Driving licenses for expats in Thailand

How to apply for your driving licence

It is mandatory to have a Thai driving license, however international driving licenses are accepted as well. The minimum age for driving cars and motorbikes in Thailand is 18.

Driving licenses for expats in Thailand

If you would like to have fully comprehensive insurance, it is easier if you have a Thai driving license as some policies state in the small print full coverage only applies to Thai licence holders. Also, having a Thai driving license proves that you are not a tourist and less likely to be taken advantage of should you be stopped by the police.

Applying for a Thai driving licence

The application process and requirements:

  • If you don’t speak Thai you are allowed to bring an interpreter who can help you to fill out important forms. Also, the interpreter can explain and translate the class and test instructions.
  • A valid passport with valid non-immigrant visa is needed as well as signed copies of the data page of your passport and the visa page.
  • A certified proof of address letter from your embassy or from the Immigration Bureau is needed. This document must not be older than 30 days.
  • You need to bring two passport-sized photos which are not older than 6 months.
  • A translated regular driving license from your home country

How does the application procedure work?

  • Fill out the application form (in Thai) to apply for a one year temporary driving licence
  • A picture can be taken if you have not brought any pictures
  • All the documents should be handed in and after that, you will receive an approval stamp.
  • After the administration tasks, you need to pass three tests:

Colour blindness test: dots on a poster will be pointed at by an official and you will be asked to state the colour of the dot.
Reflex test: you will be seated behind an accelerator and a brake pedal. You must push the accelerator until the green lights come on and then hit the brake before you reach the red zone. This will be done twice.
Depth perception test: forward and backward buttons are used to align a moving pin with a fixed on. This test is also done twice.

  • The documents will be signed if you have passed all the tests. After that, you have to hand in your documents and your passport, for a final check and a 105 Baht (approx. US$3) fee needs to be paid.

After having a one year temporary Thai driving license, many expats will want a permanent (5-year) licence.

Requirements for a five year Thai driving license:

  • Your temporary Thai driving license
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • A valid passport with valid non-immigrant visa
  • A certified proof of address letter from your embassy or from the Immigration Bureau

 

If you would like to have fully comprehensive insurance, it is easier if you have a Thai driving license as some policies state in the small print full coverage only applies to Thai licence holders. Also, having a Thai driving license proves that you are not a tourist and less likely to be taken advantage of should you be stopped by the police.

Applying for a Thai driving licence

The application process and requirements:

  • If you don’t speak Thai you are allowed to bring an interpreter who can help you to fill out important forms. Also, the interpreter can explain and translate the class and test instructions.
  • A valid passport with valid non-immigrant visa is needed as well as signed copies of the data page of your passport and the visa page.
  • A certified proof of address letter from your embassy or from the Immigration Bureau is needed. This document must not be older than 30 days.
  • You need to bring two passport-sized photos which are not older than 6 months.
  • A translated regular driving license from your home country

How does the application procedure work?

  • Fill out the application form (in Thai) to apply for a one year temporary driving licence
  • A picture can be taken if you have not brought any pictures
  • All the documents should be handed in and after that, you will receive an approval stamp.
  • After the administration tasks, you need to pass three tests:

Colour blindness test: dots on a poster will be pointed at by an official and you will be asked to state the colour of the dot.
Reflex test: you will be seated behind an accelerator and a brake pedal. You must push the accelerator until the green lights come on and then hit the brake before you reach the red zone. This will be done twice.
Depth perception test: forward and backward buttons are used to align a moving pin with a fixed on. This test is also done twice.

  • The documents will be signed if you have passed all the tests. After that, you have to hand in your documents and your passport, for a final check and a 105 Baht (approx. US$3) fee needs to be paid.

After having a one year temporary Thai driving license, many expats will want a permanent (5-year) licence.

Requirements for a five year Thai driving license:

  • Your temporary Thai driving license
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • A valid passport with valid non-immigrant visa
  • A certified proof of address letter from your embassy or from the Immigration Bureau

 

Further reading

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