How to Get a Thai Driving License: Documents, Tests, and Renewals

Expats planning to drive a car in Thailand should apply for a Thai driving license. 

This is the only way to ensure that you can drive legally in the country and are fully covered by a car insurance policy. A driver’s license also serves as a Thai ID card issued by the government.

In addition, a Thai driving license can be done in a single day, costs only a few hundred baht, and is valid in 10 ASEAN countries. You can also apply for an International Driving License with it. 

This article will show you how to get a Thai driving license in Thailand step-by-step.

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In order to qualify for a Thai driving license, you must be at least 18 years old, in good physical and mental health and hold a valid non-immigration visa. 

Department of Land Transport in Bangkok Area 3
Department of Land Transport in Bangkok Area 3.

The documents you need for a driving license are:

  • an application form
  • a passport along and non-immigrant visa
  • a residence certificate address certified from the Immigration Bureau or from the applicant’s embassy, dated within thirty days of application or a work permit with a signed copy*
  • a health certificate, issued at any clinic or hospital, dated within thirty days of the application
  • optional: a valid international driver’s license with a signed copy, or regular driver’s license from the your home country translated into English and certified by the embassy or consulate

Here’s more into what you need to do on each document. 

*Since the required documents are subject to change from time to time, it is best to check with the exact branch of the Department of Land Transport that you are planning to go before going to apply for the license.


You can pick up an application right at the Department of Land Transport. In many cases, the information counter will hand it to you and check your documents after you tell them that you are here to apply for a driver’s license.

Although the forms that you need to fill out and process are mainly in Thai, officers of the Department of Land Transport can communicate in basic English and explain the necessary steps for obtaining a driver’s license.

Passport and Visa Stamp 

Although you must show that you’re living in Thailand long-term, some people have reported that they can get a Thai driving license even with a tourist visa. This is because most Department of Land Transport offices don’t actually care about what kind of visa you’re holding.

What they want to see is a residence certificate, which is difficult to get unless you have a long-term visa.

Also, depending on which Department of Land Transport office you go to, you may need to provide copies of the following pages from your passport:

  • the first page of the passport
  • the page containing the valid non-immigrant visa
  • the page containing the last entry stamp for Thailand

If you don’t have copies yet, there’s usually a copy machine inside the Department of Land Transport that charges a few baht per page.

My recommendation is to make copies and sign them beforehand. If you make too many copies, they’ll give back the extras as they’re not needed. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Residence Certificate

An easy way to get a residence certificate in Thailand is to visit your local immigration office with your passport, a 90-day notification receipt, and either a copy of your lease contract or your landlord’s housebook with their ID copies. You can usually get the certificate within one day, and it’s valid for 30 days.

Previously, you could use a work permit and a signed copy as an alternative to the residence certificate. However, we have received reports from our readers that the Department of Land Transport at Chatuchak no longer accepts a work permit with a signed copy. Instead, they always ask for a residence certificate.

If you have a yellow book, which is issued by having your name listed on a Thai house registration, you can use it as an alternative to the residence certificate.

Read more: A step-by-step guide on how to obtain a residence certificate

Medical Certificate

To get a medical certificate for your driving license in Thailand, you can go to any clinic or hospital and let them know the purpose of your visit. They will usually ask to see your passport, ask you some questions, perform a quick checkup, and issue the certificate.

The cost of a medical certificate varies depending on where you go. Clinics typically charge between THB150 to THB300, while hospitals may charge THB600 or more, depending on the facilities and services available.

If you forget to bring your medical certificate with you to the Department of Land Transport, you can ask a motorcycle taxi for assistance. They can take you to the nearest clinic to obtain a new certificate.

In case it’s the Department of Land Transport at Chatuchak, you can also get a medical certificate from the clinic near the DLT’s entrance. It’s called Dr. Lamduan Clinic (Google Maps link), and he specializes in health certificates for Thai driving licenses. Just show your passport, fill out the form, and get your blood pressure checked. The cost is THB150 and takes no more than 10 minutes.

It’s worth noting that a medical certificate is valid for 30 days.

International Driver’s License (Optional) 

If you have a driver’s license from your home country, it’s going to be very easy to get a Thai driving license because you can skip many of the required tests. 

You can jump to this section to find out how to get a Thai driving license with a license from your home country. 


Where to Apply for a Thai Driving License

You can get a Thai driving license at either the Department of Land Transport or a driving school.

Department of Land Transport

Driving licenses can be issued at any Department of Land Transport office in Thailand, which can be found throughout the country, with at least one office in each major town and several in larger cities.

