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How to get a Thai driver’s license as a foreigner

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Foreigners who live or travel to Thailand frequently may be interested in the steps needed to get a driver’s license in the Kingdom. For those who are applying for the first time, and do not have an international drivers license, the information below can help you navigate the process. One thing in which to note, is that the process of obtaining a Thai driving license will be much easier if you have a valid driving license from your home country in English or an International Driving Permit. If you have either of these, you won’t have to pass the physical driving test or written exam.

The documents in which you will need to bring when arriving at the transport office

-Passport with visa (original and photocopy)

-2 passport photos

-Original present resident address in Thailand that is certified from your embassy or Thailand Immigration Bureau. The certificate of residence must be valid for 1 year. OR if you have a work permit, that will serve in place of a certificate of residence as the work permit should have a present address identified on the documents. You will need the original work permit and a photocopy.

-Original medical certificate (5 Diseases Form) from a clinic or hospital that is valid for 1 month.

-Original and photocopy of invalid international drivers license or local drivers license if you have it. If you have an international drivers license, you must have it translated to English or Thai languages and it must be certified by your embassy if it is not in English language.

Procedure

-Print off the drivers license application form and prepare for the physical and theory test. It is best to arrive early to the transport office of your location as the process can take all day. Once you arrive, you will watch a video about driving that is about 1 hour long. Then you will take a physical driving test and then watch a 5-hour long video. This is considered your training. After, you will take another physical test, a theory test (in which it is best to study in advance), and lastly a practical test.

The Thai driving license exam has 5 different categories:

1.Vehicle Law

2.Road Traffic Law

3.Traffic and Warning Signs

4.Safe Driving

5.Vehicle Maintenance

The driving license exam is divided into 2 sets of questions, with each set consisting of 25 questions (50 questions in total.) The test-taker must answer 45 or more questions (90%) correctly to pass the written test.

The fees listed on the government website for a driving license are 205 baht.

The fees for a motorcycle license on the government website are 105 baht.

The website Move2Thailand has a great practise test for those who would like to study before taking the exam. Below are some examples of the practise test.

Sample test questions from vehicle category (answers are in italics):

While driving, the driver must have any documents used with the driving license.

A. National Identification Card

B. Copy of house registration

C. Copy of car registration

D. Social Security Card

Sample test questions from Road Traffic Law category:

What should be done to drive via a crossroad?

A. Strictly obey traffic lights or traffic rules

B. When encountering a cross road warning sign, drive at normal speed

C. If there is no traffic light Let the bigger car go through the crossroads first

D. When the warning sign is found at the junction of the intersection, drive as usual

Sample test questions from Traffic and Warning Signs category:

When finding this mark what should the driver do?

A. Be extra careful. Then stop the car.

B. Be extra careful. The stop-delivery zone

C. Drive slowly if you see that it is unsafe for other cars or pedestrians in the way ahead. Have to stop the car before reaching the line, make way

D. Increase caution and park the car

Sample test questions from Safe Driving category:

What should be done when driving into a roundabout without traffic lights?

A. Let the car on our right in the roundabout first

B. Let the car on our left in the roundabout first

C. Give the car that enters the roundabout and will turn left first

D. Give the car that enters the roundabout and will go straight ahead

Sample test question from Vehicle Maintenance category:

What battery should be insulated at the battery terminal?

A. Positive pole

B. Negative pole

C. No insulation needed

D. Cover both sides.

NOTE: While this information is as up to date as possible, it is important to check back regularly on the government website for updated procedures and policies regarding obtaining a Thai driver’s license. Furthermore, this information is not inclusive of all laws, procedures, and policies.

 

 

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    Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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