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Driver's License Procedures Chiang Mai - 2020


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I have a question about driver license renewals in CM and possible changes in requirements.

 

I had lunch with a friend yesterday who owns a coffee shop in CM with his wife that is popular with the expat crowd. He told me several long-term expats had come into the coffee shop lately complaining of a change in the license renewal requirements. He conveyed that the new requirement is to provide a reason why you need a driver license in Thailand and that this is done at Immigration when you get a residency certificate for the renewal. I've never heard of such a thing, but we all know how things change here from time to time. Anyone experienced this new requirement or heard of it? 

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Perhaps the expat's stories were not clear.  I only had to give a reason for needing the certificate(s).

 

At the Immigration's 2nd floor residency certificate scam desk I was asked the reason I needed the certificate.  I'm a recent arrival so at that time I was unaware that I would need two certificates.  One was for opening a bank account and one for DL.  They told me the certificates were specific to the reason and I needed to fill out and sign two applications but pay only 1 "fee" for expedited service.

 

When I received the certificates they were identical except each included the specific reason.

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35 minutes ago, gamb00ler said:

Perhaps the expat's stories were not clear.  I only had to give a reason for needing the certificate(s).

 

At the Immigration's 2nd floor residency certificate scam desk I was asked the reason I needed the certificate.  I'm a recent arrival so at that time I was unaware that I would need two certificates.  One was for opening a bank account and one for DL.  They told me the certificates were specific to the reason and I needed to fill out and sign two applications but pay only 1 "fee" for expedited service.

 

When I received the certificates they were identical except each included the specific reason.

yes, that's exactly it.
My wife has been to the 500 baht desk in the stairwell twice in the past 3 weeks for Residency certificates. Both times she was asked what it was for. Her answers were never more than 3 words -- "driver's license renewal' and "buy a scooter".  he says she was never asked why she needed a license but the answer would be 3 words -- "It's the law"

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Residency Certificates are no longer available from C.M. Immigration. You have to get one from your Embassy (no Consulates). Effective about 2 days ago. There have been several reports of this on other forums in the last two days.

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1 hour ago, elektrified said:

Residency Certificates are no longer available from C.M. Immigration. You have to get one from your Embassy (no Consulates). Effective about 2 days ago. There have been several reports of this on other forums in the last two days.

thanks for the updated info. Fortunately I can't think of why i would need one for years. But I'm curious, does that mean most people have to go to Bangkok to get one?

 

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3 hours ago, elektrified said:

Residency Certificates are no longer available from C.M. Immigration. You have to get one from your Embassy (no Consulates). Effective about 2 days ago. There have been several reports of this on other forums in the last two days.

Hopefully one can still use a yellow book in lieu of a residency certificate.

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3 hours ago, el jefe said:

thanks for the updated info. Fortunately I can't think of why i would need one for years. But I'm curious, does that mean most people have to go to Bangkok to get one?

 

I was reading earlier about one guy who today, was able to get one in C.M. by going to the Consulate and being hooked-up on a video-conference with an Embassy official, signing a document, holding it up to the camera, etc. $50 USD. So I guess there is a way to do it.

 

Also I saw a post from a lawyer who says that if one is involved in an accident while in possession of an expired license that the insurance companies are required to pay claims during this time. He posted a document which I assume is the official directive, but it's so small that I can't read it. I'll post it but it's really low-resolution.

135809305_2813415632239292_5608669572793941628_n.jpg

Edited by elektrified
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5 hours ago, elektrified said:

I was reading earlier about one guy who today, was able to get one in C.M. by going to the Consulate and being hooked-up on a video-conference with an Embassy official, signing a document, holding it up to the camera, etc. $50 USD. So I guess there is a way to do it.

 

Also I saw a post from a lawyer who says that if one is involved in an accident while in possession of an expired license that the insurance companies are required to pay claims during this time. He posted a document which I assume is the official directive, but it's so small that I can't read it. I'll post it but it's really low-resolution.

135809305_2813415632239292_5608669572793941628_n.jpg

Thanks for the update.


Everyone complained about the 500 baht "fee". Now (for US citizens) it has tripled, you need a specific appointment sometimes weeks in advance, and it will be much more time consuming.
This is a system that just can't last. Hopefully, for everyone else, they figure something better out soon. For people from countries without a consulate in CM it means a trip to Bangkok.

 

As for the insurance, the optimal time to renew your license is as soon as possible after the expiration date. Regardless of the letter above, everyone needs to determine their own risk tolerance. i ride a scooter and waited a while after expiration before renewing. If I drove a car, I would have renewed much sooner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was there to renew my drivers license on January 8th, 2021.  They informed me that the mandatory drivers Ed course has now been cancelled due to covid.

 

So no Drivers License Renewals now.

