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I currently am in Thailand on a ED visa. I have an International Drivers license and one from my home state of Texas. A friend told me I could go to the Thai Motor Vehicle Department and get a Thai drivers license, with a minimum of fuss, essentially just fill out the form with my two (Intl & US) licenses, fill out their form and , maybe have some medical proof I can see.

Does anyone know for sure what the requirements are and if they are less stringent for an expat already having valid International and US State licenses?

Thanks.
 

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I am here from the us on a B visa and am not sure if a license under an ED visa would have the same requirements.

I was required to provide proof of residence, copy of passport and visa, and medical certificate. They were not interested in my international drivers license, only my license from the states. I had to prove online what class of vehicle my license allowed me to drive online and translate to Thai ( used google translate at the Thai "DMV")

Got a 1 year license .
 

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Hi

some info here from the scooter thread

Like many other things, processes may vary from province to province; suggest you get a Thai friend to telephone and confirm what your local office requires, may save a journey - be prepared!(from my exp, last 2 offices I have dealt with for licence and registration have had no English speakers)

For me, I got my first Thai car and motorcycle licences in Phuket

Required:

residency letter issued by Thai Immigration (less than 30 days old)
medical cert - medical centres/hospitals can issue these (less than 30 days old)
passport and copies of pages showing photo and visa
original licence/s from home country plus copies

note that as car and motorcycle are issued as separate licences if applying for both you need an extra set of photocopies; sign every photocopy page

I had a colour-blind test, photo taken and walked out with two new one-year licences in less than one hour.
 

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I currently am in Thailand on a ED visa. I have an International Drivers license and one from my home state of Texas. A friend told me I could go to the Thai Motor Vehicle Department and get a Thai drivers license, with a minimum of fuss, essentially just fill out the form with my two (Intl & US) licenses, fill out their form and , maybe have some medical proof I can see.

Does anyone know for sure what the requirements are and if they are less stringent for an expat already having valid International and US State licenses?

Thanks.
The best way is to try. What is required also depends on who is on duty and what they know. You won't get into any trouble by trying as you're not breaking any law. All they're going to do is tell you what you need. Bring any BS paper with you, insurance, lease, whatever, just play the dumb farang. You'll be fine. Good luck.
 

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The best way is to try. What is required also depends on who is on duty and what they know. You won't get into any trouble by trying as you're not breaking any law. All they're going to do is tell you what you need. Bring any BS paper with you, insurance, lease, whatever, just play the dumb farang. You'll be fine. Good luck.
Did my licences for car / motorbike at the Pattaya vehicle licencing place and certain national licences were accepted (like EU and UK new type photo licence) plus an International Driving Permit without having to go through any tests - although for your first licence it will be only a temporary one valid for one year.

Other licences were not accepted , eg , old style UK licence without the photo and licences from countries about which they knew little or had never heard of - plenty of them , and in which case you have to go through the full test process (colour blindness , 3-dimensional eye coordination , reaction time , written test and driving / riding test round a course) which is pretty straightforward.

After your first year on the one year temporary licence and assuming you have a non-tourist longer term visa (eg , one year non-immigrant) , you can get a full Thai licence which is valid for 5 years.

These rules are being modified constantly so suggest you go along and check first what you need - at Pattaya centre they had a counter there just for checking what docs you had brought and to tell you what you needed if you were missing something.
 

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Did my licences for car / motorbike at the Pattaya vehicle licencing place ..............
Thanks for the foot-on-ground first hand experience info. I was just throwing out some ideas to help. This is what the OP needs not my WAG's. :clap2:
 

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Sounds like I should get a new UK licence before I move to Bangkok then..... I currently have an old paper Spanish version.....
 

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I found the physical part of the test (Coordination, colour blind test, peripheral vision and reaction test very easy, a farce really. Don't worry about that part. After getting through these I was signed in to watch a one hour video and was yanked out 5 minutes later to get my license. That was commons sense on their part, I have been driving for 45 years.
Difficult was ensuring that I had the papers necessary PLUS the copies. Good to have a Thai person with you for this.
I have heard of people getting a license on Tourist Visa but I can't imagine why anyone should wish to do this. However the license is generally accepted as ID and you might be able to avoid Farang prices at museums and so on.
 

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I found the physical part of the test (Coordination, colour blind test, peripheral vision and reaction test very easy, a farce really. Don't worry about that part. After getting through these I was signed in to watch a one hour video and was yanked out 5 minutes later to get my license. That was commons sense on their part, I have been driving for 45 years.
Difficult was ensuring that I had the papers necessary PLUS the copies. Good to have a Thai person with you for this.
I have heard of people getting a license on Tourist Visa but I can't imagine why anyone should wish to do this. However the license is generally accepted as ID and you might be able to avoid Farang prices at museums and so on.
Thanks for the advice.

