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I want to get my Thai drivers licenses for cars and motorbikes in Phuket


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I want to get my Thai drivers licenses for cars and motorbikes, and I want to do it in Phuket, soon. If I only get one, it would be for motorbike, but I want both.

 

What I have now is
* USA passport
* Non-O retirement visa (recently renewed)
* Thai (yellow) house book, Yasothon province
* Thai (pink) ID card
* USA, California, drivers license authorized for cars and motorcycles
* International Driver Permit

 

I have experience, riding motorbikes in Thailand, and driving cars on left side of the road in Australia, and many years of cars / motorbike riding in USA (where we drive on the right side). I consider myself to be a skillful, cautious, careful, and polite driver.

 

Online research shows various processes and requirements, and I suppose it varies by province / office. So any specific information about Phuket office, which I understand is at 42/1 Rattanakosin 200 Pi Rd, is appreciated. I'll be in Chalong, so that location isn't far for me.

 

I suppose I could do it on my own, with the help of my Thai wife, but maybe it would be easier with an agent or driving school? Any recommendations or advice? Thank you

 

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22 minutes ago, ibjoe said:

I suppose I could do it on my own, with the help of my Thai wife, but maybe it would be easier with an agent or driving school? Any recommendations or advice? Thank you

 

This is something you can easily do on your own, even if unable to speak Thai.

 

All an agent will do is hold your hand through the process and maybe jump a queue... you'll still need to be there to do the 'in room' tests...

 

*You'll also need to watch a Video online and answer questions at the end - then save the approved code.

https://dlt-elearning.com/forignerhome

 

*You'll also need a rudimentary medical certificate - which you can obtain from any clinic (tell them its for a driving licence, they'll know what you need to do).

 

 

Most DLT's will accept the Yellow House Book and Pink ID as Proof of Address, but some may not and you may require a Certificate or Address from Immigration (try with the Yellow Book first though - unless someone on here gives first hand info that your specific DLT office doesn't accept it and wants a CoA)

 

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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2 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

This is something you can easily do on your own, even if unable to speak Thai.

 

All an agent will do is hold your hand through the process and maybe jump a queue... you'll still need to be there to do the 'in room' tests...

 

*You'll also need to watch a Video online and answer questions at the end - then save the approved code.

https://dlt-elearning.com/forignerhome

 

*You'll also need a rudimentary medical certificate - which you can obtain from any clinic (tell them its for a driving licence, they'll know what you need to do).

 

 

Most DLT's will accept the Yellow House Book and Pink ID as Proof of Address, but some may not and you may require a Certificate or Address from Immigration (try with the Yellow Book first though - unless someone on here gives first hand info that your specific DLT office doesn't accept it and wants a CoA)

 

 

 

Richard, you will well know that no 2 DLT's or 2 DLT Officers are the same.

Saying it is "easy" can be very misleading.

An Agent does a lot more than just hold your hand. They can also assist with getting you, door to door, to the Office and back home.

Depends on individual circumstances.🙃🙃

 

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14 minutes ago, Lucky Bones said:

Richard, you will well know that no 2 DLT's or 2 DLT Officers are the same.

Saying it is "easy" can be very misleading.

An Agent does a lot more than just hold your hand. They can also assist with getting you, door to door, to the Office and back home.

Depends on individual circumstances.🙃🙃

 

There is no 'misleading' with the word easy....    getting a Driving Licence yourself is easy, simple, basic, hassle-free....   its just a matter of going from step to step.

 

Getting a Thai Driving Licence is one of the simplest bureaucratic processes a foreigner can do in Thailand....   

The Op suggesting bringing his wife along, the process is so easy there's no need for that even.

 

 

The process itself is consistent across DLT's...  i.e. I'm not aware of any variation based on reports and peoples experiences in this forum other than whether or not the Yellow House Book is accepted as proof of address...

 

Paying 2-3000 baht for an Agent is ridiculous...   and it really is 'hand holding' for something that can easily be done ourselves. 

 

It can also be assumed that someone who wants a Thai Driving / Motorcycle licence has their own transport.

