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Driving License

Funny day

Today I went to the Transport Authority at Chatucack and I experienced a funny day.

I went there with my new 1 Year Visa and 1 Year Working Permit, because I like to apply for a Thai driving license.

But I did not take my German License with me because I can not find it in the moment, so I take my US license from California with me.

I had a copy of my passport, Working permit, driving license, 2 pictures 1 inch, medical certificate in Thai language, confirmation of my registered address of the local police station, and of course all original documents with me.

I told the Lady at the Information Counter, that I like to apply for a driving license for motorcycle, and I handed her over all my documents.

She told me to go to counter 8 and wait.

After I went there, the Lady from counter 8 told me after approving all documents, to go to the 3rd floor for additional medical tests.

In the 3rd Floor of Building 4 the lady of the reception ask me to go to the first counter.

There they check my “color view ability” .

After this I have to go to counter 2 where they check my “reactivity”.

And than I have to go to counter 3 where they check my “wide angles see ability”

As I was finishing with this, the Man on the counter 3 told me to go back to Floor 2.

So I went to the 2nd Floor as me was told and go back to counter 8.

The Lady on counter 8 was wondering and confused, why the 3rd Floor did not keep the

Examination form and did not sign the application form.

So the Lady on counter 8 sends me back to the 3rd floor.

The Lady on the reception did not regencies me, because she was busy with her cell phone, and sends me to counter 1. (Again)

And the Lady on counter 1 did not regencies me, even that she used glasses and examined me again.

But as I was waiting for counter 2, (again) the man finally regencies me (I was the only foreigner in the whole building) and ask what’s up.

So I told him the problem and he sends me right away to counter # 4 which I did not meet before.

The 2 Ladies and 2 Man at this counter was friendly and signed the Application form and kept the Examination form and was really amused as I checked if they really signed at the right part of my application form.

After this I went back to the 2nd Floor, sweating already, because of my weight and the low working air condition in the building.

Now the Lady on counter 8 was satisfied and asks me to wait a little bit.

After maybe 20 Min. she called me and gave me a card to sign.

After addional 5 min, I got my driving license and I ask her, if this is now my Thai Driving License for Motorcycle.

And she says “No sorry sir, this is your Thai driving License for a Car”

Ohhh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

But after 3h I kept cool and just smile the Thai way and say:

“I am sorry but I did apply for a license for a Motorcycle!”

So she told me that my US (California) License was for a car and not for a motorcycle.

Therefore it was my own fault, because I did not show my German license and I missed to change my license in the states for both vehicles.

It is really stupid to be so blind and stupid as I was on this day.

So I just smiled again in the Thai way and ask her, how I get a driving license for a motorcycle.

And she told me kind and polite, that I have to make a copy of all my documents again, including my new Thai Driving License for a Car, and to give her again 2 Pictures 1 inch.

Luckily I had a second copy of all documents with me and also 2 more Pictures with 1 inch size, so I need only to make a copy for 1 THB from my existing Thai Car Driving License.

Of course I had to go once more to the Information counter to get the application form.

After I had all papers together and I went back to counter 8 in the second floor, the Lady on this counter started with the same procedure as 3 and a half hours ago and asked me again to go to the 3rd Floor.

Luckily there everybody recognized me already (I still was the only foreigner in the building, and because of my BIG size easy to identifie) and skipped the additional medical check as I had done before.

But now I had to make a theoretical test of my knowledge of the traffic regulations.

I got a book in English/Chinese/Japanese Language to learn the regulations, but all what was standing there was similar to German or US regulations, so after maybe

Min. I asked for my test.

After 19 Years German driving license for Motorcycle and 17 Years German driving license for Car and 10 German driving license for a unlimited Truck with trailer,

I was confident to pass this “Thai Test” even that I showed a nice scare police video of bad driving.

I like to mention that I had in the last 9 Years NO accident and No serious “ticket” doesn’t matter where I was world wide.

The officers on the 3rd floor needed round about 30 min to find a English version of written test.

I filled it out in maybe 5 min. but I was wondering because all the questions match to a car but not to a motorcycle.

The offices checked my test (and how surprising I passed).

After this they told me I have to go to the driving test.

But they showed me the signe for a car, so I told them that I make the driving license for a motorcycle and not a car.

So the officers were again confused and checked my papers once more to find out that I was right and they was wrong.

But instead to be flexible, they were foreign style and insist that I have to make one more test for motorcycle.

