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Obtaining Thai Driving Licence:experience


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I just love it. Reading all these reports about getting driving licences. What a hoot! I'm afraid that my experiences of the Drivers Licence Authority, is that it is staffed by a crowd of moronic, desk-bound idiots, who couldn't organise a panic on a ship wreak. I have been told by Thai friends that they don't bother going to get a licence has they can't be done with the bureaucratic bullshit and hassle they get. Hence, half of the population has no licence and are therefore allowed to drive , legally, like idiots. Indeed, a colleague of mine, discussed the problem of under-aged school kids racing around on motorcycles all day and night, with a seniorThai police officer friend. The police officer said to him, straight faced, that his men couldn't arrest them as they weren't old enough to obtain a licence, and they could only be caught and charged for not having a licence, if they were actually old enough to legally get one! As for me, well I got a 5 year licence last week, I said I only wanted one for a year as I'm escaping. No, no, said the man, you must have a five year one! When I first got my annual one, they wouldn't believe that my crdit card style UK/EU licence was real?! And, that I could drive anywhere in Europe on that licence. I had to get a letter from my employer, from the boss of City Hall, from the Governor of the Province and my landlord. I'm not joking!! Although I am qualified to drive anything on wheels and tracks and was a military HGV/Tracked Vehicle (tanks to those not in the military) driving instructor, they'd only give me a motorbike licence!? Laugh, I almost wet myself! After moving to another province, I had to go through the whole process again. Like others on this site, I found the new Licencing Office out in the sticks (actually 23klms from town), as you rode (remember, motorcycle) up the dirt track to it, there was a corral full of buffalo in front of the building. I'm not kidding! My wife took a photograph of me standing by the corral with the government office in the background. When my friends ask what it is, I say it's me when I went to do my Buffalo Licence. You've got to laugh otherwise you'd cry.

Let me guess....whatever Municipal Authority in Thailand you work for, you obviously have some talent other than English language to offer them as a talent

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Besides waiting until after my license has actually expired, what else do I need to do for my renewal? What documentation do I need for the renewal?

Bring your old licence, two news pictures (or have them made them inside the office), p/port and photocopies incl. the page with your personal data and the visa. Sing the copies. Application form. Usually, at the entrance you find somebody who will help you with this, for a few Baht. No address registration required, as long as the address mentioned in the old licence is unchanged.

Fee Baht 105 for one and 505 for 5 years.

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got a 5-year license today at the bangkok area 3 office on sukhumvit road at soi 93-ish.

my old one year license expired 15 months ago.

they wanted to see my uk license,both parts,my passport,a health certificate and they also wanted to see a recent letter from the uk embassy confirming my address in thailand, even though i had shown them a leter when i got my first license here.two one inch square photos are required, any deviation from this size and you will be sent to have some new ones taken. photocopies of all documents are required.

my passport was examined closely, they claimed never to have seen a retirement visa stamp before !!!! and after a lot of explaining and photocopying and signing my paperwork was judged to be in order and i was sent for an eye test, had to recognise some primary colours and then went to pay my 505 baht and picked up my 5- year license.

although there was a lot of checking and double checking and triple checking of all the documents at every stage of the procedure, (by the time you reach the final stage you are carrying sheets and sheets of paper with dozens of rubber stamp marks and countersignatures on them) the whole thing was done and dusted in 45 minutes. last time i was there all day.

it is a confusing procedure,as the application forms are in thai and being able to speak thai or having someone with you who can speak thai will make it easier, and you wont end up looking and feeling like the village idiot as you get yelled at and directed from one wrong counter to the another by the overworked and presumably underpaid staff.

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axel said
Sing the copies.

i tried singing them, but they werent at all impressed.

Maybe it's your voice, don't sing too loud :o

Regarding intern. Driving permit, most policies have got a clause in the small print that the insured must have a Thai licence. So, just to feel better protected, get the Thai licence, less worries.

As for the intern. one, I always keep it in the glove compartment and show it, when stopped. If I get a ticket, they happily keep the intern. one. In HKG I pay Baht 400 for one year validity, a usual ticket costs you B 400 as well. When (or if) you go to the station to pay your fine, at least they cannot give you points.

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axel said 
Sing the copies.

i tried singing them, but they werent at all impressed.