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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1 minute ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

There is no 'misleading' with the word easy....    getting a Driving Licence yourself is easy, simple, basic, hassle-free....   its just a matter of going from step to step.

 

Getting a Thai Driving Licence is one of the simplest bureaucratic processes a foreigner can do in Thailand....   

 

 

The process itself is consistent across DLT's...  i.e. I'm not aware of any variation based on reports and peoples experiences in this forum other than whether or not the Yellow House Book is accepted as proof of address...

 

Paying 2-3000 baht for an Agent is ridiculous...   and it really is 'hand holding' for something that can easily be done ourselves. 

 

It can also be assumed that someone who wants a Thai Driving / Motorcycle licence has their own transport.

 

Yep, as long as your eyes are OK and reactions (legs) are still good............🤗

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9 minutes ago, transam said:

Yep, as long as your eyes are OK and reactions (legs) are still good............🤗

 

Indeed...  if someone is partially disabled, or colourblind etc  then an agent may be of use. 

 

Additionally, if someone is a halfwit (such as the person who posted the sad emoji above) and incapable of completing basic processes, then an agent may be of use to them. 

 

 

At one point after Covid - there was a huge backlog and people had to book appointments at the DLT to renew their license - in these cases an agent was helpful in queue jumping.

Edited by richard_smith237
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53 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

There is no 'misleading' with the word easy....    getting a Driving Licence yourself is easy, simple, basic, hassle-free....   its just a matter of going from step to step.

 

Agree. In Phuket, you can get a medical certificate very cheap and easy from Dr. Apninya's clinic not that far from Immigration and Phuket Provincial Transport Office. I am not sure about the price, I think I paid 200 baht last year and it took 5 minutes to get:

 

Dr. Apinya clinic - Google Maps

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Why go through all the hassle with these government agencies. When push come to shove they could care less how many official papers or licenses you have. If you are white, you pay and its always your fault. And you pay fast and don't argue or pay a very higher price later .

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10 minutes ago, rexpotter said:

When push come to shove they could care less how many official papers or licenses you have. If you are white, you pay and its always your fault.

 

No, you do not always have to pay if you are white. Besides, there is something called insurance, some semi-nice people that is willing to pay for you if you have an accident. However, they care very much how many official papers or licenses you have.

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1 hour ago, rexpotter said:

Why go through all the hassle with these government agencies. When push come to shove they could care less how many official papers or licenses you have. If you are white, you pay and its always your fault. And you pay fast and don't argue or pay a very higher price later .

 

Thats just an uneducated, ill-informed myth perpetuated by bar-stool-fools.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, farang51 said:

No, you do not always have to pay if you are white. Besides, there is something called insurance, some semi-nice people that is willing to pay for you if you have an accident. However, they care very much how many official papers or licenses you have.

 

Some folk lack the intelligence to consider such issues critically....  

 

The reality is that blame tends to be proportioned along the path of least resistance...  The BiB don't care who's to blame, they only care to get the issue resolved as simply and quickly as possible.... and this usually involves 'suggesting the seemingly wealthier party' pays out, this is usually the person carrying 1st class insurance, whether Thai or Foreigner.... 

 

If however,  a driver offers resistance to being proportioned blame, the BiB then have to follow due process - its obviously best to have a dash-cam to present proof. 

 

 

 

 

Examples: uninsured motorcyclist pulls out without looking, A Thai driver hits them...  BiB come along... feels sorry for the poorer party and as the driver has 1st Class insurance, the blame is proportioned to the driver. 

A Thai will commonly accept this as a 'normal - cultural facet of driving here'... where as a foreigner facing the same circumstances will cry that they were blamed simply because they are a foreigner......

 

& In this scenario - IF either party objects, the Police will then have to look into things a little deeper (this is where dash-cam footage is handy)... Then the blame will have to be placed on the motorcyclist, but who pays for fixing the damage to the car ?....   the motorcyclist is uninsured... So the 1st class insurance person will advice that the driver accepts 50/50 blame and the insurance pays to repair the car. 

