Vietnam.It is possible to get a Vietnamese exchange driving licence,which takes a few days to obtain and costs about 250,000VND-ONLY IF you have a valid motorbike licence from your own country,but it will only be valid for the duration of your visa if you are stopped by the police,and your documentation is correct,then you should not pay.Also-if there is a "fine" it's 200.000VND not 200,000 $

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
5,811 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Would that not be the same in the US and Spain though?

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

No ,it is not. Nations have reciprocal agreements There are 2 conventions on motor vehicles throughout the world . I believe the UK is in a transitioning phase on these agreements and you maybe able to use a UK lic in Vietnam. This may change with Brexit.

This map shows the countries that accept each other lics. If your country is the same colour as another country ,your lic is accepted.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commo…

Phan Thiet, Vietnam
Destination Expert
for Phan Thiet
Level Contributor
1,520 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Actually Vietnamese law states that you must have a Vietnamese license and they do not follow the reciprocal agreements that other countries do. One of the reasons is that some of the driving laws in Vietnam are different than anywhere else. (i.e. - cars only driving on the left, while motorbikes can only drive on the shoulders, you can turn left from a right lane and right from a left lane, etc. depending upon the type of vehicle you're driving). However, as larsay says, you can rent a motorbike regardless.

The police that are the problem are the Hon Rom police (Hon Rom is the small community north of the red dunes in Mui Ne ward ... on the road to the white dunes or to Suoi Nuoc Beach). They target and stop most foreigners, while ignoring Vietnamese, some of whom are obviously breaking laws about helmets and the number of people who can ride on a motorbike. If you get caught, don't pay them anything, just give them the motorbike. They will confiscate the bike and the owner will have to pay to retrieve it. You don't, but you may have to find a xe om or taxi to get back to your hotel.

Edited: 2:57 am, September 20, 2017
UK
Level Contributor
3,204 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

OP, it doesn't matter what you believe. Lex dur sed lex.

From: https:/…safety-and-security

> From October 2015, International Driving Permits (IDPs) are accepted in Vietnam. You may only drive the category of vehicle for which your permit is valid. You'll need to show both the IDP and your UK driving licence to the authorities as required.

Ho Chi Minh City...
Destination Expert
for Cologne, Laos
Level Contributor
9,090 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Louise,

it is not the same as in the US and Spain. Within the EU you can drive a car just with your UK licence. I was able to drive legally with my German licence for 14 years). Due to an agreement the US allows EU citizens using their national driving licence. The state of Florida tried to change that, and it caused havoc, and they removed the law quickly.

In Vietnam, if you are from a country that has an agreement with Vietnam (the UK and Germany do), you are allowed to use your licence WITH an International permit for the vehicle you are qualified for. So you need to have a motorbike licence PLUS the international permit. If you don't have either, you will be seen as riding illegally in Vietnam.

Check the UK foreign office website for more information.

Worcester, United...
Level Contributor
84 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

mmm...this is interesting stuff.

Sorry to Hi jack this thread but...

I have a UK car and Motorbike license, and on my fourth coming trip to Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia I want to rent motorbikes as much as I can. How do I get one of these IDP's and will it serve a purpose to all three countries?

Thanks

Ha Tien, Vietnam
Level Contributor
843 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

I haven't had an IDP for several years,but in the past i was issued with one at the Port of Dover-I think it was at the offices of the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) I think the RAC and AA(Automobile Association) issue them,and also the Post Office

Nha Trang, Vietnam
Level Contributor
2,925 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Corrupt police in Mui Ne

Make sure your idp is issued to the 1968 convention which is recognised by Vietnam. Most European countries issue IDP to the 1949 Vienna convention.

Reply to: Corrupt police in Mui Ne
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted