Thai Police Check Point And Driver's Licence

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by mcjtom, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. I've been stopped by a end-of-month police traps in Bangkok twice over the last few months, for some imaginary offences. The first time they impounded my Thai licence (just like they did with all the other Thai drivers that were caught along with me), and even though I went to police station to explain and negotiate, they refused to returned my licence unless I paid the fine (which I, sadly, did).

    I asked around, including at the Canadian Embassy, and I was told that Thai Police is NOT allowed to keep you licence - they can copy the information from it, issue you a ticket, possibly take you to court if not payed, but can't keep the licence for ransom.

    When I was stopped the second time, I showed the licence to a cop, but refused to give it to him (kind of wrestled it out of his hands...). We went to a station, and the negotiation was much easier this time.

    So my question is this: is there a written law or a document that one can use to explain the above to the police i.e. that they are not allowed keep my driver's licence when they stop me, and if so, where to find it? I"m afraid that the next time I'm stopped, they will ask me for a licence, which then will be taken away as a bargaining chip.

  2. #2 rcm273, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    What did they sting you for? What would the Canadian Embassy know about Thai drivers law?

    I doubt even the police know what they can do or what they can't do, it's just control, if they don't take a Thai persons DL, they will snatch their ID card, I know people who haven't had their passport on a raid on taxis and had their children or girlfriends held hostage on the side of the road.

    Rather than what is legal or what isn't legal and if you are sure its just a shakedown for tea money, sometimes it's easier to shrug your shoulders and negotiate a fine for no license on the roadside ( if it starts turning wrong you can always search your pockets one last time and find it ) - whats the cost of that? 500B reduced to 300B in their hand. That way, the attention is on your lack of a DL, they aren't looking at your pipe, they aren't thinking about fining you for driving on the right, you cough up the money and you are on your way.

    I will ask about.
  3. #3 rcm273, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    The general consensus from the fb group is .. no they can't, but yes they do.

    Two plans of attack.

    1. Don't let them touch your license. if you haven't done anything wrong then why would they want to touch it, inspect it or hold it in their hands.

    2. Get a couple of colour photocopies made, put a scan of you passport data page on the reverse, this should suffice, if they want to get silly, give it to them as a free souvenir.

    Another thing that works, one of the guys has a French consulate card, it does nothing more than says he is a French citizen and can enter the grounds of the embassy or something, the police think he has diplomatic immunity and let him pass, maybe rig something like this.

    If your in BKK, join fb expat bikers (thailand) its helpful.

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