To apply for your Thai driving license, you will need to take the completed application form to the testing center and inform them that you are applying for a one-year license. Because the Department of Land Transport is a government organization, it is important to dress modestly: shirts must have sleeves and shorts/skirts must be below the knees.

The Department of Land Transport offices are open on weekdays (excluding holidays), typically from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM or 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

However, you can actually go before the opening hours to avoid a long queue.

Please note that currently, an appointment is required for processing your driving license application. To book an appointment, you will need to visit the Department of Land Transport office in person with all required documents as listed above.

Following that, they will give you a date to return to complete the process.

Depending on the queue at the office on that particular day, walk-ins may be accepted.

Here’s a list of Department of Land Transport locations throughout Thailand:


Bang Khun Thian (Area One )
Taling Chan (Area Two)
Phra Khanong (Area Three)
Nong Chok (Area Four)
Chatuchak (Area Five)

Chiang Mai




You can find all offices of the Department of Land Transport office in Thailand online. 

Driving Schools

Alternatively, you can apply for a driving license at a driving school approved by the Department of Land Transport. In addition to teaching you how to drive, these schools offer a similar test to that of the Department of Land Transport.

Once you complete all the required tests, the school will give you an approval document that you can use to obtain your driving license at the Department of Land Transport. This option may be faster and more convenient, but it can be more expensive.

Driving schools typically charge between THB6,000 baht to THB10,000 baht for the driving courses and tests.

Procedure and Tests

For the most part, the procedure and tests are the same at all Department of Land Transport (DLT) offices. But for this guide, we’ll focus on the process at the DLT in Chatuchak, as it’s the most popular place for expats to get a Thai driving license.

When you get to the DLT, you have to walk to the back of the property to Building 4 — a large, white building. Enter the front doors and go to the help desk. Tell them what you’re there for, and they’ll check your documents, give you an application to fill out, and then provide you with a queue number. 

Afterward, you have to go to the fourth floor and submit your documents to someone who will register your name in the system. (You’ll return to this area to get your license once you pass all your tests later on.)

The tests will be done in three parts over the course of three different days, which could take a few weeks altogether depending on how far apart you schedule each day. 

  • day one: physical test
  • day two: theory test
  • day three: driving test 

Let’s take a look at each test individually. 

Day One: Physical Tests

After you submit your documents on floor four, you have to go to floor three for your physical tests. All of the tests are straightforward and don’t require any preparation.

Before taking any of the tests, though, you have to sit and watch a video about the four tests until your group is called in. If you fail any of the tests on your first attempt, you have to go back outside and watch the video again before going back inside with the next group.

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of the four physical tests.

Color Blindness Test

At the first testing station, you have to stand in front of a mock traffic light and say the color you see, either red, green, or yellow. Thai is preferable but you can say the colors in English, too.

Keep in mind that certain countries refer to the “slow down” light as orange. If you come from one of these countries, do not call this light orange during the test. In Thailand, you must say yellow, or you will fail.

Depth Perception Test

The second station is to check your depth perception, and it could be quite tricky depending on the lighting.

Using a forward and backward button, you have to move a vertical bar inside a box 10 meters away so that the bar lines up with a stationary vertical bar next to it.

The bars are lit, but if there is strong lighting coming through the window, it could be hard to tell when the two bars are aligned.

Reflex Test

At the third station, you have to check your reflexes. To do this, you sit behind a simulated brake and gas pedal and press the accelerator until the green LED lights on the panel start to illuminate. Then, you have to hit the brake pedal before the LED lights enter the red zone.  

Peripheral Test

Lastly, you need to put your nose against a testing station to check your peripheral vision. While pointing your eyes at the officer in front of you, you have to say what color shows up on your left and right sides a few times.

After you complete these four tests, you can make an appointment to return to the DLT for your theory test. DLT staff will give you an appointment card.

Day Two: Theory Test

Before taking the theory test, you need to watch a four-to-five-hour video that covers all the major areas of driving in Thailand. The video is in Thai but has English subtitles. Go to the third floor to register for the theory test on the day of your appointment, and be sure to bring your appointment card and passport.

The video begins around 9 AM and breaks at 11:50 AM for lunch, then continues from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. At the end of the video, you will be given a book of road signs that you must know. Study these carefully, as they will show up on the test.

In all honesty, the video does little to help you prepare for the theory test. I highly recommend that you study for the test ahead of time, at least for one hour every day for the five days leading up to your theory test appointment.

