Driving Licence

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by Mot, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Mot

    Mot Member

    I just come to see that on the Tony's Big Bikes facebook's page:

    "BREAKING NEWS: We now need to see a license to rent any kind of bike out. This includes automatic scooters. A provisional license from your home country is fine but for a manual bike, we need a "full" license and preferably an International Driving Permit (IDP). This is a directive from the Thai police."

    I'm french, living in France, for X reasons (laziness, so easy to rent bikes in Thailand , etc..) I don't have yet french motorbike driving licence. I started the process few weeks ago but my trip to Chiang-Mai is suppose to start in one month. Too short to get it.

    For years I rent bikes in Laos and in Thailand alone or with friends. 2 years ago in Chiang Mai for a fantastic loop (Payao, Nan, Boklua, Phu Chee Fah, Chiang Kong, Mae Sai Fang, Pai, Mae Sariang ) , last year we went to Laos, and we planned to go back to Chiang Mai on January 2014. Till now I never had any question or problem about my driving licence even one week ago when I hired an ER-6 from Pattaya to Koh Chang and return(750km).

    Is these decision of the Chiang Mai police really enforced? What do you think? Do you have any advice? I feel so miserable as I'm thinking about this trip for months. The area is so fantastic...
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  3. Greatdane

    Greatdane Active Member

  4. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    I expect that whether or not the individual hire companies comply will be up to them.

    None have ever requested to see my Drivers Licence, but I did hear from Pikey that this was coming.

    If you aren't going to be able to get a proper licence from home, then I guess your choices are to run the risk of not being able to rent a bike, or to get a Thai Licence if you can.

    I didn't think it was possible, as you need a letter of residence from immigration, which you won't be able to get, because you aren't a resident.
  5. Greatdane

    Greatdane Active Member

    You only need to have an address - which can be at a hotel. You can get the letter of residence from immigration or from your own embassy. Both places you will have to present some kind of proof that you are staying at the address. A renting contract will do, even if it is only for a month.
  6. Mot

    Mot Member

    Thank you for your answers. The Thai driving licence is an option. I just come to receive a reply from Tonýs big bike:

    "Yes, recently the polices here have begun stopping and fining people who don't have an International license so it is adviseable to get one. We can rent you a Ninja 250cc but basically when you sign the contract you are signing a disclaimer saying you agree to take responsibility of any fines incurred whilst you have the bike."

    The question now is to know how many time a day I eventually can be stopped and fined by the police? Is the new rule applied all over the Province or only in the Chiang Mai area?
    These year we are less ambitious than 2 years ago and we will only ride on the Mae Hong Son loop.
  7. Greatdane

    Greatdane Active Member

    Fines may be the least of your problems. No insurance will cover when you do not have a valid license. In the worst case scenario, you risk not being treated at a hospital even if your life depends on it, or be indebted for the rest of your life for damage or lost life of others.

    In my opinion it is about time they enforce the laws regarding license. Too many untrained tourists on the roads - especially in the more touristy areas.

    Get a license, I paid less than 2,000 baht, and most of the amount went to my embassy for the residence letter. At best, it will take you a few hours to get the license. I took two days, because I flunked the first time - never before heard of a sign with a minimum speed, and that sign came up three times in the test.
  8. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Not wanting to encourage you to set a bad example and flaunt the law... It is only a recent change by the cops - so hard to know who often/if ever you will be stopped... I would guess it wouldn't be a big problem...

    It is a 200 baht fine.

    The insurance question needs to be directed back to the place you are hiring from.

    My understanding is that the few hire places that offer insurance, 'self insure' (i.e. take the extra money on the rental and pay the repairs themselves.

    I believe that the 3rd class insurance is tied to the bike, not the rider, and therefore isn't impacted by the rider being unlicenced.

    If you have time, would be worthwhile getting the Thai DL.

    Still interested to find out if anyone has done this successfully on a tourist visa, or visa exempt stamp.
  9. GTNZ

    GTNZ Ol'Timer

    At the moment I'm on a tourist visa. Both car and bike licenses expired last Friday so went to renew them. They were both 5 year licenses and because I'm on a TV I was told I can't have another 5 year (spew) but will give you one year. Okay so next step get a residence certificate from immigration, but got told bluntly "cannot" on TV. They wouldn't even give me the certificate so I could get a one year. I ended up getting a residence certificate from my consulate. So you need this document, a drivers license medical, 100 thb at Chiangmai Ram, a photocopy of your visa, one of your passport details page, one of your visa stamp and fill out the form they give you at the police licensing center. I got my new one year today for both bike and car, and you need copies of everything I mentioned for each license. No photos needed. Two licenses cost 180 thb each. At least I'm back legal again.
  10. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    By rights. Unless you have an ASEAN licence you need an international licence.

    Then you will have no fines, with in the law and insured.

    Insurance is a biggie. Not only the Bike but your travel and health insurance.

    Any excuse not to pay and they will take it. Unlicensed riding or driving would count.

    Doesn't really help you. But you know where you stand.

    If you have the time and paper work. Try for a Thai licence.
    Otherwise you do run the risk of all the points / concerns in this thread. Insurance being the biggest one.

    Check your travel insurance and ensure they cover you for riding a bike and with a licence from another country if you go down that path.

  11. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Most TI bought outside of Thailand don't. Regardless of the law in the country are traveling to, if you're the rider, you must be licenced for that bike in your home country.
  12. Mot

    Mot Member

    Ok it is more clear for me, thank you all for your help and specialy to Nui from Tony's big bikes.
  13. jbecks

    jbecks New Member

    So this is proof you can get a residence certificate with only a TV and "residence" at a hotel or hostel? Im looking to do the same to travel Thailand, Cambodia, and may even give Myanmar a shot. Was this done at a US consulate?

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