I'm really just trying to help myself by making things as easy as possible. I have just sent an enquiry to the DVLA in England about how to get a UK licence again, but it could be problematic given that I don't live there.....

If I have to do the Thai driving tests then I will do, but if I can avoid them, then even better!
 

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Hi all,

One thing that no-one here has mentioned so far:

Do the Thai authorities usually allow you to retain your original licence?

I am still in the process of trying to get a UK licence (I passed my tests in the UK, but swapped my UK licence for a Spanish one when I moved to Madrid), but it seems that one way or another I will have to "cheat" which I don't really like the idea of....

Either I have to keep my Spanish licence (which will mean not declaring that I am no longer a Spanish resident, which I would rather do for tax reasons) and hope that it will be accepted in Thailand, or I will have to make a false declaration about living in the UK in order to get it changed back to a British version.

Any ideas?
 

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I kept my Swiss license (and no way was I going to give it to them anyway), none of their business. They just wanted photocopies of my International D/L and of my Swiss D/L.
Anyway, as you are only getting a provisional license to be renewed after one year, they can hardly take your full license away.
Get your UK license renewed, easier.
 

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Get your UK license renewed, easier.
If only it were that easy !

I no longer have a UK licence, I had to exchange it for a Spanish one.... and I can't get another UK one without declaring that I am a UK resident, which I'm not. And I'm not into making false declarations....

It looks like I will have to come to Thailand with a Spanish licence (which in theory I shouldn't have either after I cease to be a Spanish resident........)

:confused:
 

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If only it were that easy !

I no longer have a UK licence, I had to exchange it for a Spanish one.... and I can't get another UK one without declaring that I am a UK resident, which I'm not. And I'm not into making false declarations....

It looks like I will have to come to Thailand with a Spanish licence (which in theory I shouldn't have either after I cease to be a Spanish resident........)

:confused:
You could also just take the Thai driving test which is easy with the whole process taking up half a day - when I was going through all this four years ago did both car and motorcycle tests the same day coming away with licences for both. Either way you keep hold of any other driving licences from other countries you may have.
 

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I read on another forum that you can get around the UK residence stuff by having an address in the UK where you can be contacted. This sounds like a bit of a grey zone to me...
As Mweiga mentions, getting a Thai license is easy apart from the paper work involved you may need a Thai translator with you.
 

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^ from post #3 of this thread!

  • residency letter issued by Thai Immigration (less than 30 days old)
  • medical cert - medical centres/hospitals can issue these (less than 30 days old)
  • passport and copies of pages showing photo and visa
  • original licence/s from home country plus copies

note that as car and motorcycle are issued as separate licences if applying for both you need an extra set of photocopies; sign every photocopy page
Costs
- residency letter cost me 500 baht last time. May vary by province.
- medical - I've paid from 50 to 200 (need a new one each renewal). 100 was at local public hospital
- licence/s unsure on current rate - about 300 baht per licence

recommend check first with whatever office you intend to apply to - there are often regional variations, and they may also have set times to attend as some require applicants to watch a road safety video.

Again, depending on where you apply - recommend taking a fluent Thai speaker with you.

Also - if applying for two licences confirm they will accept one residency letter and a copy. Silly as it may sound, I ran into a problem with this last March when I renewed - settled by having a senior staff member stamp and sign copy saying the confirmed she had sighted the original. Else it would have meant another visit to Immigration.
 

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To add to what Song Si just said ... there is one further possible complication.

If you have different classes of license marked on your overseas DL then you will need documentation to describe exactly what each class of license you hold applies for - so that it can be matched to the Thai equivalent. For e.g. your DL may note you hold class a & b & c or 1, 2, 3 etc which might mean you can drive 21 seat minibus, speedboat etc etc. Obviously they won't take your word for it ... from (distant) memory I think I got away with using just a print-out of the relevant state licensing agency's web site.
 

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^ from post #3 of this thread!



Costs
- residency letter cost me 500 baht last time. May vary by province.
- medical - I've paid from 50 to 200 (need a new one each renewal). 100 was at local public hospital
- licence/s unsure on current rate - about 300 baht per licence

recommend check first with whatever office you intend to apply to - there are often regional variations, and they may also have set times to attend as some require applicants to watch a road safety video.

Again, depending on where you apply - recommend taking a fluent Thai speaker with you.

Also - if applying for two licences confirm they will accept one residency letter and a copy. Silly as it may sound, I ran into a problem with this last March when I renewed - settled by having a senior staff member stamp and sign copy saying the confirmed she had sighted the original. Else it would have meant another visit to Immigration.
Thanks Song_Si , It was very helpful
 

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and one more - been reading on another forum about some offices turning away applicants who turn up in shorts and/or a t-shirt.
 
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