A Simple Guide On How To Get Driving License In Thailand

Everything You Need To Know About How To Get A Driving License In Thailand

If you’re planning to stay in Thailand for anything, whether it is a holiday, to study in Thailand or to live and work here in Thailand and you want to drive a car to get around the island easier. Then you’ll need a Thai driving license. Basically – NO license, NO insurance. Many always say when it comes to official paperworks in Thailand, it’s always a headache. While it is true for the more serious paperworks like getting a visa, opening a bank account etc. Getting a driving license in Thailand is quite simple.

One of the greatest things are that for one the cost of a driving license in Thailand is cheap, 205 baht for car  (which is approximately US$6) and 105 baht for motorcycle (which is approximately US$3). This is for the two year temporary car license, which is the first one you can get, when that’s finished you can apply for a five year one which will cost 605 baht. And no, we don’t know why everything’s “and five” baht either!

Secondly, it can be done all in just a day, and your Thai license will be valid in ten other ASEAN countries, handy eh? So let’s jump right in to see the process on how to get a driving license in Thailand.

How to Apply and Get a Driving License in Thailand.

The process for getting a Thai driving license depends on whether you already have a valid license from another country or not. If you already have one, the process is a bit easier, if you don’t, don’t worry. You’ll just need to take a test. The license is issued by any Department of Land Transport office which can be found all around Thailand.

HANDY TIPS:

MOST IMPORTANT: This will make the entire process much easier and smoother. Keep cool and be patient. No matter what just keep smiling and be polite.

It might be worth going to a certified training center for a lesson or two, especially if you’re not that confident, and remember, here in Thailand they drive on the left! If you do take lessons, make sure your training center is registered with the Department of Land Transport.

Some will tell you that you need to book a queue through DLT Smart Queue. However, as an expat you just walk right in to the Department of Land Transport.

In most of the DLT offices there will be staff members who speak pretty good English, in some cases you’ll drop your documents off and they’ll give you an appointment for another day to come back in.

If you do have to take the theory test, you can find practice questions online which will help you. The questions aren’t difficult but sometimes the translation of them into English can make them sound a bit confusing.

It’ll cost a few baht in photocopying, the medical certificate should cost around 50-200 baht, the certificate of residency should be free from your immigration office. If you have to get your existing license translated and authorized, that might cost 500-1,000 baht.

Driving in thailand and getting a thai driving license - TMT Visa service Phuket
HOW TO GET A DRIVING LICENSE IN THAILAND - TMT Visa Thailand

THE PROCESS OF GETTING A DRIVING LICENSE

You’ll need a few pieces of paper, there’s a list of what you need below. Take all this along to your local office of the Department of Land Transport, you can find the address of the nearest one to you online. The process of getting a license involves: 

  • Watching some videos and so, unless you’re fluent in Thai, make sure you check to see which days they are going to be shown in English, this information should also be on the website. 
  • After you’ve watched the training and safety videos you’ll do a couple of tests, a reaction test which involves pushing a brake pedal when you see a red light and some color chart tests to see if you’re color blind and a peripheral vision test. 
  • If you already have a license that’s pretty much it. You’ll have your photograph taken and they’ll issue you with a license. 
  • If you’re taking the test, you’ll do a multiple choice test 
  • And then a practical driving test. 
Motorcycle License Procedure and Test

The process for getting a motorbike license is identical to all the above. If you already have a license from another country it’s just a case of transferring it. If it’s a new license, it’s the same theory test but obviously the test will be different. You can use your own bike if you want to, or you can rent one from the test center for a small fee of 50 baht. The practical test involves driving over a narrow path and stopping at stop signs. It’s as easy as that.

What Documents Are Required?

In general, the list of documents you’ll need to take with you will be pretty standard, however, it’s always best to check for any changes in these requirements on the DLT website before you go.

Your passport and your non-immigrant visa.

Copies of the first page of your passport.

Copies of the page that contains your valid non-immigrant visa.

Copies of the page that contains the last entry stamp for Thailand.

Your TM.6 departure card (If you have one, they are currently not being issued).

A certificate of residency from the Immigration Bureau (this should be free).

A health certificate dated within 30 days of application.

A copy of your existing driving license, if it is not in English you must have it translated into English or Thai and have it authorized by your embassy.

How To Get An International Driving License In Thailand

You can only get an international driving license in Thailand if you have the five year license already, in which case it’s easy. You need to take your license, your passport, your work permit or certificate of residency, and copies of each of these along with two passport photographs and 505 baht to your local DLT office and they’ll issue you with an international driving license.

Needing to have a driving license in order to legally drive a vehicle, whether it’s a car or a bike, is not an unusual expectation. In Thailand it’s no different. If you drive without a license, your insurance is null and void and with it having such a bad reputation for RTAs, you really don’t want that. You might have to wait in line for a while and you might find the process a bit confusing but at the end of the day, it’s really not that difficult.

Leave a comment