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jacobsladder

Getting a Thai Drivers License

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I have a UK drivers license and an international license. I also have a Thai work permit. How do I get a Thai drivers license? Is it easier to get it done in Pattaya (I live in Banchang)?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I don't know whether it would be easier in Pattaya, or even possible to do it anywhere except Rayong as you are resident in that province. The licensing office for both vehicles and drivers is on the main road into Rayong City on the left-hand side going in from Banchang/Maptaphut, just after the big junction with the road that connects with the bypass.

 

You will need a letter from Immigration confirming your address and maybe as a first-timer a medical certificate obtained for a couple of hundred baht from any quack doctor (but they didn't need it when I renewed my  5-year licence last year). Plus copies of everything else (passport biodetails page and current residence stamp).

 

I don't know if the procedures have changed since I got my first licence there nearly 8 years ago, but at that time a UK licence was taken as sufficient evidence of competence not to require any practical driving test or theory test. If that is still the case, then the process is basically - 1) Check in with your documents at  a window in an open pavilion to the right of the main building -  2) sit down there and wait to be called up for a colour-recognition test and speed of reaction test (both very straightforward) - 3) trot over to the main building, upstairs to a lecture-room to watch an interminable video on road safety - 4) at some stage you will have been given a time to attend for issue of the licence. The office for that is upstairs opposite the lecture-room. It seems to be a disorganised scrum in there, to get to the counter to pay your fee, then wait for your number to be called to sit in a little booth to be photographed (another fee for that),  shortly after which the machine will spit out your card, and that's it.

 

Nowadays for your first licence you may have to take a computer multiple-choice test on the rules, but perhaps someone else can advise about that. I would comment that the Transport Office is radically different from the Immigration Office in that you are unlikely to find anyone either able or willing to speak English, so that if you are not fluent in Thai you will find it a lot easier if you have a Thai speaker in tow.

 

Best of luck.

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I agree with most of Eff1n2ret's informative post. I live in Ban Chang, have a UK licence, a Non-O visa and obtained my first Thai licence (Temporary valid 2 years) almost 2 years ago at the Department of Land Transportation (DLT), Rayong. I'm almost certain you can only use the  Land Transport Department office of the province noted in your certificate of residence. As you have a work permit, it might not be necessary to show a certificate of residence ( I assume that is recorded in the WP documents), but other TV members might turn up here to clarify.

 

I arrived at the DLT alone at about 08:00 (far too late) - that open pavilion was already crowded with Thai applicants  (officer told me they have 150-200 applicants per day, Rayong being the busiest province due to all the factories/industry here). Most of the applicants wanted motorbike licences but car drivers have to join the crowd as there's no separate service. 

 

I presented my UK licence, passport, medical certificate (about 100 Baht from any clinic), certificate of residence (which I was obliged to get from Brit Embassy, Bangkok because at that time Rayong Immigration [Maptaphut] office were not issuing res certs) - signed copies of all docs are required. They then kindly filled in the application form(s) for me (as noted above, all signs and forms are in Thai language only - no real surprise) and I completed the simple colour recognition and speed of reaction tests. 

 

That was all I had to do. Then upstairs to the licence issuing office, got licence and checked for any mistakes. Did not have to see a video or sit an exam or sit in a car.  

 

Best of luck. Dress smartly, be polite and just go with the flow. 

 

   

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I did my (2nd) 5-year renewal last October, and I think the safety video is something that's been introduced in the last year or so. It's not a problem, it just adds up to 2 hours to your day. As Roy Dee says, although 8.00 is when the window opens, the queue starts forming from 07.30 onwards. Don't plan anything else much for before early afternoon. You may have time for some shopping and lunch between the video session and doing the final bit in the office.

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3 minutes ago, Eff1n2ret said:

I did my (2nd) 5-year renewal last October, and I think the safety video is something that's been introduced in the last year or so. It's not a problem, it just adds up to 2 hours to your day. As Roy Dee says, although 8.00 is when the window opens, the queue starts forming from 07.30 onwards. Don't plan anything else much for before early afternoon. You may have time for some shopping and lunch between the video session and doing the final bit in the office.

I'll be going to get my first 5-year licence before the end of this month and will post an up-to-date report on here soon after.

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Re my post #5 above: Got my first 5-year driving licence (private car) this morning at DLT, Rayong. A simple procedure but took 3 hours simply because of the number of applicants (about 150 at a guess - mostly for motor bike licences - it's always crowded there).  I drove my own car there and went alone. The most difficult part of the whole endeavour was finding a parking space ;(

Documents required:

> Passport - original plus copies of photo/data page, visa and visa extension stamp

> Certificate of residence - to the OP : you must apply within the province you reside. I was asked if I have a work permit (I do not); presumably because the work permit shows one's residence, so a separate cert of res isn't needed in that case

> The expired driving licence - which they retain after you get your new one. Copy front and back of your expired licence. (I still had a week's validity left on mine)

> Certificate of health. Get from any local clinic (no need to go to a hospital) for 100 Baht.

> Fee of 505 Baht

I signed all the copies beforehand - not sure if necessary but all were accepted.

 

Wait in line at Building 3 (the crowded, open-sided one). Eventually submit your docs for checking and write your name and phone number on the application form they give you (they do all the rest). Had to do the colour recognition test and emergency stop test - a source of entertainment for all the Thai applicants as I was the only farang there (yes, I did say the colours in Thai language but could have used English, no probrum).

 

That's all. Then go to Building 2 (the main building), submit your docs for checking and wait to be called (difficult to hear the soft-spoken lady calling your name as they had a Thai soap playing on TV at high volume, 555). When called, pay the fee (Baht 505) and you get your docs back with a queue number for getting photographed and the licence prepared on pc/printer. Your passport and receipt for Baht 505 will be handed back to you. After a few minutes your shiny new licence pops out of the printer. Check it, say thanks and get outta there. I arrived about 08:00 and was out by 11:15.

 

I noticed they now print your address in both Thai and English on the back. There was no mention of doing any road knowledge/safety exam or watching a video (not required for Thais renewing either). The 5-year licence will expire on your birthday - as my birthday is in early April, my licence is actually valid for 5yrs 7 months and expires early April 2023. 

 

Once you've got your queue number for the photo/licence processing session, check the screen to see which number is currently being processed and, if time permits, go for coffee/snack at Elephant Cafe (Cafe de Chang) or the Thai restaurant within the compound, both just across from building 2.

.............................................................................................................................................................................................

 

 

 

 

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BANGKOK 19 October 2017 21:36
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