Five year Thai drivers licenses available


Jan 20, 2003
In March of 2003, I got Thai motorcycle and car drivers licenses. They are handy forms of ID to carry with you, and sometimes can get you into national parks at the Thai price instead of the tourist price. To get them, you have to be in Thailand on a visa other than a tourist visa.

Thailand has separate licenses for 10 different classes of vehicles, so I got 2 separate licenses. They are photo licenses, and do have your foreign passport ID number on them.

At that time, all that were available were 1 year licenses. Since I had a valid license for both from the USA, all I had to do was take a color-blindness test - no road tests. Fee was 50 baht, plus 5 baht for the official stamp for the cycle, 100 baht plus 5 baht for the car.

In March of 2004, I went to renew the licenses one week before they expired. I was told that I had 2 choices.

1. I could renew my licenses then for another set of 1 year licenses.

2. I could wait until the licenses expired and come back. Only then they could give me 5 year licenses.

I waited 1 week and came back. The 5 year licenses were ready 3 hours later. Fees were 5 times the yearly fees, plus 5 baht for the official stamps - total 255 baht for the cycle and 505 baht for the car.

This was in Chiang Mai. Since then, several friends in Bangkok have done the same - get a 5 year AFTER the old 1 year expires. It looks like this really is the current law, instead of a local interpretation.