 

In this case, the Thai will understand whats going on, but a foreigner may commonly cry that they were blamed for an accident (50% of) that was 100% someone else's fault showing a lack of understanding of how the systems works here when so many vehicles are uninsured. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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2 hours ago, rexpotter said:

Why go through all the hassle with these government agencies. When push come to shove they could care less how many official papers or licenses you have. If you are white, you pay and its always your fault. And you pay fast and don't argue or pay a very higher price later .

What a bucket full of rubbish. I've dealt with the DLT 3 times since being here and immigration for 10 years. Never have I used an agent and never have I had any issues whatsoever. In fact I have always found them to be helpful and reasonable.

 

I rather think that it is ones own attitude that produces ones opinion. Bad attitude results in bad impression.

 

And for your information, neither of the above entities are 'government agencies' as you called them, they are government departments. Get it right!

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3 hours ago, rexpotter said:

Why go through all the hassle with these government agencies. When push come to shove they could care less how many official papers or licenses you have. If you are white, you pay and its always your fault. And you pay fast and don't argue or pay a very higher price later .

You talk a load of rollox..................:ermm:

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17 minutes ago, Moonlover said:

What a bucket full of rubbish. I've dealt with the DLT 3 times since being here and immigration for 10 years. Never have I used an agent and never have I had any issues whatsoever. In fact I have always found them to be helpful and reasonable.

 

I rather think that it is ones own attitude that produces ones opinion. Bad attitude results in bad impression.

 

And for your information, neither of the above entities are 'government agencies' as you called them, they are government departments. Get it right!

Yes you are right and also as a sidenote it really helps if you dress politely,no wife beater shirt and no shorts and flip flops.

A guy i know had to three times and after the second time he stopped by my house to complain about the way he felt treated.

I asked him"in these clothes"?Yes he said.

told him to go back wearing his best clothes,he did and no issues at all.

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7 minutes ago, jvs said:

Yes you are right and also as a sidenote it really helps if you dress politely,no wife beater shirt and no shorts and flip flops.

A guy i know had to three times and after the second time he stopped by my house to complain about the way he felt treated.

I asked him"in these clothes"?Yes he said.

told him to go back wearing his best clothes,he did and no issues at all.

 

This is true - especially shorts !!!.... 

 

Last time I renewed my licence the grumpy old bat at the DLT testing centre told me to get out because I was wearing shorts (I had some on standby in the car).

 

I told her, no problem, I have trousers in the car... But what about the 3 Thai guys in the game group wearing shorts ?????? !!!....   

 

Suddenly my shorts were no longer an issue but she wasn't pleased when I popped out and returned 5mins later having changed into trousers anyway !!!... 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, piston broke said:

one word - use an agent ....

 

sorry that's three ..

 

Well... you can count to three....     if the someone struggles beyond that, an agent may be of some use !!!! 

 

 

On 4/19/2024 at 4:39 PM, richard_smith237 said:

Indeed...  if someone is partially disabled, or colourblind etc  then an agent may be of use. 

 

Additionally, if someone is a halfwit (such as the person who posted the sad emoji above) and incapable of completing basic processes, then an agent may be of use to them. 

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1 hour ago, jvs said:

Yes you are right and also as a sidenote it really helps if you dress politely,no wife beater shirt and no shorts and flip flops.

A guy i know had to three times and after the second time he stopped by my house to complain about the way he felt treated.

I asked him"in these clothes"?Yes he said.

told him to go back wearing his best clothes,he did and no issues at all.

And don't forget to smile.  😃 😃

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On 4/19/2024 at 4:27 PM, richard_smith237 said:

 

There is no 'misleading' with the word easy....    getting a Driving Licence yourself is easy, simple, basic, hassle-free....   its just a matter of going from step to step.

 

Getting a Thai Driving Licence is one of the simplest bureaucratic processes a foreigner can do in Thailand....   

The Op suggesting bringing his wife along, the process is so easy there's no need for that even.

 

 

The process itself is consistent across DLT's...  i.e. I'm not aware of any variation based on reports and peoples experiences in this forum other than whether or not the Yellow House Book is accepted as proof of address...