Never mind

Just smile Thai style and try again

And again I passed.

After this one lady try to explain to me where I have to go for the driving test.

But I did not get it.

My Thai was too bad.

So she just joint me to show me where I have to go

As we come to my Motorcycle, she told me that she like to drive with me together to the place we have to go.

But I didn’t have a second helmet with me but she did not care about this.

After I started my bike, she told me to drive against the one way, and as I told her she did not care about this.

And the whole way we brake at least 5 Traffic Regulations (Laws) but she did not care.

(Thai Style!!!! Thank you!!!! This makes the live more convenience!!!!)

As we come to the “driving test area” I was shocked, because It was looking like a “traffic exercise area” in Germany or the US!!!!

O.K

Just smile again and this time enjoy.

First I did not understand, sure what they want from me, but I was lucky.

So a Police Officer in uniform was driving in front of me and I had just to copy him.

After this (of course I passed) I went back to Floor 2 of Building 4 and get after a short while my Motorcycle driving License.

Finally I like to mention just some things.

1. All Thai Authority Officials was all the time friendly, polite, and funny.

2. All problems they are occurred, was not only the fault of the authorities, it was also my fault.

3. I never had a bad feeling, because I am foreigner

4. Everybody was helpful, friendly, and funny.

In addition I like to mention, that I like that all people in the Authority, was working by the “book” with out exceptions.

Please FRARANGS !

Stop complaining and look first in your mirror.

How you act it come back to you.

Even if it takes you like in my case from 08:30h to 13:00h to get what you want.

Please do not forget!!!!!!

You are in THAILAND

You are in ASIA

You are a GUEST

So please behave like a guest and you will be respected!!!!

YOU ARE NOT GOT because you have money or “maybe” a better education!!!!

WE ARE ALL HUMANS on one PLANTET

Please behave so!

If you need help or advice with all, this procedures ,

Please do not hesitate to contact me at

[email protected]

An I will be happy to assist you for free if you are not one of this

Arrogant farangs nobody like to deal with!!!!

Greetings,

Dieter

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Thanks, GManager for this great report.

Yes, you are right, it really depends how you treat (some) people yourself.

My experiences with government employees are to 90 per cent positive.

(10 per cent as for the odd police men...)

And I have to admit, that I listen to much to uneducated Thai peoplee, ranting:

"Faland, falang.."

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My experiences with government employees are to 90 per cent positive.

(10 per cent as for the odd police men...)

I know the reputation of the Thai Police especially the Thai Traffic Police is not very good, but for my experience it’s o.k.

I stay now 10 Y. in Thailand and now I have just a couple of days my Thai Driving License.

Before I had just my German and US driven license.

In the last 3 years the corruption of the Thai Police seams under control as far as I can experience it, because I drive daily around 20km with motorbike in Bangkok and yearly around 50,000km with the car mostly out and back from Bangkok (and shopping in Bangkok of course) .

And if I see the last 3 years, the police usually, just stopped me because I made really something wrong (like all Thais), or upcountry on regular check points.

Only 1% of all stoppings were related to “bad cops”.

After 10 Y. experience I learned following rolls to handle Thai Traffic Police, and to go out for free, even that I made something (minor) wrong.

1. Smile.

2. Speak Thai if you can.

3. Be polite.

4. Be cooperative.

5. Show all you documents (only copy no original *).

6. Smile.

7. Be polite.

8. Do not accept to pay “Tea Money”.

9. Smile.

10. Be polite.

11. Do not accept to go to the local police station.

12. Smile.

13. Be polite.

14. After you get stopped with your motorcycle, take the key in your pocket.

15. Smile.

16. Be polite.

17. Do not accept that they want keep your “bike/car” until you pay the ticket.

18. Smile.

19. Be polite.

20. And if all this don’t work really refer to the International Traffic treat from 1948 which is signed from his Majesty the King of Thailand. ( ** )

* = without original document, they have a problem to write you a ticket, and even if they do, at least they can’t keep the original document (Driving License, Passport, Working Permit, Resident Book, a.s.o.) as pledge to make sure you pay so this save you a lot of time and headrace.

The Thai Law say, that you can get go free for one week after receiving a ticket, without any pledge for minor failures.

Only for crimes the police can bring you to the police station or keep your documents or belongings!!!

