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How to get a Thai Drivers License

Getting a drivers license in Thailand is a real pain. By law if you have been living in the country for more than 3 months then you need to make sure you get a drivers license as after 3 months you'll get massive fines 50,000 baht plus if you cause an accident and are not licensed. You could get fined by even just being in an accident that someone else caused and could end up paying everything even if you weren't at fault. This is why you should get one. Advantages however include cheaper fares to any place that has dual pricing for foreigners/Thai's. All up it costs 800 baht after you add everything up.

Getting a motorbike license and car license in Thailand are both the same written exams and the driving test is something a 10 year old could do. In fact when they do the driving test they make you do a 3 point turn but your allowed to do 7 changes of the gears (that's reverse and going forward). Any more than that and you fail. That's probably the hardest part of the test. As for the written test it's 30 questions and you need to get 23 right in order to pass.

Before you even go to take the exam for the Thai drivers license you'll need to do the following:

1. Go to the doctor (don't go to the hospital unless you want to pay 500 baht!) and ask for a doctors certificate for drivers license. In Thai they call this "by rup rong paet  ใบรับรองแพทย์". This should only cost 80-100 baht depending on where you go.

2. Go to your place of residence and ask the reception to write you a letter of residence. They probably won't know what your talking about so just ask them to write a letter with the letter head stating that you are living at that address. It's important that your full name and address of the apartment is written on the letter.

3. Now go to immigration and get a "Certificate of Residence" You'll need 2 photos along with a copy of the doctors certificate a copy and the letter from the apartment owner you live at. Don't give them the original doctors certificate you'll need that to get your license. If you go to Chiang Mai immigration get there about 9am you don't need a number just go to the front desk under the sign that calls the numbers and ask for the certificate or residence fill in the form and leave it with them, come back the next day with your passport (you'll also need copies of the passport when you hand in the form).

4. Once you have the certificate of residence and the doctors certificate and signed copies of your passport go to the drivers license office the fees are as followed Fee baht 105.- (car), 55.- (motorcycle) smart card 100. You get the smart card once you've had the provisional drivers license for more than a year. The 5 year drivers license which you can then get costs 250 baht. There is also a 100 baht fee for taking the photo (it's digital so don't go and get photo's before hand!)

Things to keep in mind when you get a Thai Drivers License

The form you have to fill out is all in Thai language if you don't read thai you'll need help filling this out.
Chiang Mai is the only place you can get the license in a day all other places make you go in for the training and make you come back again for the exams.
Thais and foreigners have different rooms to go to. I did the training all in Thai then when I did the exam I did it in English big mistake. The English exam is nothing what was covered in the Thai training and of course I failed. The English exam is full of spelling mistakes and makes little sense. You can 2 chances to take the test so if you fail try again. Like I said I did the English exam and failed, so I took the exam in Thai language and passed because the 4 hour meeting they made us sit through pretty much gave us all the answers to the exam. So make sure you pay attention.

Since I did my drivers test in Chiang Mai here is a map of the places you'll need to go in order to get the Thai drivers license.

View Get a Drivers License in Chiang Mai Thailand in a larger map


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One Response to How to get a Thai Drivers License

  1. steve simms March 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    i have been to 2 immigration departments that i was told by different people to go to and get the paperwork for residence in thai,both times after many hours and much travelling i was turned away,them saying i can only get this from my embassy.could you tell me where i have to go to get this paper,which immigration centre in bangkok please.

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