 

Further informed me that my license was good for 1 year after the expiry date and I didn't have to worry - fingers crossed.

 

SM

Edited by STUDMEYER
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13 hours ago, STUDMEYER said:

I was there to renew my drivers license on January 8th, 2021.  They informed me that the mandatory drivers Ed course has now been cancelled due to covid.

 

So no Drivers License Renewals now.

 

Further informed me that my license was good for 1 year after the expiry date and I didn't have to worry - fingers crossed.

 

SM

One year after the expiry date? Is that normal or just because of Covid?

 

Not like TH to pass up an opportunity to take money off foreigners.

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7 hours ago, stament said:

One year after the expiry date? Is that normal or just because of Covid?

 

Not like TH to pass up an opportunity to take money off foreigners.

Just because someone at the LTO said it's valid, doesn't necessarily make it so. The police might still issue a fine if they stop you and, more importantly, your insurance may not be  valid. You should check with your insurance company to find out if that is true.

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On 1/17/2021 at 9:52 AM, STUDMEYER said:

I was there to renew my drivers license on January 8th, 2021.  They informed me that the mandatory drivers Ed course has now been cancelled due to covid.

 

So no Drivers License Renewals now.

 

Further informed me that my license was good for 1 year after the expiry date and I didn't have to worry - fingers crossed.

 

SM

Now, as long as your insurance company pays out if you're unlicensed and get into an accident? 

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Tried to renew a couple of days ago in Lamphun.  They aren't open until April 1st or so they say.

The gave my wife a piece of paper.  Download the DLT Smart Queue application from the Play Store. 

I'll let you know right now, DLT Smart Queue is not too smart.

You open the app, choose a language and then are presented with two choices. 
1) Register using your Thai ID or 2) Register using your Passport.
However - only the 1) Register using your Thai ID option works. 
The Passport option will not highlight and does nothing when pressed.

So, I have a pink Thai ID so I tried that.  I was able to get to the next screen and enter registration data but was unable to submit that data.  Or should I say, I submitted the data and got a little 'processing' logo spinning in the corner of the screen forever.  I just let it go for 30 minute but it never connected.

So that's it for the Foreigner option.

  • Can't register in person. 
  • Can't register using a Passport. 
  • Can't register using a Pink Thai ID card. 


If anyone else is able to get this charming piece of Thai technology to function, please send me a message and let me know how you did it.

Other than that, it's another xenophobic day in paradise. 
"All farangs to the back of the bus.  I may be a long, long time before we issue you foreign folk a driver's license.  Please enjoy an alternate form of transportation. Taxi, tuk tuk, songthaw."
I live in the middle of the country side in rural Thailand.  The only way in or out is by private vehicle.
"Sucks to be you farang.  Have you tried ox-cart? <snickering>  NEXT.

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Just now, connda said:

Tried to renew a couple of days ago in Lamphun.  They aren't open until April 1st or so they say.

The gave my wife a piece of paper.  Download the DLT Smart Queue application from the Play Store. 

I'll let you know right now, DLT Smart Queue is not too smart.

You open the app, choose a language and then are presented with two choices. 
1) Register using your Thai ID or 2) Register using your Passport.
However - only the 1) Register using your Thai ID option works. 
The Passport option will not highlight and does nothing when pressed.

So, I have a pink Thai ID so I tried that.  I was able to get to the next screen and enter registration data but was unable to submit that data.  Or should I say, I submitted the data and got a little 'processing' logo spinning in the corner of the screen forever.  I just let it go for 30 minute but it never connected.

So that's it for the Foreigner option.

  • Can't register in person. 
  • Can't register using a Passport. 
  • Can't register using a Pink Thai ID card. 

If anyone else is able to get this charming piece of Thai technology to function, please send me a message and let me know how you did it.
 

FYI.  I tried using both Thai language and English.  Neither will accept the Register with a Passport option. 
They obviously offer a button with no code behind it. 

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1 hour ago, stament said:

Any further updates from CM with regards to opening for renewing driver licenses?

 

Thanks

Supposedly you can now pay a visa agent to obtain a residence certificate for you. Since you can't watch the video at the DLT, you have to go to a private driving school to watch the video. I've seen the fee as quoted as 200 Baht for this service.

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3 hours ago, elektrified said:

Supposedly you can now pay a visa agent to obtain a residence certificate for you. Since you can't watch the video at the DLT, you have to go to a private driving school to watch the video. I've seen the fee as quoted as 200 Baht for this service.

Every interaction with the govt seems to go more smoothly when an added fee is paid.

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On 1/17/2021 at 9:52 AM, STUDMEYER said:

I was there to renew my drivers license on January 8th, 2021.  They informed me that the mandatory drivers Ed course has now been cancelled due to covid.

 

So no Drivers License Renewals now.

