Buying or Selling a Car in Vietnam

Information on the paperwork and processes involved when buying or selling a car in Vietnam...

Cars are being used more and more in Vietnam, though small motorbikes and bicycles still make up the vast majority of vehicles on the streets. There are many new and used car dealerships located throughout the country, as well as a growing number of online websites that list new and used vehicles for sale.

Foreigners are permitted to purchase a car in Vietnam if they:

  • Are living and working in Vietnam
  • Possess a valid passport
  • Have a visa that is longer than three months
  • Have a valid work permit and a Vietnamese driver’s licence


Once a car is selected, the vehicle needs to be registered within ten days of purchase. A purchase agreement that reflects the agreed upon price and any other conditions of sale must be completed and notarised. If the vehicle is purchased through a dealership or commercial enterprise, the seller completes the necessary contracts and paperwork and assists the buyer through the registration process as part of their service.

The purchase agreement and other related documents must be certified by a notary public. These documents include the Vehicle Registration Declaration, proof of insurance and documentation supporting the foreigner’s right to buy and operate a vehicle in Vietnam. Foreigners are generally required to use the notary services of the embassy or consulate representing their country of citizenship. However, it may be possible to use a private notary, especially if there is no embassy or consulate nearby. The website of the Department of Justice in Ho Chi Minh City lists all the notary public offices in the city. There are many notary public offices throughout Hanoi, as well.

After the documents are notarised, the buyer and seller must go to the police traffic team office and present the required documents. Since few government offices have English-speaking staff, non-Vietnamese speakers should be prepared to take a Vietnamese interpreter with them. The documents that must be presented to register the vehicle include the following:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid visa
  • A valid work permit certificate
  • The notarised purchase agreement
  • The completed Vehicle Registration Declaration
  • The Certificate of Vehicle Inspection
  • Proof of insurance

Ho Chi Minh City

There are three traffic team offices that provide vehicle registration services for residents of Ho Chi Minh City. They are as follows:

Residents of Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Binh Thanh, Tan Phu, Binh Tan and District 12 register with:

  • An Suong Police Traffic Team (Doi canh sat giao thong An Suong)
    At: 1509 Nguyen Anh Thu, Trung My Tay Ward, District 12, Ho Chi Minh City
    Tel: (08) 38833087

Residents of Districts 2, 7, and 9, as well as Nha Be, Can Gio and Thu Duc districts register with:

  • Rach Chiec Police Traffic Team (Doi canh sat giao thong Rach Chiec)
    At: 212 Quoc Lo 1A, Tan Phu ward, District 9, Ho Chi Minh City
    Tel: (08) 38931789

Residents of Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Binh Chanh, Tan Phu and Binh Tan Districts, and District 12 register with:

  • Road Transport Management Office (Doi dang ky, quan ly phuong tien giao thong co gioi duong bo)
    At: 282 No Trang Long, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
    Tel: (08) 38432444


In Hanoi, residents may submit their registration papers and other required paperwork to one of the following traffic stations:

Residents of Gia Lam, Thanh Tri, Hoan Kiem, Long Bien and Hoang Mai Districts register with:

  • Police Traffic Station Number 1 (Co so dang ky xe so 1)
    At: 86 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
    Tel: (04) 39396393

Residents of Tu Liem, Hai Ba Trung, Dong Da, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay Districts register with:

  • Police Traffic Station Number 2 (Co so dang ky xe so 2)
    At: 611 Nguyen Trai, Dong Da District, Hanoi
    Tel: (04) 38543020

Residents of Dong Anh, Soc Son, Ba Dinh, and Tay Ho Districts register with:

  • Police Traffic Station Number 3 (Co so dang ky xe so 3)
    At: 1234 Duong Lang, Dong Da District, Hanoi
    Tel: (04) 38342678

The police examines all documents, verifies that the information on the Vehicle Registration Declaration and Certificate of Vehicle Inspection is complete and matches that of the vehicle, and collects the appropriate fees. The purchaser needs to pay the vehicle registration and licence plate fees, which are generally about 10 percent of the total purchase price of the vehicle.

  • To download the Vehicle Registration Declaration: Click here (in Vietnamese). Click on the download button that is located at the bottom of the page. Alternately, the form may be obtained at the local vehicle registration office

The entire registration process should take from two to four weeks to complete.

Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car involves a similar process as buying a new car. However, in certain circumstances, there are a few other requirements that must be satisfied.

If the vehicle is registered in another province than the one where it is being sold, the seller needs to take the documents to the police in that province for verification before the vehicle can be registered in the new province.

If the seller is married, he or she needs to show the marriage registration and the identity card or passport of their spouse.

Selling a Car

The process of selling a car is similar to that of buying a car, but the roles are reversed. The contract, or bill of sale, needs to be notarised and the information on the Vehicle Registration Declaration and Certificate of Vehicle Inspection verified by the traffic police.

Further Information