Renewing Driving Licence in Bangkok

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Buy & Sell - S.E. Asia' started by rdg_john, May 22, 2007.

  1. Today, I renewed my temporary 1-year driving licences (car and bike) for 5-year versions and would like to share up-to-date information for anybody in Bangkok wishing to do likewise in the near future.

    Documents needed (per licence application):

    • 2 1x1 inch photos (recent – best get new set done if yours are more than a couple of months old)
    • Certification of residence: I used my work permit (signed photocopies of the information pages). You can get a letter from your embassy (expensive if you are British), or a certificate from the Immigration Department.
    • Signed photocopies of passport photo page, visa page and TM card.
    • Medical Certificate – I originally read on Thai Visa that this was not required for renewals, but it is.

    Likewise, some websites give conflicting advice concerning when you can renew a 1-year licence. I originally went 2 days before mine expired and was told to come back after the expiry date.

    Best office to use in Bangkok is the Head Office (open Mon-Fri) opposite Chatuchak weekend market. Exit no. 2 from Mo Chit BTS, then 300 yards following the flow of the traffic. When you see a big, impressive traditional Thai building, you have found the Land Transport Office.

    You need to go to building number 4 – the buildings have signs in Thai – you need the building that is about 100 yards behind the Thai-style building at approximately 1 o’clock (as the crow flies).

    Go up one flight of stairs (the second floor, apparently), you will see an area with counters laid out like a bank. The good thing about using this office is that there is a dedicated ‘Foreigner’ desk (number 16). There is no application form, just hand over your paperwork and the helpful member of staff will invite you to sit down while the necessary administration is done.

    I waited just 15 minutes before I was called back to the same desk and asked to sign about 4 forms and handed over 760 baht – 550 for car and 210 for bike.

    You are then presented with your unlaminated licence. Take this over to the counter with the photocopiers on the same floor near to where you entered, and for 10 baht you can have it laminated.

    That’s all there is to it.
  2. What kind of visa is needed to renew? I have 5 year drivers lincences that are about to expire... and only a 2 months tourist visa in passport.
  3. Tom, you will need a non-immigrant visa - you can't apply/renew on a tourist visa. I understand that non-immigrant 'O' visas are not so hard to get, depending on the embassy you use, of course.
  4. I understood that Non Imm "O"s were what you applied for if you ever made the M committment!
    If you are looking for non-imm "B" I can put you in touch with some helpful people.
    Getting them back in the UK, Aussie[Brisbane] & US are relatively easy, with the right accompanying paperwork.
    You can get one without leaving the country, but it will cost.
  5. Rhodie,I emailed you.
  6. Tom,

    Thanks a lot for this very detailed informations (and useful).

    Could you develop what a TM card is ?

    For the time being, I have a Non-Immigrant Visa for O - A, do you think I could apply for this driving license with the original of my French or International driving license ?

    Do you know how to apply and where for the residence certificate at Immigration Department ?

    How to get the medical certifcate, I mean should I go to a hospital or a care center and ask what for this purpose ?

    Sorry to bore you with all my questions but your help would be precious.

    Have great fun
  7. Laurent, the TM card is the blue and white arrival/departure card stapled in your passport when you arrive in the country.

    To have your address confirmed by the Immigration Dept., I have found the following information:

    The required documents are (from Thai Immigration's handout):

    1. two colour photos 1.5" x 2";
    2. copy of passport (including) - picture page; - visa extension limit page; - arrival / departure card i.e. the TM card;
    3. a copy of the house registration (i.e. house book) and a copy of the rental contract;
    4. a copy (of the) ID card of the owner and "write certified of residence" (?) and signed by the owner. (I'm guessing this is a simple letter to state you really do live at that address and signed by the owner.)

    This site is useful:

    The medical certificate is easily obtained either at any hospital or at one of the many small clinics you see (always with a green cross and green writing). Hospital is better if you go by yourself and your Thai is not so good. You just need to mention you intend to apply for a driving licence ("by kap kee")and they should understand what you need. Should be no more than 100 baht.
  8. Or you can usually get one (Certificate of Residency) from your Consulate without all the supporting documents but it will cost you more (at least you can from the U.S. Consulate but I can't speak for all, obviously).
  9. The UK certificate of residency is precisely 2448 baht here in CNX as i was asked to bend over and then got shafted for that exact amount this morning..... [:(]

    Think in my next life I'll join the Diplomatic Corps and ride the bloody gravy train for all it's worth!


  10. Pikey.......I got a residency cert today here in Phuket, cost me zero, went to see my landlord from a few years ago, gave me fotocopy of his house papers, all done and dusted in about 20 minutes

    so it seems there are some advantages living down here
  11. Johno

    It sounds as tho you have managed renewal in Phuket without having to get an Embassy/Consul confirmation of residency.
    When renewing my license here in BKK they demanded a letter from my consulate [Irish - 1300THB].
    A copy of my lease or letter from landlord was not considered relevant.
    On renewal I was not asked for a health cert - which I had to get when applying for my first year's license.

