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Thailand - Driving Licenses

It is a requirement that if you are driving a vehicle in Thailand then you must be in possession of a valid licence. If you have already passed a driving test in another country then you can simply contact the local transport department office and obtain a Thai licence and there is no need to take a driving test. In order to swap your licence you need to visit the office in person and take along all the relevant paperwork. This includes an application form for the new licence, proof of ID and a copy of your previous licence. You should also take along proof that you have a valid residency visa. You may be required to produce a recent medical certificate. There is also a fee payable which is reviewed regularly, so it is a good idea to check the website for the latest information.

An international driving permit can be used in Thailand but the process of obtaining a Thai licence is so simple for those who already have a valid licence that this is the preferable option.

Those who do need to take a driving test will need to complete both a theory and practical test. All tests are in Thai, although those who are not Thai speakers can have an interpreter. In order to take a driving test in Thailand you must be at least 18 years of age and go along to the transport office as early as you can. You do not need to make an appointment to take a test, but you should be there when they open at 8.30 and be prepared for a long wait. You will need to take a short eyesight test while you are there as well as undergo testing of your reactions.

When you have completed all these procedures then you are given a licence which is temporary for a year. After one year’s driving on this licence you can apply to renew and will receive a licence that will need to be renewed every five years.

There is a penalty point system in Thailand. Each licence starts with 100 points and points are removed for driving offences.

Useful Resources

Department of Land Transport
Tel: + 66 2271 8888 (Extension 4712-4 for an English speaker)

Read more about this country

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