possible to register bike on tourist visa?


New Member
Dec 2, 2012
hey all,

I have a bit of a problem myself and need some help or advice...
Currently i am on a tourist visa and have been backpacking through Thailand.
I have been driving 50cc scooters back home for years and gotten the (ambisious) idea to buy a motercycle here in Thailand and i want to try traveling through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodja.
I Have done some reading and research about if it is possible or not to register a bike to my name or even cross borders with it. This made me verry unsecure if it is possible or not because there are just too many people saying it is possible and people saying it isnt.

Also i dont own a international driving license for a moter (only scooter and car ). How big of a problem is this going to be and how often does police check your driving license?

I know this plan is maybe way to ambisious but im just looking for any honoust answers and maybe solutions.

Many thanks in advance!:D


ps. i am currently in Chaing Mai if anybody who lives here wants to help me please contact me by mail [email protected]


Jan 31, 2005
In previous years I would have said no problem. I bought and registered 2 bikes on a tourist visa. However lately the laws have seemed to change (At least in BKK). A friend on a tourist visa bought a Ducati almost a year ago, and still does not have a proper plate for the bike. He has gone through some inordinate amount of paying various people off to get some documentation that will hopefully get him a plate. We shall see.


Dec 27, 2007
While the law says you need a long stay visa to register a vehicle in Thailand, the enforcement of that law varies from province to province. Seems in the tourist provinces like Phuket, Chonburi, and perhaps also Chiang Mai, that they generally allow tourists to register vehicles. In Bangkok they do not.

I'd recommend you go ask at the Chiang Mai DLT office if it's possible.

Also, if you're going to be here for a while it will be worth your while to get a Thai Driver's License. The benefits of a Thai DL are many- it will allow you to ride legally on the roads, it's valid in all ASEAN countries, it's legal ID, and it will make your insurance valid. (Riding / driving without a valid license makes nullifies any insurance policy you might have). If you have a valid drivers license from your home country, getting a Thai DL is super easy and very cheap. You'll need your passport, a medical cert from any corner clinic that states you are physically fit to drive, they'll perform some very basic tests of your depth perception, peripheral vision and reflexes, and that's about it.