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Driving Licence In Pattaya Area

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The test center is next to Regents International School on the new Rayong road. Can't see if from the road, but there are some small sign out by the road where you turn into the center. If coming from Pattaya, it's the small soi just before the school.

What you need is:

1. Passport with a non-immigrant visa

2. Photos for each licence you intend to apply for

3. Medical certificate, from any small clinic - costs about 100 baht

4. Letter from Immigration confirming your address in Pattaya. Just bring your rental agreement alt. house book (if you own your own home) with you.

5. 105 baht for car licence / 55 baht for motorbike - valid 1 year.

It is best if you already have an International Driving Permit,

otherwise you will have to take a written test and a driving test,

in you own vehicle.

After the first year you will be entitled to a licence for 5 years.

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2. Don't bother to bring your own photos. Whatever you bring, they will ask you to go across the road and have your photo taken there. (has been reported by many expats here)

3. Even if you are going for two licenses (bike and car) only one original certificate is needed. They accept a copy for the second.

6. After you get your license you can have it laminated across the road.

Check out pattayaexpats.com for more hints about Pattaya :o

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  • 3 weeks later...
It is best if you already have an International Driving Permit,

otherwise you will have to take a written test and a driving test, in you own vehicle.

Not necessarily so, from my experience.

I applied presenting only a UK Driving Licence, which also includes a full motorcycle licence.

I was not required to take either written or physical driving tests to obtain both car and motorcycle Thai Driving Licences. :o

This was in March 2004.

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What you can do as well, is go across the road to the row of shophouses, the first shop on the corner, with the fat woman with glasses( she is really cool and friendly!) will sort you out and fill in the papers for you, take your pics, photocopies etc...for a small fee(very reasonable) she will get your licence in a much faster amount of time then you would by applying yourself....

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I’ve been driving my motorbike for almost a year without a Thai driving license and my Thai girlfriend got her’s three weeks ago and I found out that my insurance company wouldn’t pay out damages if I didn’t have a current license. So, Friday morning we left my bungalow in Jomtien and after about an hour arrived at the license bureau. It was 8:00 a.m. and they opened in half an hour. At 8:15 we went inside, walked up the stairs and were able to pick up the forms. My friend filled them out and we approached a woman sitting behind a desk in the lobby and she checked them off. I had my residence form from Immigration, a doctor’s certificate, copies of my passport, two pictures and my passport. She asked if I had driver’s license. I showed her my Washington state license. She asked what it allowed me to drive. I tried to convince her I could drive anything. Another woman looked at it and they decided I needed to take the tests. If I had an international license I would have been exempted from the tests.

As she prepared my papers she tried to write on my pictures. She said that the ink would not stay on them and we had to get new ones. We walked across the street and for 100 baht I got four very small color pictures of me in about five minutes. We returned and she wrote a number one on my form and said to take the color blindness test. There was a large circle with smaller colored circles inside it. She pointed at a number of the colored pictures and I told her what colors they were. She said fine and to wait.

After a few minutes we were told to go inside the office. In the rear right hand corner was another testing area. My Thai friend said this was not here three weeks ago and she didn’t have to do anything here. As I was the first person there I didn’t have anyone to watch and see what to do and the woman administering the test spoke minimal English. First I was told to sit in a chair and look at two bright sticks inside a box some yards away. She indicated I was to press a green and a red button on a remote control that would move these sticks. I thought I was to move them together until they were one, similar to some eye examinations in the past. After trying to do this I found I couldn’t. She had me look through the side of the box and it became clear that the stick on the right was stationery and the one on the left moved backward when the red button was pressed and forward when the green was pressed. The object of this was to line the two sticks up at the same distance from me. A depth perception test. I did this and was told to take the next test.

This test consisted of sitting in the chair and on the floor in front of me were a mock gas pedal and brake. I was to press down on the gas pedal and a vertical row of lights in front of me would indicate speed as I pressed down...when the green lights became red lights I was to press down on the brake as quickly as possible. I did this and was told I was finished with this and to go sit in a “student’s” chair on the other side of the file cabinets. I did this and was handed a color booklet of traffic signs. I was to read this in preparation for the test. There was a TV and a video tape sitting under the window...an official said this was a lecture in English for the foreigners to watch. While I was scanning the folder of signs other people, Thai and a few foreigners, arrived at the depth perception test. One older Englishman tried to take the depth perception test and could not do anything...they tried to explain to him what to do as did his girlfriend. He could not understand what to do. I volunteered to explain to him. I did so and he said he could not see any difference in distance....his depth perception was shot. I said it seemed they would let him keep retaking the test...so after about a dozen attempts he accidently lined up the sticks or they just got tired of him and the examiner said he passed. He needed another dozen attempts to pass the reaction test with the brake. They passed him and as he had an international license he left to wait for an hour to get his Thai license.