 

Paying 2-3000 baht for an Agent is ridiculous...   and it really is 'hand holding' for something that can easily be done ourselves. 

 

It can also be assumed that someone who wants a Thai Driving / Motorcycle licence has their own transport.

 

 

 

I did my own a couple of weeks ago, it was a renewal only.

 

I had all my correct documentation.

 

I used an agent up in the sticks, but her job was to sit in the classroom for the video. She did nothing else. I paid what she asked for, 300 baht. 

 

I don't know why she had to sit through the video in the classroom, but I certainly didn't. Maybe, just one of the idiosyncrasies of life in the sticks.

 

The colour tests and reflex tests I did myself.

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Thank you all responders, especially for specific links and suggestions.

 

On 4/19/2024 at 4:05 PM, richard_smith237 said:

*You'll also need to watch a Video online and answer questions at the end - then save the approved code.

https://dlt-elearning.com/forignerhome

 

I went here, and noted that it is for renewal, and since this is my first time, I think I will need to watch the video at DLT (or maybe at agent school).

 

On 4/19/2024 at 5:25 PM, farang51 said:

In Phuket, you can get a medical certificate very cheap and easy from Dr. Apninya's clinic not that far from Immigration and Phuket Provincial Transport Office.

 

Thank you for that link, I may go there.

 

19 hours ago, Bob12345 said:

Might wanna consider going to Phangnga instead. Phuket has very long waiting times (at least in the past) while at the phangnga DMV they are all smiles and little waiting.

 

Well, at about 2 hour drive each way, it may take less time to wait in line locally, and thanks for the suggestion.

 

14 hours ago, jvs said:

Yes you are right and also as a sidenote it really helps if you dress politely,no wife beater shirt and no shorts and flip flops.

 

I make it a point to dress politely for any times I may deal with authorities, including at the airport, immigration office, etc. I notice that dressing and acting nicely generally gets me more respect almost anywhere. I'll "dress down" if I go somewhere that I could be potentially targeted as wealthy (which I'm not).

 

---

 

I expect that I'll be able to handle renewals on my own easily enough, but since this is my first time I will consider an agent / school to "hold my hand" and "walk me through" the process, assuming the prices is reasonable. After I succeed (or fail) I will report my experience at Phuket DLT.

 

Again, thanks everyone for their considered responses, information, suggestions, and advice.

 

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11 hours ago, ibjoe said:
On 4/19/2024 at 4:05 PM, richard_smith237 said:

*You'll also need to watch a Video online and answer questions at the end - then save the approved code.

https://dlt-elearning.com/forignerhome

 

I went here, and noted that it is for renewal, and since this is my first time, I think I will need to watch the video at DLT (or maybe at agent school).

 

Its possible, but don't get hung up on terminology here - they could mean 'renewing' an overseas Licence for a Thai one... 

 

Its not a big effort to complete the e-learning and then go to the DLT. 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, ibjoe said:

Well, at about 2 hour drive each way, it may take less time to wait in line locally, and thanks for the suggestion.

I am not sure that Bob12345 meant waiting time on the day. When I renewed last year, I had to book a time and back then there were more than two months waiting time in Phuket.

 

Edited by farang51
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17 hours ago, Scouse123 said:

 

I did my own a couple of weeks ago, it was a renewal only.

 

I had all my correct documentation.

 

I used an agent up in the sticks, but her job was to sit in the classroom for the video. She did nothing else. I paid what she asked for, 300 baht. 

 

I don't know why she had to sit through the video in the classroom, but I certainly didn't. Maybe, just one of the idiosyncrasies of life in the sticks.

 

The colour tests and reflex tests I did myself.

 

Thats hilarious...    paying someone 300 baht to watch the video on your behalf - must make perfect logic somewhere in Thailand.

 

Next time, I'll get my Son to watch the Online DLT video for me.... 

 

 

BTW: What did you do while the agent watched the video ??