 

Further informed me that my license was good for 1 year after the expiry date and I didn't have to worry - fingers crossed.

 

SM

 

I read this again - NO RENEWALS, I missed that point LOL, I was just focusing on the last sentence.....

 

 

 

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On 1/30/2021 at 4:37 PM, stament said:

 

I read this again - NO RENEWALS, I missed that point LOL, I was just focusing on the last sentence.....

 

 

 

They are renewing. As stated earlier, you have to go a private driving school to watch the video.....about 200 THB. They give a certificate.

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9 hours ago, elektrified said:

They are renewing. As stated earlier, you have to go a private driving school to watch the video.....about 200 THB. They give a certificate.

ah ok thanks for pointing our my misunderstanding elektrified.

 

A nice money spinner for driving school "friends"

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On 2/4/2021 at 8:29 PM, UncleMhee said:

 

Got one set of papers together, went back to office expecting to be asked to get training from private company as advised by a Thai when getting the list. No mention of training.

 

 

What time did you go to DLT?

I am wondering what`s the best time go there.

 

 

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On 2/4/2021 at 1:29 PM, UncleMhee said:

I was given a list of required documents. See at bottom.

For converting a UK licence, do still I need the medical certificate? Can't see why I wouldn't, only it wasn't mentioned when I asked about the process at a visa place.

 

How long were you at the surgery - do you think there's time to do that in the morning or would that mean hitting big queues at DLT?

 

I picked up that a 2-year licence is actually good for 1 year from your next birthday - is that right?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Badger18 said:

For converting a UK licence, do still I need the medical certificate? Can't see why I wouldn't, only it wasn't mentioned when I asked about the process at a visa place.

 

How long were you at the surgery - do you think there's time to do that in the morning or would that mean hitting big queues at DLT?

 

I picked up that a 2-year licence is actually good for 1 year from your next birthday - is that right?

 

 

Last things first......your first 2 year license is good for 2 years from the date of issue. Birthdays don't come into first license.

 

My understanding is you'll need the medical certificate until you're renewing 5 year licences. I needed one when converting my home licences and again when renewing 2-5 year. Original Thai licences issued in February when converted to 5 years in February, gave me 5 years 5 months until birthday in July.

 

As for the clinic it'll depend on how busy they are. I lucked out and walked straight in, no one else there, had blood pressure taken while the certificate was being written; ten minutes tops. The certificate can be gotten at any hospital or clinic. Prices may vary.

 

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39 minutes ago, UncleMhee said:

 The certificate can be gotten at any hospital or clinic

Best check your local clinic - where I live you must get from local hospital.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

It has gotten busier there this week. I went yesterday at 12:30 as suggested above. Was told that all slots for the 13:00 video queue were already finished by 10:30 A.M. They gave me an appointment for 9:45 this morning, video at 10:00 (10:15 Thai time...).  Went very quickly after that. Paid, took photo and had my licenses within 20 minutes after the video finished. (Took eye test the minute I arrived.)

 

I heard them tell two other foreigners around 10:00 that all slots for the video queues were finished for the day and to return on Monday and they were given an appointment.

 

Get there early if you don't want to have to come back the next day. One of the staff told my wife that it had suddenly gotten way busier beginning on Tuesday of this week.

Edited by elektrified
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  • 3 weeks later...

My recent experience. Went to Mae Tang in February and was told earliest appointment for a 5 year renewal was April 7! After reading this thread went to KW driving school in Mae Jo, watched the video (200 baht) and took the physical tests. They made an appointment for me in the system at Mae Hia. Possible to do school and transport office on same day sometimes if appointments are available. KW was quite a big and professional operation.  I went to transport office the next day, gave them my Cert of residency obtained with the help of an agent, medical cert (30 baht!) and rest of documents. Did color test again (other tests waived due to KW already doing). Was out with a new license in a couple of hours.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to renew my driving license on Thursday 1 April at DLT Hang Dong. Got there at 7.30am and they opened at 8am. Given queue number 1 and told to sit and wait until 9.30am when l would be called. The Thai's and foreigner's are dealt with separate. Was called at 9.15am with 2 other foreign nationals to do the routine eye test and brake reaction test after which the  3 of us were put in a room to watch a road safety video which lasted about 40 minutes, When the video finished we collected our papers from the Foreigner Desk next to counter 25 and paid for the license after which we had photo's taken and collected the new license. Was finished by 10.30am Very effortless and extremely helpful staff. You only need set of documents and not 2 as previously mentioned, These were as follows:

1) Copy of photo page of passport2

2) Copy of current visa page

3) Copy of current driving license

4) Actual driving license

5) Copy of yellow book or residence certificate

6) Medical certificate ( no older than 1 month)

7) 505 baht

 

Hope this helps

 

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