** = The most police officers do not know this treaty and get unsecured, it work but just in the case if nothing else work. (This is a working arrogant emergency exit)

Usually Thai Police is “chai die” but only as long as you show them that you respect them, regardless what you really feel or think!!!

I hope this help, and for me it work.

Usually after the police stop me, it take me between 2 – 10 min, regardless of the reason of stopping, to go ahead, and in the last 3 Years I paid 0 satang to the police.

So please do not forget:

YOU ARE A WELCOME GUEST IN THIS COUNTRY AS LONG AS YOU PLAY THER GAME !!!!!

And believe me, there are countries they are not so nice to “us” than Thailand!!!!

If you need more help or tips please do not hesitate to contact me any time you feel convened.

Greetings,

Dieter

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Do not accept to go to the local police station.

Do you have a choice...? I'm not arguing with anyone who has a gun.. :D

On another note... let's say for instance you don't have your own car/motorbike, can they provide one ? ...

Has anyone taken the car driving practical test, what does it entail ..?

totster :o

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Thanks for sharing the experience GM.

Anyways if you showed up on your motorcy to get your motorcy license --

Why didnt they question you why you are driving a motorcy without a license?

Isnt that breaking the law?

thanks

nam

If you read my opening I ha a copy of my German & Us Licence with me !

So I had a licence !

"Before I had just my German and US driven license."

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Do not accept to go to the local police station.

Do you have a choice...? I'm not arguing with anyone who has a gun.. :D

On another note... let's say for instance you don't have your own car/motorbike, can they provide one ? ...

Has anyone taken the car driving practical test, what does it entail ..?

totster :o

Do you have a choice...? I'm not arguing with anyone who has a gun..  :D .
I did not say arguing !!!

1. Smile.

2. Speak Thai if you can.

3. Be polite.

The Thai Law say, that you can get go free for one week after receiving a ticket, without any pledge for minor failures.

Only for crimes the police can bring you to the police station or keep your documents or belongings!!!

On another note... let's say for instance you don't have your own car/motorbike, can they provide one ? ...

Yes they have, at least at Bangkok 1 where I was.

Has anyone taken the car driving practical test, what does it entail ..?

It's the same joke than the driving Test for Motorbike.

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There are so many inaccuracies and misconceptions in the response by GManager, I don't know where to begin. :o

About the only thing I agree with is to smile and be polite when dealing with the police.

Why you do not try to explain me what you mean?

Maybe I learn after 10 Y. in this buitifull country something new.

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1. In the last 3 years the corruption of the Thai Police seams under control as far as I can experience it,

2. And if I see the last 3 years, the police usually, just stopped me because I made really something wrong (like all Thais), or upcountry on regular check points.

Only 1% of all stoppings were related to “bad cops”.

3. After 10 Y. experience I learned following rolls to handle Thai Traffic Police, and to go out for free, even that I made something (minor) wrong.

Speak Thai if you can.

Show all you documents

Do not accept to pay “Tea Money”.

Do not accept to go to the local police station.

And if all this don’t work really refer to the International Traffic treat from 1948 which is signed from his Majesty the King of Thailand. ( ** )

The Thai Law say, that you can get go free for one week after receiving a ticket, without any pledge for minor failures.

Only for crimes the police can bring you to the police station or keep your documents or belongings!!!

YOU ARE A WELCOME GUEST IN THIS COUNTRY AS LONG AS YOU PLAY THER GAME !!!!!

OK... I'll cite a few examples.

Thai police corruption is under control? I think the vast majority of people, both Thai and farang, would disagree. I'm fairly certain the 2,500 who died last year during the so-called drug war would disagree, if they could. Corruption in the police force is rampant and if anything it has INCREASED in the last 3 years.

The vast majority of traffic stops made during police blockades or street monitoring or whatever you want to call it are arbitrary and subjective. Some people without helmets are cited, others are not. Often, if no offense was commited, one is "made-up", e.g. making a left turn from the left turn lane.

Generally, I'd recommend not speaking Thai, even if you can. Most police can not speak rudimentary English and not wanting to be self-conscious about it, will back away from stopping farang in the first place. If they don't happen to notice you are farang before stopping you, they'll often just motion you ahead if you speak only English to them. If you do speak Thai to them, it gives them the comfort to pursue their normal "ticketing". Same with showing your documents. I would not offer any up unless told to do so. The less you do on your own initiative, the better.