There are a lot of resources out there that claim to help you, but I’ve found Ask About Thailand’s Practice Thai Driving Exam to be the absolute best.

These are the questions that will absolutely appear on the test. But be aware that each test is different. DLT pulls 50 questions from a pool of 1,000. But if you study the practice exam, you will be able to answer the questions no matter how differently they are worded.

After you watch the lengthy video, you will be ushered into a room on the same floor and register for the theory test. You have to scan your fingerprint with the main officer. Afterward, staff will take you to a computer, where you will have to scan your fingerprint again. Then you can begin the test.

You have to answer at least 45 out of 50 questions right to pass, and they are all multiple choice. The tricky thing is, some questions weren’t translated into English as clearly as they should’ve been. And some questions seem to have more than one right answer.

I questioned the staff about this, and they laughed it off and said, “Yes, I know.” So don’t expect help when confusing questions arise.

The best thing you can do is study the practice exam above, which will also have some roughly translated questions, and know the answers by heart.

If you fail, you can return the next day to retake the theory test. If you pass, you will be given another appointment card to return for your practical driving test.

Day Three: Practical Driving Test

Compared to other countries, the practical driving test in Thailand is relatively easy because you have to perform the test alone in a car, and there are no complicated maneuvers required.

However, you have to pay attention to the details required for each station, or you will fail the test. The practical driving test is made up of three stations (although DLT says five):

  • driving forward and backward (counts as two stations)
  • driving along a curb and stopping at a stop sign
  • parallel parking and exiting (counts as two stations)

On the first test, you have to drive forward between a row a orange and white striped poles until the rear of your car passes the last pole. Then you have to drive in reverse through the same row until the front of your car passes the first pole. During the test, you cannot hit any of the poles or you’ll fail.

On the second test, you have to drive along a curb, making sure that your left front and rear wheels stay on the yellow line, about 25 centimeters from the curb. Then, you have to stop the car one meter from the stop sign.

On the third and final test, you have to parallel park the car in the space provided. You have up to seven gear switches to park the car. So, reversing into the spot is considered one gear switch, pulling forward while in the spot is considered two, and so on. However, pulling out of the spot is considered one gear switch. So be sure to count gear switches as you’re parking so that you leave yourself one or two gear switches to get out.

Not only do you have to do this in seven gear switches, but you have to park the car so that the left front and rear wheels are on the yellow line provided, about 50 centimeters from the curb.

While you’re taking these three tests, DLT observers will watch you to make sure you’re doing them correctly. When you’re satisfied with the position of your car at each of these stations, raise your right hand out of the driver’s side window to let the observer know to inspect your position.

For more details on how to undertake the practical driving test, you can watch this video.

You can rent a vehicle for the driving test from the DLT for between THB100 and THB200. However, they only offer Honda City cars. If you’ve never driven a Honda City before, you may not be able to judge the distance from the front and rear of the car to the orange and white striped poles or any curbs. So, if you have a car that you’ve been practicing in, bring that instead.

If you fail the practical driving test, you can retake it again after three business days. And you only have to redo the station you failed, not all three (unless you fail all three). However, you must pass all the stations in the practical driving test within 90 days, or you have to repeat the entire process.

Getting the License 

Once you’ve done all the tests, it’s finally time to get your license. Head back to the fourth floor of Building A and wait for your queue number. Another officer will conduct a final check of your documents before taking your photo, receiving your payment, and granting you a two-year temporary Thai driving license.

It’s essential to examine the details printed on your license and ensure that they are correct, and if there is any discrepancy, make sure it is rectified before leaving the office.


Although the process may appear daunting for non-Thai citizens, the good news is that obtaining a Thai driving license is quite inexpensive.

The cost for taking the test and obtaining a two-year temporary license is only THB305, while a five-year license costs THB605.

Embassies typically charge a fee of between THB300 and THB500 to certify the applicant’s letter of address in Thailand. For a doctor’s certificate obtained from a clinic that confirms the applicant’s good physical and mental health, the norm is a fee of THB50 to THB200.

In addition, there is a service that helps expats to obtain a driver’s license by paying an additional fee and streamlining all of the details.

Motorcycle Licenses

The procedure for getting a motorcycle driving license is almost identical to the process of obtaining a car driving license. It requires the same set of documents and physical tests for color blindness, peripheral vision, and reflexes. Similarly, it uses the same theoretical course and test.

The primary differences between obtaining a car and motorcycle driving license are the driving tests and the license fees.


