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Thai drivers license for drivng in USA ?


madox66

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My Thai wife and I will be going for a one month vacation in USA, I will rent a car and I wish my wife to be an additional driver. What will she need at the rental car counter : thai international drivers license, original drivers license, translation...? And can she gets an international drivers license here in Pattaya ? Thank you for your help.

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You need to go to the Chonburi land transport department to get the IDL.  Easy process.  Takes a few hours.  Don't go too early.  Try to arrive around 9:30 or so after the lines have calmed down.   Parking is a pain.

 

I just got mine last week.

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1 minute ago, KhunBENQ said:

IDP is on the safe side.

I move this to the motor forum.

 

 

I've driven in many countries over the years, and haven't had to use/show an IDP.  For at least 10 years.  But!  It's required in Italy!  I contacted the car rental company and guess what.  No have, no rent.  So, I got one. LOL 

 

It's a painless process.  Other than the 1+ hour drive up to Chonburi.  Staff were very polite and helpful.

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10 minutes ago, madox66 said:

Does she needs also her thai drivers license, does it have to be translated in english ?

She needs her Thai DL.  The IDL is basically just a translation to English.  Not really necessary as the Thai DL has English on it, but still, some old laws are still on the books.  So you never know.  Like the problems I'm having in Italy.

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Hopefully you will be aware that if your wife has only previously driven here in Thailand, her driving in the USA will be an experience …. For you I think …

 

And of course they drive on the wrong side of the road over there, although that is not a problem for many Thais …

 

When my wife came to live in the UK, and she was an experience and a good driver over her, she found somewhat of a difference. She did pass her test first time though, but had to spend six weeks solid studying the Highway Code.

 

Good Luck. And as you know misdemeanors are not as cheap as here:smile:

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47 minutes ago, JAS21 said:

And of course they drive on the wrong side of the road over there,

Seeing as how we do not carry swords, and highwaymen are not the problem they once were, the rest of the world - including N. America, drives on the right side of the road, both figuratively and literally.

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2 minutes ago, macahoom said:

 

I rented a car in Italy last year using my Thai licence. No problems.

 

I can't remember which rental company it was, but it was one of the international companies.

 

I haven't been asked for an IDP (it's a permit, not a licence) anywhere for many, many years. 

I just read a report by somebody on tripadvisor who got into an accident in Italy.  No IDP caused him big problems.  And a big fine.  It's the law there.  You were lucky.

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I don't know the answer, but it'd be good to research.  In case of an accident, is an IDP required?  I know here in Thailand, if you are a tourist, your insurance won't be valid without one.  Even though rental agencies don't check.  But not needed if you have a valid Thai DL.

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Per my CHP Son-in-law:   All "States" recognize IDL (International Drivers License)...NOT all recognize a Foreign Drivers License.  Car Companies have their own rules not necessarily that of State or Federal Law. Having a IDL is not only easy to get it is also the safest method traveling in the USA.  Having an accident may mean the difference in you driving "with or without" a valid drivers license...meaning the Insurance might not pay your damages but cover the other one if the Officer write that you did not have a valid drivers license.   Get the IDL.

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22 hours ago, tomwct said:

I just returned from the states and my wife used her Thai DL with Enterprise & Alamo Car Rental. No problem, but they do charge

for additional drivers now. I think $8.00 p/d. In addition, since I don't have a car in the USA now, I bought my car rental insurance

from Allianz for $8. p/d. Easy to do online!

Interesting. I'm an American, but I moved here quite a few years ago and have never been back. I was wondering how difficult it would be to rent if I every visit. I know the rental companies pay a lot of attention to driving record and even credit rating when renting. And now I have basically no driving record for them to look at.And a Thai wouldn't even have a credit rating for them to look at.

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Just now, Deez said:

Scary that a Thai International Drivers License is accepted in other countries

Perhaps you mean a Thai DL.  The IDL is just a translation of the Thai DL.  Relatively meaningless nowadays as most licenses use the Roman alphabet.  That wasn't the case years ago.

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3 minutes ago, Deez said:

Scary that a Thai International Drivers License is accepted in other countries

I don't see why. I had a driver's license in the USA and I got one here and I don't see a significant difference.

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both myself and my thai gf went to chonburi transport office on tues and IDLs. it is 500baht 2 small photos, photocopy of front and back of thai liscence. it took us about 4 hours but i think that songkran probably had a lot to do with that and also my process was a 2 step one cause i was on a new passport from the time i got my thai liscence some almost 5 yr ago., so that had to be sorted out first.

as most people have stated it is pretty easy to rent a car, the problems come up if you are stopped by police or if you have an accident.

also remember that an IDL is not a liscence by itself..  by itself it is good for nothing, you still need to have original liscence with it.

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It would be great to get a definite on this ...

I googled to find where you need an IDP with a UK licence and came up with this ...

 

https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/driving-abroad/idp-country-list

 

When my wife and I visited Germany ... our UK Licences are now out of date ... we arranged IDP's from the  LTO but the car rental company didn't see too bothered that we had them.

 

Post #12 is interesting .,......

 

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I've been taking trips back to the US every year since I moved here 13 years ago...always have been able to rent from Hertz woithout question.  It's also listed on my account profile. Once you get that all set up, there's no worries. 

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It seems like you are much better of just getting an IDP and be covered. Its not difficult to get and just because they didn't insist on one your last trip, doesn't mean they won't on your next trip.

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Foreign Nationals Driving in the United States

People who drive in the U.S. must have a valid driver's license. Some states require an International Driving Permit (IDP) from foreign nationals, in addition to a valid license from your own country. Check with the motor vehicle department of each state you will drive in for its requirements.  

Short-Term Visitors

If you intend on getting an IDP, you must do so in advance of your travel:

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