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Thai Driver Licence in Europe


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Hi all,

 

I'd like to take my Thai GF to Europe (EU) for a longer holiday and here's my question:

 

Is she allowed to drive a car there with her Thai drivers licence?

If yes, does she need something else (such as translation or an international driving licence)?

 

Sorry if I took the wrong sub forum.

 

Thanks for your replies and have a nice day.

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10 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

Simple answer:

Yes with an accompanying IPD which can be obtained from the Provincial Land Transport Office. 

 

 

Slightly more complex answer:

GF needs to hold a permanent or 5 year driving licence (not a temp 2 year license) to obtain an IDP.

There are two main IDP Conventions - 1949 and 1968.

Find out which Convention your destination countries are a signatory.

Some countries (such as UK) have a mutual agreement in place and an IDP is not required (still, its best to be covered with an IDP if you are unsure).

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know of any EU county requiring an IDP when the license is in English, like the Thai one.

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37 minutes ago, stevenl said:

I don't know of any EU county requiring an IDP when the license is in English, like the Thai one.

 

Would you take the chance because you 'don't know of......'  ??? -

 

An IDP is necessary in Belgium if your license isn't in English or you're from a non-EU country, as experienced by a forum member in another thread recently who needed an IDP with his Thai License to drive in Belgium...

 

Thus: its only Wise to have an IDP, at least the 1968 version.... But double check each country, just incase they require the 1949 version ( think most (or all) of the EU nations are a signatory of the 1968 convention. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Would you take the chance because you 'don't know of......'  ??? -

 

An IDP is necessary in Belgium if your license isn't in English or you're from a non-EU country, as experienced by a forum member in another thread recently who needed an IDP with his Thai License to drive in Belgium...

 

Thus: its only Wise to have an IDP, at least the 1968 version.... But double check each country, just incase they require the 1949 version ( think most (or all) of the EU nations are a signatory of the 1968 convention. 

 

 

Better not make statements you're not sure about.

 

Driving with a 5 year Thai license IDP is not required in the EU.

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58 minutes ago, stevenl said:

Better not make statements you're not sure about.

a 5 year Thai license IDP is not required in the EU.

 

Better not make advice you are uncertain of.....  this seems a grey area ( I could be wrong - but is airing on the side of caution ever wrong when an element of uncertainty exists ???)

 

It was on this forum that a poster recently stated he required an IDP to drive in Belgium with his Thai driving licence - I'm not sure of other countries but believe most should be OK... but why take the risk ?

 

 

So... What do you do ???

- Don't get and IDP and take a chance and hope its ok.....   or,

- Go through the extremely simple and cheap process of getting an IDP and travel with complete assurance that your travelling requirements will not be hindered. 

 

 

 

https://www.expatica.com/be/living/transportation/driving-licenses-belgium-107658/

 

image.thumb.png.38adfd8507dc23a85f0a07bfd20e518c.png

 

 

 

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I used my Thai DL in Vegas , at the casinos some years ago.  Instead of my EU passport. They were a bit sceptical, but it worked. :smile:

 

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On 2/24/2024 at 10:01 PM, stevenl said:

I don't know of any EU county requiring an IDP when the license is in English, like the Thai one.

Portugal asked for an IPD when I was there in 2020 - even for Brits. (A Brexit sulk I think.) I have both Thai and UK licence.

Edit - that was for a rental car. I did not take my Thai car there. :cool:

Edited by Tropicalevo
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16 minutes ago, Kinnock said:

I have a 5 year Thai licence and got an IDP from the Land Transport Office (took about 20 minutes).  When I hired a car the UK they only wanted to see the IDP.

In the UK I have only had to show my Thai DL at the rental desk.

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15 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Better not make advice you are uncertain of.....  this seems a grey area ( I could be wrong - but is airing on the side of caution ever wrong when an element of uncertainty exists ???)

 

It was on this forum that a poster recently stated he required an IDP to drive in Belgium with his Thai driving licence - I'm not sure of other countries but believe most should be OK... but why take the risk ?

 

 

So... What do you do ???

- Don't get and IDP and take a chance and hope its ok.....   or,

- Go through the extremely simple and cheap process of getting an IDP and travel with complete assurance that your travelling requirements will not be hindered. 

 

 

 

https://www.expatica.com/be/living/transportation/driving-licenses-belgium-107658/

 

image.thumb.png.38adfd8507dc23a85f0a07bfd20e518c.png

 

 

 


Thailand is a signatory to the Geneva and Vienna convention on road traffic and as such a Thai license is all you need in Belgium, the EU and around 90 or so countries.