You can apply for a motorcycle license at any Department of Land Transport. Bring the same set of documents that you would need for obtaining a car driving license. After that, you will have to undergo a physical test, watch a training video, and take a theory test in the same manner as you would for a car driving license.

During another visit to the Department of Land Transport, you might need to take a driving test to obtain your motorcycle driving license.

Driving Test

You can either use your own bike, rent one onsite for THB50 to THB100, or an officer could borrow one from another person taking the test. The test includes completing a short circuit, stopping at stop signs, and driving over a narrow path. In the waiting room, a video displays precisely what the test involves.

If you fail the test, you may have the option to retake it a few times on the same day based on the examiner’s discretion. Otherwise, you will need to return the following day and repeat the driving test.

Getting a Motorcycle License

Once you pass the driving test, return to the office area and wait for your queue number. Next, an officer will take your photograph, collect a fee of THB105, and issue you with a two-year temporary license.

I recommend that you apply for your motorcycle and driver’s licenses at the same time. If you don’t, you will have to undergo the physical and theoretical tests again if you decide to pursue either one later on.

You may renew both licenses at the same time when they expire.

Renewing Your License

Renewing a Thai driving license is a straightforward process. The entire procedure is akin to obtaining a driver’s license for the first time, including the required documents. However, this time around, you don’t need to undergo the theory test or the practical driving test.

Here’s a rundown of the steps you should follow to renew your Thai driver’s license:

Two-Year License to Five-Year License

You can renew your Thai driving license three months before it expires, and this time, it will be valid for five years instead of two.

To renew, gather the same set of documents that you needed when first applying for a driver’s license, along with your current Thai driving license, and go to any Department of Land Transport.

Go to the information counter to get a queue number, wait for your turn to undergo a color blindness test, peripheral vision test, reflex test, and depth perception test.

Once you pass all of the tests, you will have to pay THB505 to receive your five-year license.

If the queue is short, the whole renewal process can be completed within an hour.

Five-Year License

To renew your five-year driving license, you should visit DLT e-learning and create an account there if you haven’t already done so.

After that, you can log in to your account to watch a one-hour video that teaches you about essential driving regulations in Thailand.

It’s worth noting that unless you possess the hacking expertise, you can’t skip the video or navigate to another webpage; otherwise, the video will stop automatically.

The video will ask you questions once every 10 minutes or so, and if you pay attention, you shouldn’t have any difficulty answering them.

After you complete the online video, you will receive a certificate. Ensure that you save a screenshot or print it out, as you will need it when renewing your license.

DLT Test Room
To refresh your memory on how to perform the physical driving tests, you can watch a video outside a physical testing room.

Next, visit your local Department of Land Transport with the same set of documents for getting a driver’s license. The process of renewing a five-year license is similar to changing from a two-year license to a five-year license – get a queue number, take all required physical tests, and then pay THB505 for the new five-year license.

If the queue is short, it’s possible to finish the entire process within an hour.

When Can I Renew My Driving License? 

It’s possible to renew your Thai driving license three months before it expires, or within one year after it expires.

If it expired more than a year ago, you have to retake the theory test. And if it has expired for more than three years, you will need to retake the theory and practical driving tests.

Changing an International Driving License to a Thai Driving License 

If you already have an international driver’s license or a driver’s license from your home country, you can use it to obtain a Thai driver’s license at any Department of Land Transport. All you need to do is bring a signed copy of your passport, a medical certificate, and a resident certificate.

Afterward, they will conduct tests for color blindness, peripheral vision, reflexes, and depth perception, before offering you a temporary driving license valid for two years, which can be extended to five years. You do not need to take the theory and practical driving test.

If you have a motorcycle license from your home country, it’s best to do a Thai motorcycle driving license at the same time.

However, some Department of Land Transport offices may require you to watch a video on how to drive in Thailand before granting you the driver’s license. If your home country driver’s license is not available in English, you require a translation and certification by your country’s embassy.

How Many Days Does It Take? 

You may need to visit the Department of Land Transport three times, and there is an element of chance regarding scheduling. Typically, you will need to schedule an appointment on your first visit and take all necessary tests on your second visit, excluding the driving test.

You can take the driving test and get your license on your third and last visit.

However, the best case scenario is that you can take your test immediately on the day you come to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, you may encounter bad luck and be unable to schedule an appointment for several days or even weeks. In the worst case I’ve seen, it took a month.

To avoid these potential delays, you should aim to complete the process in two days by arriving at the Department of Land Transport office early in the morning. However, be prepared for multiple trips as scheduling depends on availability. The department will inform you of the days on which you can take each test once you arrive.