As for paying money, it seems a much more practical and expedient manner to deal with the situation. By refusing to do, it most likely will only anger him and thus prompting further untoward acts, such as being for additional infractions.

As for refusing to go to the police station, you'd definitely skating on thin ice there. If you have upset him (it's not likely to come up otherwise) to the point where he is taking you to police station, then by refusing to go, you'll only aggrevate the situation further.

As for referencing a traffic treaty, I don't think most policemen would appreciate you trying to tell them what the laws of Thailand state. First, they are probably unaware of it. Secondly, by pointing that out, they lose face. Thirdly, I wouldn't want to gauge his reaction to you after he has lost face. Same goes for citing "The Thai Law". The last thing a Thai cop wants to hear is to be lectured on Thai law, ESPECIALLY from a farang. As a side note, it's interesting that someone who wants to quote Thai Law to the fine print would be on overstay for over a year. What's the Thai Law fine print say regarding the possible repercussions for that?

A policeman can direct you to the police station anytime he wants to. Woe be to the person who refuses to comply.

As noted previously, I do support your recommendation to be polite and smile.

I think the last quote of your remarks is the most accurate. You need to play their game..and that game involves providing a quick gratituity for any offense you commit... whether that infraction has any factual basis or not.

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17. Do not accept that they want keep your “bike/car” until you pay the ticket.

I was considering this option on my last Phuket holiday...

My girlfriend was driving the rented motorbike, the traffic police stopped us, as it was one of the days when they had to earn some money for the government. (At least 60% of the stopped vehicles were driven by Westerners.)

As it happened, teeruk didn't have her driving licence with her, so we were (politely) asked to go to the nearby police station to pay the 300 baht fine.

I suggested not to leave the bike near the police booth, but my girlfriend said: "Better do it, or he'll fine more..." :D

So, my question is (the police being so powerful in Thailand), can they actually fine you more for "misbehaving" (refusal to pay at once)?? :o

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With a little research on this web site and therefore the correct

paperwork, most of GManager's hassles could have been avoided.

Generally Thai Civil Servants are no worse than their counterparts overseas. Give them the right information and they will do the job.

If we play by the rules, so do they.

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17.  Do not accept that they want keep your “bike/car” until you pay the ticket.

I was considering this option on my last Phuket holiday...

My girlfriend was driving the rented motorbike, the traffic police stopped us, as it was one of the days when they had to earn some money for the government. (At least 60% of the stopped vehicles were driven by Westerners.)

As it happened, teeruk didn't have her driving licence with her, so we were (politely) asked to go to the nearby police station to pay the 300 baht fine.

I suggested not to leave the bike near the police booth, but my girlfriend said: "Better do it, or he'll fine more..." :D

So, my question is (the police being so powerful in Thailand), can they actually fine you more for "misbehaving" (refusal to pay at once)?? :o

Failure to obey a lawful direction by Police is, of itself, an offense.

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My wife tells me that the Thai courts have recently ruled that the police habit of grabbing the ignition keys from motorcycles is illegal.

Therefore I would assume that keeping the vehicle is also?

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GM's story is not put forward as the be all and end all it is "an experience" of an individual who obviously enjoys Thailand. :D

He has opened himself to those who seem to sit back and snipe away at what I see as an honest and humerous post of course there are debateable points in the way he handles some situations "what works for one may not work for another".

Dr P I do not refer to yourself, you are not one to sit back, and I believe your comments on issues are generally valued by all forum members. :o

GM in his way is having a go at the whingers and is showing by his experience, there are many trials and tribulations to be endured when one lives in a country with different "methods of doing business" than their own. He could simply have said " I am tired of constantly seeing members complaining" If you don't like it why are you still here??

My two cents worth and well done GM Management your post lightened my day!!

Mijan24 :D

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:o Quite true Dr, as demonstrated when the new Visa fees (regulations) were introduced. With thisin mind and GM's ordeal - a smile goes a long way!

I actually watched a Thai taking his motor cycle driving test @ Nonthaburi several months ago some may remember my post. He was required to give a turn right hand signal followed by a stop hand signal. Unfortunately when he took his right hand off to indicate the intention to turn right his left hand took control and he veered off the circuit into the ditch on the left hand side of the test circuit.

I did not hang around to see if he actually failed or was advised this is not a manouver he should try when riding on the open road??

Come on guys lighten up its "fathers day in Australia today" smile even if your not used to it!!

Mijan24 :D

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