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On 2/25/2024 at 6:12 AM, IvorBiggun2 said:

100% correct. When I last went back to the UK my UK license was expired. I hired, and drove a car on a Thai license. Never a problem. 

If you have a permanent UK address you were driving around illegally on a Thai license. 

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On 2/25/2024 at 6:12 AM, IvorBiggun2 said:

100% correct. When I last went back to the UK my UK license was expired. I hired, and drove a car on a Thai license. Never a problem. 

 

 

Also, great if you get speeding tickets if you are on your Thai DL as opposed to your UK DL.😇

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On 2/25/2024 at 11:57 PM, Tropicalevo said:

Looking at the responses above and in my personal experience, if it is a rental car and in Europe, I suggest that you get an IDP from your local office. Easy and not expensive.

The rental company seems to be the issue.

If in an accident in Italy or Greece and you don't have an IDP, it's a big deal and your insurance might be invalid. If stopped by the police, a big fine might happen.

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I regularly rent a car from Enterprise at  Heathrow  Airport  using my  UK  driving licence, but the last  trip 2023    I did ask if i can use my Thai driving licence,  they  said yes I can provided  the Thai  licence is in English language, with Thailands  road traffic accident rate i just wonder if they would load the insurance for someone holding a  Thai licence

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1 hour ago, actonion said:

i just wonder if they would load the insurance for someone holding a  Thai licence

Not in my experience.

I book online and show my Thai licence when I arrive. No surcharge.

Some rental companies have a book showing DL's from all over the world. They look up Thailand and compare with the real thing.

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1 hour ago, actonion said:

I regularly rent a car from Enterprise at  Heathrow  Airport  using my  UK  driving licence, but the last  trip 2023    I did ask if i can use my Thai driving licence,  they  said yes I can provided  the Thai  licence is in English language, with Thailands  road traffic accident rate i just wonder if they would load the insurance for someone holding a  Thai licence

The name Enterprise reminds me of my last visit to the UK. Wanting all my ducks in a row, I contacted Enterprise via their website to make the hire, only to be informed that payment would be in Thai Baht. When I questioned as to why, it was due to my home address being in Thailand. I cancelled, as the exchange rate would have put an almost £100 on the deal. However, hiring at Heathrow I was not charged in Thai Baht although my Thai address was given. In both instances it was payment with a UK Debit card. Also, my Thai D/L was accepted without question and no IDP required.

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On 2/24/2024 at 3:38 PM, JustAnotherHun said:

Hi all,

 

I'd like to take my Thai GF to Europe (EU) for a longer holiday and here's my question:

 

Is she allowed to drive a car there with her Thai drivers licence?

If yes, does she need something else (such as translation or an international driving licence)?

 

Sorry if I took the wrong sub forum.

 

Thanks for your replies and have a nice day.

It might be depending on the individual countries you visit.

 

You Thai GF can get an international drivers license from the Land Transport Office – check which branch in the province, as not all branches issues one – which will make her Thai DL eligible all over Europe.

 

However, the Thai DL has text in both English and Thai, which might make it legal – it for example clearly says "Private Car Driving License" and shows icons on the back. I was in Denmark/Europe 2022 and checked if I could use my Thai DL, which I could and I could also rent a car using that; I checked in advance with the car-rental company in question. If a major car renter in Europe accepts a Thai DL, then it's legal and with car insurance cover.

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On 2/26/2024 at 2:11 PM, JBChiangRai said:

Thailand is a signatory to the Geneva and Vienna convention on road traffic and as such a Thai license is all you need in Belgium, the EU and around 90 or so countries.

 

Good luck if you want to go to any or all of those 90 countries with 100% assurance that you can hire a car on your Thai DL only in any of the the 90 or so countries... ..... 

 

OR...  or take the 'no-brainer' option and spend 20 mins getting IDP and remove any doubt at all that you can drive anywhere without issue. 

 

I'm surprised its even discussion to be honest. 

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6 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Good luck if you want to go to any or all of those 90 countries with 100% assurance that you can hire a car on your Thai DL only in any of the the 90 or so countries... ..... 

 

OR...  or take the 'no-brainer' option and spend 20 mins getting IDP and remove any doubt at all that you can drive anywhere without issue. 

 

I'm surprised its even discussion to be honest. 

Cut your losses Dick, you can't always be right...

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7 hours ago, actonion said:

I regularly rent a car from Enterprise at  Heathrow  Airport  using my  UK  driving licence, but the last  trip 2023    I did ask if i can use my Thai driving licence,  they  said yes I can provided  the Thai  licence is in English language, with Thailands  road traffic accident rate i just wonder if they would load the insurance for someone holding a  Thai licence

Yes, last time i was back in the uk it was easier to hire a vehicle with my Thai license than my british one.

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