When Should I Visit the Department of Land Transport? 

If you do not have a driving license from your home country, it is advisable to visit the Department of Land Transport early in the morning, preferably before 8 a.m., to complete most processes on the same day.

However, you may need to come back the following day for the driving test. Alternatively, if you already possess a driving license from your home country, it is still advisable to arrive early in the morning to ensure that everything can be completed within a day.

Do I Need to Make an Appointment? 

Currently, scheduling an appointment is mandatory for obtaining or renewing a Thai driving license.

To make an appointment, visit the Department of Land Transport office with all required documents, and a staff member will schedule an appointment for you.

Depending on the queue on that day, they may accept walk-ins as well.

Appointments can occur within a day, week, or even months, depending on the office’s workload. If you are in a hurry, it would be best to visit an office located outside the city center, as wait times tend to be shorter. For example, people frequently report receiving an appointment within a day at the Taling Chan Department of Land Transport.

However, it is important to note that departmental staff may have limited English proficiency, so having a Thai friend present to assist with the process is recommended. It is important to be aware that the DLT Smart Queue app, an appointment-scheduling application, is currently unavailable for expats

Can I Apply for the Driving License Myself If I Can’t Speak Thai? 

Even if you do not understand Thai, it is still possible to go to the Department of Land Transport office and obtain a license independently. Several staff members are capable of speaking basic English and can assist you with the process.

However, if you prefer, you may also bring along a translator to assist you.


Applying for an International Driving License

You can get an international driving license (IDP) in Thailand with your five-year Thai driving license.

Just go to any Department of Land Transport with the following documents:

  • your passport and non-immigrant visa
  • copies of the first page of the passport
  • copies of the page containing the valid non-immigrant visa
  • letter of address certified from the Immigration Bureau or from the applicant’s embassy, dated within 30 days of application or a work permit with a signed copy
  • your five-year Thai driving license with a signed copy
  • two, 2-inch photos, taken within the last six months

Getting an international driving license is a simple process that can be done within a few hours. Once you arrive at the Department of Land Transport office, fill out the application form at the information counter, wait in line, and receive your International Driving Permit (IDP).

In some cases, if the queue is short, the process can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. The fee for an international driving license is THB505, and it is valid for one year. Additionally, it is possible to get a license for both a car and a motorcycle simultaneously.

Related article: How to Get an International Driver’s License in Thailand

Driving Schools

If you haven’t yet learned to drive, then attending a driving course at a driving school in Thailand may be a worthwhile option. Courses usually cost between THB5,000 and THB6,000 per 15 hours, and upon completion of the course, the school will assist in preparing the necessary documentation and accompany you to the Department of Land Transport to apply for a Thai driving license.

It is generally easy to find driving schools, as they are widely available throughout the country. You can locate them quickly and conveniently by searching for “driving school” on Google Maps.

Now, on to You

The information provided in this article is correct as of March 2023, and certain details may change in the future. Therefore, the most accurate way to understand the current regulations is to inquire with the Department of Land Transportation directly.

Getting a Thai driving license can be a bit difficult for non-Thais who do not speak Thai or cannot accompany someone who can. This is why some individuals opt to hire companies that can help them get a Thai driving license.

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Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

58 thoughts on “How to Get a Thai Driving License: Documents, Tests, and Renewals”

  1. After passing the theory and driving tests, how long is this pass valid as I have friend who is going to do the tests this week but not moving here for another year, hence no long term visa which most dlt insist on before issuing a license

  2. The article mentions at the beginning that a Thai driver license is also valid in the 10 ASEAN member countries.

    Is this true for both licenses mentioned in this article: the 2-year (temporary) and the 5-year Thai licenses?

    • It’s better to wait until you can get a 5-year license to drive in those countries.

  3. “a letter of address certified from the Immigration Bureau or from the applicant’s embassy, dated within thirty days“

    How do I solve this as a tourist who currently live 1-1.5 months in an AirBnb apartment in Thailand? I want a Thai license to be future save. Currently I hold 2 local driving licenses (from 2 countries) but no IDL.

  4. I have an update for you:

    Instead of watching a video and taking the theoretical test in the office for a few hours (which is still an option), you can now take it online at the Department of Land Transportation website ( If you pass, you’ll get a certificate of completion, that you just print and take with you.

  5. I just left the CM DLT and l’ll share my experience as its different then what’s on 99.99% of sites including here, but you’re the closest. It’s worth noting your experience could be different.