I continued to peruse the booklet of signs as a few other foreigners joined me to await the video. At 10:00 a.m. they started the video. This tape is basically a comedy as a British accented voice began to explain some Thai traffic regulations. Infractions were shown and the need to be polite when driving, etc. None of these things seemed to be enforced in Pattaya. I kept trying to pay attention and after an hour it ended. We were immediately handed test booklets and answer sheets. I had twenty multiple choice questions. Just over half of them were on signs and the other on basic laws. I do not recall hearing or seeing anything from the video that related to the questions. I may have been daydreaming during the video. Each of us had a different test so we couldn’t cheat. I finished and was looking at my answer sheet when another woman walked past looked at my answers and pointed to number 12. She said “C” was better. I marked that answer and she said to write my name next to the other choice I had made. I guess we couldn’t cheat by reading each others’ answers but the officials wanted us to pass.

I asked her if my answer for question 20 was correct. She said it was. This question read something like: Where can a motorbike drive anywhere it want? The choices were something like: When there is heavy traffic you can drive in the special lanes. You can drive on the right side of the road. When there is heavy traffic you can drive on the walkway. I don’t remember the fourth choice. The correct answer is that the motorbike driver can use the sidewalk.

She took my booklet and gave the answer sheet to another woman. She said I passed and to go eat and return at 1:00 p.m. an hour and a half later. We ate and returned an hour later. At about 12:45 I was given my papers back and told to go to the driving range. I drove my motorbike to the rear of the building and we waited. I asked Mod what I was to do and she described what she had done several weeks before. I noticed a map of the course and what it appeared I would have to do. She said she had not done this. The inspector came out and I waited to see what others did. Some cars started first. The first person was a South Asian in a car. The cars were to stop behind a stop line, turn right, stop and start on hill, turn right and left on the course, enter a lane blocked off by colored poles and back out. Then they were finished. More than one vehicle could take the course at a time. The first driver while backing out knocked over a pole...the inspector was busy with someone else at that time and didn’t see this. The girlfriend ran out and put the pole upright. The man passed.

I watched some motorcyclist and a young European man was making hand signals which required that the right hand be used..weird, as this is the hand used for driving. My Thai friend had impressed on me the importance of doing this as she had to retake the driving test because she had not used hand signals. Today, the inspector said use the tun signals and not hand signals.

Motorbikes were to stop behind a stop line, weave between uprights (not on the previous test), make some turns, drive on top of and along a narrow wooden bridge (maybe 18 inches wide and not on the previous tests) and stop behind a pedestrian walkway. I waited until a number of motorbikes seemed ready to go and I entered the starting area. Well, as luck would have it the other drivers had to wait and I was the ONLY person on the course when I took the test. “Shit!” I thought as there would be fewer distractions for the examiner while I was doing this. I made it through, parked my bike, and approached the examiner who was watching four bikes go through the course...one of the bike drivers did not drive on top of the wood bridge. The examiner marked on this person’s paper to return on Monday to retake the test. Others who had made some errors were able to immediately retake the test. My Thai friend said the examiner knew the other man and didn’t like him...something to do with the Navy.

Now, I was to wait an hour to get my license. While we were waiting a number of Thais and one European exited from the room where the Thais had heard the morning’s lecture, in Thai, on traffic laws. The foreigner, in apparent disgust, threw his forms in the trash and stomped down the stairs. I asked my friend what this was all about. She said they had failed the test. About an hour later my name was called an I got my license. As we were walking away, I saw that the word “car” was typed on the license. I showed it to my girlfriend and she said they had given me permission to drive a car not a motorbike....I returned the card and about half an hour later was given a license for a motorbike.

So, it took the entire day as we left at 3:30 p.m. My advise is to get an international license beforehand and avoid this...they would accept a license from the US but it MUST state specifically what you can drive. Hope this is of assistance to someone contemplating obtaining a driving license in Pattaya


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