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How/when to renew thai drivers license?


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This July I will need to do my first-ever renewal of my Thai drivers license.  I would like to know from those having experience

1.  Can one renew earlier than the expiration date, or must one wait until the day it expires, or even later after it expires?

2.  Does one have to go through the "proof of residency address" all over again like the first time the license was obtained?  Or is simply having the expiring drivers license, passport and required photos enough?

Thanks,

Morris

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In response to the questions dr Pat Pong raised:

My age is 61, I have been living in Thailand the past 5 years on a "retirement" visa (Non-Immigrant "O"), I live in an apartment in Bangkok, and hold a USA passport.  Being retired, I do not work in Thailand (nor have the right to work).

Again, I would like to know the following about Thai drivers license renewal:

1.  When can one renew the license?  Prior to expiration, exactly on expiration date, or must it be following expiration date.

2.  Does one have to go through the entire "proof of resident address in Thailand" paperwork all over again (like the first time the license was obtained)?  Or is simply having the passport, expiring drivers license and required photos enough?

Thanks to dr Pat Pong for clarifying the info needed to be able to answer my question.

Sincerely,

Morris

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Mojaco, once they refused renewal of my Thai driving licence about 1 month before expiration I didn't try it again, but being late was never a problem.

If you have time go at the day your license expires, take the old license, passport, 2 passport pics for license with you, and , yes, the proof of residency address from the immgration, 500,-B and 2 passport pics for that.

::o:

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It also might depend on which office you go to to renew.  I've been renewing my driver's license in Nonthaburi for the past 20 years or so.  I usually go a couple of days early, fill out the forms and submit the documents noted by "snap".  I get a temporary receipt good for about 5 days and an option to come back to get the license in the afternoon, or to come back for the license before the temporary receipt expires.  Sometimes it takes about 5 minutes, sometimes an hour depending on the length of the queue.  A long time ago I renewed in Bangkok, but do not recall any particular hassles, except for more people, therefore a longer waiting period to submit the documents, and I don't think there was one day service. .
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Thanks to everyone for the replies.  I was hoping there would be no need to redo the "Proof of Residency" again like the first time as that process took about a month to complete.  At that time I filled out some papers at Immigration in Bangkok which was a request for the Immigration Police to verify my residency.  Then it was about a month before they got around to completing their check and mailing the papers to me so I could get my license.  I guess I had better go to Immigration again about a month prior to when the license expires to see how long it will take them this second time around.
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If you have a valid work permit, you don't need the address verification from Immigration.

Also, your Embassy in Bangkok should be able to verify your address in a letter in Thai. Not sure if the Land Department will accept that though. Someone here gone that route?

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Re bapak's post on his lifetime licence, I had one that I got when the drivers licenses were issued by te police and lost it.  The Land Dept. refused to reissue it even though they still had a microfiche copy in their records, saying farangs cannot have them.  Rather than make a major issue of it, I now have to renew annually.  So if you try to update the addres and photo you do it at your own risk.
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That's interesting.  I was always advised that a farang can't be listed on a Tabien Baan.  I even tried when I had a house and was refused.

Has the law changed? Or was I talking to the wrong people, or was it another bureaucratic playing of "we don't want to be bothered?"

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How does the registration of a house registration form work ( Tam bien baan )? I do own a condo in my own name and used to have a year visa in combination with a work permit, renewing the driving license was easy. Currently I am a few months per year in Thailand on a tourist visa and my driving license has expired. How can i get a house registration and lifetime driving license?? I am a Dutch national Please advice. Thx!
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I renewed my driver license last week in Chiang Mai:

2 pp photos

photocopies of the pp relevant pages (main page, visa pages, last entry)

Filled out form

copy plus original of ald license

I did that the day after it expired and could pick up the new license the next day.

Cheers, holm188

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Hi,

Would I need a different visa for the driving license or for the house registration paper ( I do own a condo in my name) or both? Is a non-immigrant B sufficient? What are the advantages for a foreigner if being registered on a house paper? How do you get one for a condo? (i know I am asking many different things, sorry for that) Thanks for your help! Cheers, W.

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I did nenew my drivers licence last year, I didnt need to renew the paperwork from immigration. I was told however that I could never hold a lifetime licence, even my name is listed on the Tapien Ban.  any visa will work, as long as it is non immigrant class O or B:cool:
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If your not on a tabien bann (eg don't have a condo/residency), then go to your embassy and get a letter stating that you live at so and so. The land transport department accepts this for a license. Don't give them the original; photocopy it and give the copy to the land transport department. When renewing your license, make another copy and give the land transport department the copy. Embassy are pretty pricing on the letter, but you don't need to go to the embassy every year to get a new letter, unless you give the original to the land transport department. There is so much miss information on these forums  :o
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I really dont think Maichai meant to criticise, just pointing out that as a forum the information therein is only peoples views and or experinces. Personally I think he is confusing two subjects, renewing an exsisting licence, or holding a lifetime one. I must also point out that my wife just got her lifetime licence, therefore sorry george you are wrong.

:o

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Last week I renewed my Thai drivers licence, all I needed was a copy of my passport: front page, visa (in my case non imm. :o and entry stamp, and two passport sized pictures which definitely had to be recent, they did not accept pictures taken one year ago which were the same as the one on the old drivers licence. I can confirm both Thais and foreigners only can get the licence extended year by year now, the law on this changed recently. The cost of extending the licence was 105 Bath. It might make a difference though in which municipality you are going through this procedure, elsewhere the requirements might be tougher.
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As far as I know, foreigners cannot have a ¨lifetime¨ driving license. My only lasts a year, and then I have 365 days to renew it after its expired. You have to be Thai to have a ¨lifetime¨ one (and I don think they last a lifetime; must check a Thai friends license to see when it expires).

When I renewed, they wanted to see the Embassy letter, although they seemed a little unsure of the procedure for foreigners, so best take it along just in case. I believe I was the first westerner to get a driving license in Sukhothai provence; they told me they were unsure of the procedures as they had never had a farang apply before, and the boss told me to come back the following day, which would give her time to read up on the procedures (she waved some document at me). Seems to me the procedure for applying or renewing is pretty similar.

PS: I hope I did not sound too critical earlier  ::o:

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As far as I know, foreigners cannot have a ¨lifetime¨ driving license. My only lasts a year, and then I have 365 days to renew it after its expired. You have to be Thai to have a ¨lifetime¨ one (and I don think they last a lifetime; must check a Thai friends license to see when it expires).

The Land department does NOT issue life time licenses, new since May, 2003. No to Thais, not to foreigners - they simply don't exist anymore, everybody get 1 year licenses.

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Quote (MaiChai @ May 27 2003,04:05)

As far as I know, foreigners cannot have a ¨lifetime¨ driving license. My only lasts a year, and then I have 365 days to renew it after its expired. You have to be Thai to have a ¨lifetime¨ one (and I don think they last a lifetime; must check a Thai friends license to see when it expires).

The Land department does NOT issue life time licenses, new since May, 2003. No to Thais, not to foreigners - they simply don't exist anymore, everybody get 1 year licenses.

But you did not have to be Thai and they do last a lifetime. :o
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  • 1 month later...

Quote of the week comes from a reader:

The Thai driving licence is a very VALUABLE document - you can drive in Thailand, Lao, Cambodia, Vietnam and I think Malaysia - but it is NOT accepted anywhere else ......

(with thanks Stick)

mixed-smiley-012.gif

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