Getting your Thailand drivers license
Rule number one is get to the Land Transport office at 8:00AM. They may turn
you away if you get there at 8:30.
I drove my motorbike around Pattaya for about three years plus, on just my passport and California drivers license and never had a problem. I did This back in the day when, thirty day visa runs were common practice and you could pretty much get away without a Thai driving license. I was fifty percent legal as long as nothing happened. When I got my retirement visa I decided to get a Thai drivers license at the same time. The process is really pretty simple and much of the paper work involved in getting a retirement visa is the same as with getting a Thai drivers license. To me it made perfect sense to get both retirement visa and drivers license at the same time.
Firstly why would you want to get your own Thai drivers license? Well now days it will cost you 1,000B if you are stopped and don't have one. If you are just in Thailand on a tourist visa, you are better off getting an international license. You should at the very least have an international drivers license. Here is the bad if you are involved in an accident and you don’t have a Thai driving license the blame will be pinned on you and you stand a chance of being jailed. By having a Thai drivers license your chance of getting a fair shake by the police when involved in accidents in Pattaya are much better. Furthermore some insurance companies won’t accept liability if the vehicle wasn't operated by someone with a valid Thai or international drivers license. That means if the accident is your fault as it most likely will be then you could be held one hundred percent responsible for that accident. You could also be thrown in jail while the police sort out who is at fault and who is going to pay. This process of sorting out who is at fault and who is going to pay could take a month or even longer to complete. Some other benefits of possessing a Thai license are that it establishes you as not just a mere tourist. Having a Thai license sometimes gets you a non tourist price at many tourist destinations in Thailand, not all of them but most.
You will need the following.
Check out these weird three wheeled motor scooters no helmet required
Here is the process
Some helpful tips
Getting to the Pattaya Department of Motor Vehicles
Head north on Sukhumvit Hwy until you get to a highway interchange for Highway 7,as pictured left, there is a bridge there, go up on the bridge to the right. This will be Highway 7 stay on this highway for 8.5K then you will come to another interchange stay all the way to the left (left fork two times). Now you are on Highway 36, you should see a big red, round, brick building on you left that is the Regents school. Travel another 500 meters past this and you will see a small road to the left, there are no signs and it is a sharp left so slow down before you get there, turn onto that road. Go along that for 300 meters and the road will curve to the left, just after that, the Department on Motor Vehicles building on the right. There are some small shops on the left that do photos and copies. I usually go into the motor vehicles office get my number then go across get my number
Renewing your drivers license
Your first Thai driving license will be good for only one year. Your second license will be good for five years, plus however long it is till your birthday that year. However if you renew your one year license before it expires you will only be given another one year license. The reason is they want you to have at least one year driving experience before issuing a five year permanent license. There for go sometime after it expires to get the five year license. If you have already the five year license you can renew up to 90 days before it expires or even up to a year after it expires. I know that all sounds weird but that is the way it is here, remember just go with the flow.
Because Your 5 year license expires on your fifth birthday from the time you get your license. You can renew your 5 year license just after it expires and get almost six years.
You will need most of the same documents as before. Renewing doesn't take as long but it may still be a good idea to get there in the morning.
Jobs for expats in Thailand
Cost of housing in Pattaya
Buying a home in Pattaya
Cost of living in Pattaya Housing
Living in Thailand on 500 dollars a month
75 dollar a month apartments
600 to 1,000 dollar a month apartments
Copyright 2009-2022 Pattaya Retired dot Com All photography and web design by Russ