    Just a note for anyone embarking on getting a Thai license for the first time: one useful thing to have is an International DL from your home country as this then negates the need to take an actual driving test.
    Though you will still have to take an eye test, brake response test and a depth perception test. These are not required to be retaken on renewal.
  12. Rhodie I have never had to go to UK/OZ embassy to get this expensive letter.

    Each time a copy of lease was sufficient

    And this time, as I mentioned above, I had moved 2 yeas ago from town house I was renting, so had fotocopy of my previous landlords house papers, and all was okay.
  13. Lucky Bugger
    In BKK not only do you have to get this letter you have to ensure that it is not older than 30 days.
    Otherwise they deem it to have expired.
    For once Phuket appears to be the sane choice!

    PS I know you may approve of my parsimony by going the Mick route instead of the Pommy choice. Dual national.
    Also, instead of putting up with the chippy brits in bkk, the locally employed lasses at the Paddy place are incredibly helpful, efficient but they are real easy on the eye as well.
  14. Rhodie, me too have dual nationality, OZ and UK, the only time I get my UK passport out is when going back to the UK for a holiday. OZ one so much better, for everything.

    Also Phuket system works the same when I lived in Samui, although over there they charged you 500 baht. For my photo I had my picture taken sitting outside a blue tent, way back in 95, the days of 35mm camera. Just got 35 prints done, then cut my face out of picture so it appears with blue background. Even had a No 1 haircut 2 days previous to getting foto taken, so look more like a convict, gets a few remarks from imigration staff but they always seem to accept foto okay.
  15. As far a MC riding licenses.... is an international permit accompanied by home country residence MC/Car license acceptable? I have read it was in most countries.

  16. I don"t understand why you have to go to the embassy/consulate for Certificate of Residence.

    Pattaya Immigration is charging 200 Baht for Certificate of Residence and you only have to show the hire contract where you live and passport together with two pictures. They give it even without any visa but the duration of the certificate is only up to the date you must leave the country.The Certificate is by the way the same you need when registering bike

    When applying for driving licence here in Pattaya you must have a Visa. You must have an international driving licence or your original license if in english or a translation of it confirmed by consulate. Otherwise you go to the drivers test which is not very hard but take one day. You also need a Health certificate which you can get from most clinics here for 100 Baht without any examination.

    When renewing your license (which you can do months after the old license has expired) you only need the old license ( or a police rapport that you have lost it), Certificate of residence and a Visa in your passport. The new 5 year license you will get in 5 minutes.

    So Tropical John, Pattaya is quite easy also and by the way the beer is much cheaper here than in Phuket.

  17. Hiko, funnilly enuf I was chatting to a friend last nite here in Phuket, he is moving to Pattaya and I was telling him how much cheaper it is to live in Pattaya than Phuket. Looking forward to getting over there to Pattaya sometime to say Hi, and claim my free beer from you.

    What you describe for getting licence etc. it exactly the same word for word as we do here, seems the others have to suffer for living in BKK and CNX
  18. In Chiang Mai, the letter of residency is free now (formerly Bt200) from Thai Immigration IF you have all the papers that Rdq_John listed. I only mentioned the Letter from one's consulate as an alternative way of doing it if you could not get all the other paperwork together for Thai Immigration.
  19. Dave,

    I have a conflicting experience. 2 years ago I got a letter of residency free from CNX immigration after producing passport (with non-imm B), med cert, copy lease & pic - no probs. last year went to get the same again and there was a sign saying that unless you have a years visa (i.e. your visa is for 365 days but you DON'T need to do 90 day border hops, instead reporting to immigration), then you could get a letter. Now, this confused the hell out of me but seems that if you get your visa in your home country as I do on an annual basis, then you don't need to show a wad of cash in the bank (400k/800k for marriage/retirement respectively) but you do need to re-validate it every 90 days with a border run and you cannot obtain the freebie letter from immigration anymore. This is why I had to suffer being royally ripped off by the UK Consulate for the letter earlier this week.

    Still, TIT so it could (and probably will) change again next day/week/month/year [;)]


  20. Hi,

    Idea. When I first got DL, had non-imm (study). Staying at hotel, but had friend who owned house. Had name card made up with Degrees and Specialty (MD), took same to regular police, not immigration, and asked for letter of residence - no problem Baht 500-.

    Took letter and passport (non-imm visa, but not one renewable in Thailand) to motor vehicle in Chiang Mai and paid usual amount. No test 'cause had Int. DL. Renewal next year did not require letter; just showed name card with friend's address. Maybe can't do now, but if you don''t lie (except friend's address), no criminal charges. Clerk just assumed Name Card was short cut for letter and work permit.


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