An international driver's license is accepted in Thailand as long as its valid normally 12 months. A foreign license holds no weight here. If you decide to stay in Thailand you should obtain a Thai license but you cannot obtain one on a tourist visa. You need to have a current Thai license to obtain Thai International license after holding for 1 year. 

Some Insurance companies will put in fine print in Thai that you must be the holder of a CURRENT DRIVERS LICENSE which means a THAI DRIVERS' LICENSE not an international to claim insurance if you have an accident. To obtain an International license you must take documents to the Vehicle Registration Division of the Communication Transport Agency (opposite Chatuchak Park), Poholythin Rd, Bangkok, Tel: (02) 272-3615. Application can also be made at the Vehicle Registration Office in Chiang Mai located on Chiangmai-Hangdong Rd. tel (053) 270-411 as well as other registered Centres. Allow one month for issuance & mail delivery from Bangkok.

Firstly, you must apply for your Thai driving license in the provinc that you live in. For example, if you live in Sukhothai province, do not apply in Bangkok or Chiangmai. Most registration Offices have English speaking staff. Local province offices cannot issue International Driving licenses as you need some English expertise to do the translation. We have just been told you cannot create an international driving license from your Thai one until you have held it for at least a year? this may not be the case in your Province though. What you need:

1. Affidavit of residence executed at your Embassy or Consulate. English translation is OK.

2. Thai Driver's license which has been renewed for the second year.

3. Work Permit.

4. 2 photos size 1 1/2" X 21/2"

5. Copy of Passport & visa page

6  fee in baht. USA = 505 baht.? may be subject to change.

What you will need when applying for your Thai drivers license with a five year validity:
  • temporary Thai driving license.
  • Valid Passport with Valid Non-immigrant Visa.
  • A certified letter of address from the applicant's embassy, or from the Immigration Bureau (document can not be older than 30 days)
Applications must be made in person. Take originals & one set of copies. Applications made in Chiangmai require 2 sets of copies, a money order fee & a self addressed return envelope with 2 postage stamps for registered mail.


1. Original Affidavit of residence executed at your Embassy or consulate. (under 1 month old) If doing 2 licenses eg. car/motorbike then you can use a copy for the 2nd license.

2. Non-immigrant visa.

3. Passport

4. Medical report from a doctor or hospital (under 1 month old & original ). About 20-50 baht cost.

5. Your country driver's license to verify what license you hold (if not you take a test written multi choice & road test. If no bike or car you can rent). Watch the motorcycles as they have no brakes but the test is simple- a slalom through 5 poles.

6. 2 photos size 1" X 1"

7. fee baht 105 baht.

The Chiangmai drivers license centre has photo copy machines, laminating machines & photo stalls etc. tests go upstairs but the Help counter will direct you. Written tests start at 1pm & a motorcycle hiring fee is 10 baht? but may have changed. The tests are easy but the written is somewhat ambiguous. You must get over 15 out of 20 questions but if you fail just go back and do it again. You also have an eyesight test which is simple. If you have both motorcycle & car license from your country then do both licenses using copies for the second license otherwise you have to obtain another letter (original) from your embassy. The license is current for 1 year and following the year you have 365 days to renew or you will have to do the licenses all over again.

What you need: Passport & immigration copies, copy from Immigration, 4 small 1"  photos which you can normally get out at the Registration Office for 90 baht & of course the forms & drivers license. You pay 60 baht for the license and they will receipt it then you go back in the afternoon next day to pick up. Go upstairs to window 203 then pay at 202 then collect at 203. { If you need forms or want us to get in Chiangmai then ask us if not sure ).

 Renewal will run 105 Baht. 3 Baht for three passport copies, 90 Baht for four (4) color pictures (two of which you can keep until next year) Drivers license renewal can take place in one day providing your are prepared to return in late afternoon to pick it up. 
Don't forget to bring your passport!

BANGKOK: The Driving License Sub-Division of the Motor Vehicles Registration Office, Tel: 02 279-2959 will tell you where to find the right place. Sukhumvit residents, go to Soi 99. Exit the expressway at Soi 62, turn right into Sukhumvit Road and then left (at Diethelm Building) walk down the long side street and it is on the left at the end of the street.

No helmet fine 500 baht as at Nov 2017


Swede had a fake drivers license and was arrested as he used another foreigner who arranged to go to Bangkok to sit his drivers license. However you must be on a non immigrant visa to have one? It turned out he had his license sent thru the mail after sitting the tests with whoever conducted it, used it then when he was picked up it was fake. Beware there are no cheap ways to get a license as can check if registered. He said he sat a written test only in Pattaya & there was a school in Bangkok that could help him? BUT you can do in Chon Buri OK. He did not know he had a fake licence and now must wait to go to court??? and he has no funds left. He is now stuck in Pattaya as Police just say wait wait and smile???? ; has lost his job back in Sweden and no funds to live but immigration is helping him. He bought a bike from the shop & then paid 2500baht for the license plus transport etc. & was setup by a foreigner. He needs to name the shop/ find the foreigner who set him up etc.

If someone has a cheap way to get your license DON'T. Years back an American was selling UN Licenses and he was caught but we got to learn a few foreigners who bouht them. Thai Police may be fooled for a time but the problem was this guy sold 2 licenses to a Pakistani who onsold them. The recipients tried to enter the UN compound in Bangkok??? caught.



1. Its a current driving license if you have an accident.

2. The license has your passport number on it so is your ID card for renting cars, hotel stays etc.or admission into places where otherwise you need your passport.

3. ID for banking & checking in or out parcels and clearances.

4. Renewals are straight forward.

5. You are supposed to possess one if living in Thailand after 6 months.

6. It can save you a hell of a lot of money in the longrun !!!!!especially if your Inter isn't current & you cannot read the fine print on your Insurance policy.

7/. On passing the test, a Thai driverís license will be issued & is valid for 1 year. This may be renewed for a further 1 year. After 2 renewals it no longer expires.

Translate your Thai License:

If you have a Thai driver's license, you can have it officially translated with official stamps, your photo and all into English at the Ministry of land transport for 50 baht. This document will then serve as second license for you, a valid international driver's license usable anywhere in the world. This procedure is much easier than getting a Thai issued international driver's license which technically would not be valid in Thailand. When driving outside your home country it is recommended that you always have with you a second (international) driver's license.

Cost for driving license: 105 baht for a car and 55 baht for motorcycle. Applications for driving licenses for other forms of vehicle may not be granted. Do both licenses at the same time otherwise you may have to produce a second Embassy document stating where you live although now the new policy appears to be Immigration letter rather than the Embassy one, either or. You will probably have to sit for a written test on road rules as well. Obtaining a Thai driving license is advantageous if you do not 
have an International Driving License and want to drive in the  following countries with a Tourist Visa.: Singapore, Malaysia, Laos 

Buying a car or motorcycle: 2017

1/. Need non immigrant year visa, Company or have work permit.

2/. Passport and copies of main page and visa page

3/. Need letter from your Embassy.

Make sure you get tabian (reg book) when buying a car and also have change of ownership form, ID of seller; house reg of seller & get him/her to sign a power of authority form. The vehicle must undergo test.

A foreigner can own a vehicle if they provide an endorsed letter from the embassy along with their passport.


If you need our help just ask us: Check out Asia Real Estate for houses, sales and rentals from condos to land & any law help you need. [ Asia Realty

Remember if coming to Thailand for longer stays then 1 month go to your nearest Thai Consulate in your home country. Arrival in Thailand you can obtain 30 days eg. USA. It varies between countries.


      Check your foreign currency exchange rates against the Thai Baht with Bangkok Bank.

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