Maybe it's your voice, don't sing too loud :D

Regarding intern. Driving permit, most policies have got a clause in the small print that the insured must have a Thai licence. So, just to feel better protected, get the Thai licence, less worries.

As for the intern. one, I always keep it in the glove compartment and show it, when stopped. If I get a ticket, they happily keep the intern. one. In HKG I pay Baht 400 for one year validity, a usual ticket costs you B 400 as well. When (or if) you go to the station to pay your fine, at least they cannot give you points.

You are a clever lad Axel :D if they knew their job they'd take your Int and your home country license....but T i T and they don't know their job :o

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Taxexile seems to have had the usual runaround for someone with an expired licence. Rule number one...KEEP IT CURRENT. These difficulties will never arise if you renew your licence regularly, and it's a ten minute job, well that's all it has ever token me over the years. (see other post below)

In respect of international licences, they are valid for a year by the issuing country, and are recognised in Thailand for general driving, HOWEVER, if you own your own vehicle, you must have a Thai licence, as you cannot apply for the third party Thai insurance without it.

Really doesn't depend on your place of residence. The main issuing authority is the

Thai Department of Lands and Transport in Pahonyatin soi 18 it also has an entrance in Pahonyatin itself.

The easiest way is to get a taxi to soi 18, and go in the back way. The building block that you require is the first one on the left, that also does new car registrations. Make your way to the third floor, and turn left. You will see the issuing counters there. As you walk in you will find a desk with some ladies behind it, ask them for a form, and for ten baht they will fill it out for you in Thai, then proceed to the issuing window.

For a first Thai driving licence you will need the following documents:-

A current medical cetificate issued by a qualified doctor or hospital.

A letter from the Thai Immigration Department indicating your address OR

A letter from you own Embassy/Consulate indicating the same.

A current overseas driving licence from a recognised country. (not Botswana)

A copy of your passport and visa page (must have non imm visa, tourist is not acceptable) and the original passport.

Two one inch recent photos, or ones that can be trimmed to one inch.

Make sure you have ALL original documents with you. You may be required to take an eyesight test and a colour test for your first licence.

The cost is 105 baht for one year, after the first year you can apply for a five year licence.

I have been doing this for the last twenty years, and it's just another one of those yearly chores that make living in the kingdom SO wonderful

Maejo Man

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It is amazing that they don't give any thought whatsoever to the notion of any deterioration of one's eyesight or health over the years. A farang friend had an eye test over 20 years ago, and on annual renewals, never retested or re-examined by a doctor since the initial license issue.

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In lots of European countries your licence is valid for life-time.

You pass your driving test at age of 18 or thereabout and that's it.

Unless it is suspended by a court, usually alcohol-offences you drive until you die.

Some people return it out of free will or just don't drive.

There are occassionally changes in the form, the latest are credit-card sized, but no need for another test, just change it.

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"HOWEVER, if you own your own vehicle, you must have a Thai licence, as you cannot apply for the third party Thai insurance without it."

Sorry this is not true.

I have never shown any documents to get it, just pay the money

But are you Covered?

When you make a claim - will they refuse it

when you cannot produce a Thai Licence?

Roger

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"HOWEVER, if you own your own vehicle, you must have a Thai licence, as you cannot apply for the third party Thai insurance without it."

Sorry this is not true.

I have never shown any documents to get it, just pay the money

I still stand by what I said earlier!! It is in fact true. In your case I would suggest that you have renewed an existing cover, which just needs a yearly payment.

If you apply for new cover, you will be asked to prduce a current Thai driving licence. Without it your insurance is Null and Void!

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As usual the same old confusion with things official!

Djinn reckons an International License is needed to avoid any written tests....a national license (in my case from Australia) is not enough and I'll have to spend hours there being told in Thai how to drive safely and then have to do a written test.

Maejo Man reckons that a license from" a recognised country, not Botswana" plus the colour test and other documents, is all you need to get a license on the spot....ie no lecture and tests.

Sounds like which registry you apply in is the important factor here, doesn't it?

I wonder what the story is up here in Chiang Mai. Looks like I'm going to have to pay the registry here a visit.

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Really doesn't depend on your place of residence.

i think you are supposed to apply for the licence at the department of transport office that serves the area where you are resident.

for the first licence you need a letter from the embassy confirming your address and that will determine which department you apply at .

bangkok has 5 or 6 departments.

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