 

Usually the renewal goes like this: 

1) Document check

2) In-class tests (Colour Blindness, Peripheral vision, proximity and reaction test)

3) Video (about 50 mins)

4) Pay for the licence

5) Get photo take and licence printing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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1 hour ago, farang51 said:

I am not sure that Bob12345 meant waiting time on the day. When I renewed last year, I had to book a time and back then there were more than two months waiting time in Phuket.

 

Last time I renewed my licenses at the DLT (Area 3 Bangkok) it was busy...

..... after doing the in-class tests (colour blindness, reaction etc) and watching the video (This was pre-covid) the waiting area to actuall get the licence was very busy...  no seating left etc... 

 

... So, I took my queue number and went for massage, came back an hour or so later and my queue had long since passed, I showed the DLT staff my ticket and they placed me back at the front - next in line and sorted... 

 

Start to finish took about 4 hours.

On other occasions I've been in and out in under 2 hours (its the video that takes up most of the time).

 

----------

 

It was reported that after Covid there was a massive backlog...  DLT had to put a booking system in place etc... 

Some reports here state that agents helped to jump the queue for booking and also sped things up at the extremely busy DLT office - those agents were also charging in the region of 3000 baht if I'm not mistaken....   I can see how some thought agents were useful at that time. 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Thats hilarious...    paying someone 300 baht to watch the video on your behalf - must make perfect logic somewhere in Thailand.

 

Next time, I'll get my Son to watch the Online DLT video for me.... 

 

 

BTW: What did you do while the agent watched the video ??

 

Usually the renewal goes like this: 

1) Document check

2) In-class tests (Colour Blindness, Peripheral vision, proximity and reaction test)

3) Video (about 50 mins)

4) Pay for the licence

5) Get photo take and licence printing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went home as I only live around the corner and they told me to return in the afternoon.

 

I did that and I was the only one there.

 

I then did the colour blindness and reaction tests, paid, got licence and went home.

 

I got my licence there and then, but I could see a pile of documents and licences on their desk where they had told locals to collect their licences the day after.

 

I honestly didn't get it either about the 300 baht and the video, but happy to give it a miss.

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12 hours ago, farang51 said:

I am not sure that Bob12345 meant waiting time on the day. When I renewed last year, I had to book a time and back then there were more than two months waiting time in Phuket.

 

Thats correct; in Phuket i was able to book a spot about 10 weeks out while in Phangnga I could go the next day. 

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So it went like this. My Thai wife was insistent we use an agent, so we did. I gave him all my documents (listed in my original post) and a lot of money. Next day he gave us a big stack (clipped together) of papers, with official stamp appointment. Couple of days later he took us to Phuket DLT, arriving about 7:45AM, and dropped us off. There were two lines, eventually we figured out the long one was for drop ins, and the shorter one for appointments. About 8AM lady comes out and sorts the lines, makes sure everyone was in their correct line (many were not) and arranged them so only one line (appointment line) occupied the walkway, the drop in line further back under shade structure. Some people got rearranged from near the front of their wrong line to near the end of their correct line. Inside there were two desks for incoming processing. Lady glanced at my paper stack and told me to proceed to next station. Short wait for my reaction speed and colors test. Then we got a number, about half hour wait until it was up. This lady inspected all my papers and original documents very carefully, before finally collecting the fees. Then another short wait for picture taking, and even shorter wait for both (car and motorcycle) my cards. Finished about 10AM. Taxi home. Using agent did make it very easy, but now that I've been through it once I think I can renew (in two years) on my own.

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On 4/20/2024 at 12:16 PM, richard_smith237 said:

 

This is true - especially shorts !!!.... 

 

Last time I renewed my licence the grumpy old bat at the DLT testing centre told me to get out because I was wearing shorts (I had some on standby in the car).

 

I told her, no problem, I have trousers in the car... But what about the 3 Thai guys in the game group wearing shorts ?????? !!!....   

 

Suddenly my shorts were no longer an issue but she wasn't pleased when I popped out and returned 5mins later having changed into trousers anyway !!!... 

 

 

 

 

I thought you'd have been prepared with long pants.

 

However, not to be out done Tricky Dicky has a pair in his vehicle - what a star.

 

You're the best Dicky, they can't beat to can they?

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