    Nationality = US
    Visa Type = Visa Exemption 45 days
    DL = California Car and Motorcycle
    International Drivers Permit 1949 = Yes
    Tm 30 = Yes
    Residence Certificate = Yes
    Medical = Yes

    I showed up at the CM office a little before 8:30am since that’s listed as their opening time. I don’t think that’s accurate as there were a bunch of people inside.

    There is an information desk in CM on the bottom floor, you can simply bypass that and take the stairs up to the 2nd floor.

    Once on 2, the lady asked what I was there for and instructed me to go to window 27 which is for foreigners. I slide my paperwork into the the basket and waited in line behind 1 other person. She reviewed everything, had me sign my copies and take a seat. About 4 minutes later the lady next to her at 27 called my name. She asked me to look at a stop light and say the colors of the lights that randomly came on. I believe it was a sequence of 6 random lights whicb a 5 year old could pass. She then handed me my paperwork back with a number for the windows to my right. I sat for about 3 mins and was called up to window 25. The lady there typed in a few things and asked for 310b for both licenses. She then told me to go around the corner between windows 25 and 27 where I was instructed to sit. Literally 30 seconds later I was told to go to a cubical for my photo.

    My picture was taken and about 3 minutes later I had 2 shiny Thai driver licenses.

    My tips and what I did:

    Wore a nice long sleeve shirt to be respectful and a mask.
    Made two (2) copies of every document mentioned above.
    I separated the copies and made one stack for the car and one for the motorcycle.
    Sign the bottom of each photo copied page with a BLUE pen.

    There was no application that I needed to complete, just needed to sign and put my cell on the two she provided me.

    I kid you not, I was in and out within 20 to 25 minutes since I already had a DL and a valid IDP.

    Hope this helps others and your experience was as pleasant as mine. The California DMV could take a lesson from them here

    • Thank you very much for sharing this Steve. Right now we are working on updating this article and will include your info there 🙂

  6. My experience today at DLT Chatuchak is at slight odds with your information.
    “a letter of address certified from the Immigration Bureau or from the applicant’s embassy, dated within thirty days of application or a work permit with a signed copy”
    In the foreign tent for screening my valid work permit was ignored and myself (and all other foreigners), were denied further progress until we got the residence certificate from immigration or embassy. In my case immigration charged 200 baht per license- (400 for bike and car), for the certificate which gets mailed with a 2 week time frame. Therefore no more progress at DLT until the letter arrives. May have been a rogue worker but it was made clear that all foreiners needed the certificate. You may have to update your information as today a work permit with a signed copy was irrelevant.

  7. I am a thai citizen, thai pass, thai residence blue book but I grew up in the usa and have a california drivers license and international license. I am planning on living in Thailand part time of the year every year now. Can I also just get a thai license with just my medical certificate, blue book and california and international license?

    • I believe you need to have a Thai ID card as well. It’s quite easy to do it. You can go to any district office.

  8. This a lot of helpful information! Will get my ED visa soon and then I will apply for a Thai driver license Khab khun krap

  9. What is the procedure if you want to update your Thai driving license with your new passport number?
    Do you have to undergo the testing again?

    I don’t even know if it is mandatory to update the license in this case. But I would like to have it updated anyway as it is commonly accepted as an alternative to your passport (for exemple when taking a flight inside the country, or identifying yourself in a bank, police checks, etc.).

    • Most people just don’t do anything with the new passport. They just wait until they need to renew a driving license.

      In case you want to update your passport number, you need to go to the local DLT with a copy of your old and new passport (personal detail page and stamp page), and pay a small fee. The process is very straightforward and should take less than 30 minutes.

      However, since each DLT may require a different document, it’s best to call them directly and check.

  10. Hi,
    I’ve already had an international drive license (made in Poland) – do I have to change it to a Thai drive license? Or I just can use my IDL?

    • It depends on how long are you planning to stay in Thailand. If it’s less than a year, you can keep using the international driving license. If it’s more than a year, it’s better to get a Thai driving license.

  11. Hi, I’m a UK Full driving and motorbike license holder, moving to Thailand. I have had the motorbike license before, some 7 years ago issued in Pattaya.
    I’m red green colour blind, is this going to be an issue if i apply to get a Thai Driving license ?

    • Yes, it’s going to be an issue since a color blindness test is necessary in order to get a driving license in Thailand.

  12. If i live in bangkok is it possible to renew my license in Chiang Mai? I current have the two year temporary license.

  13. Thanks Karsten for another great article!

    I’m making plans to renew my 2-year temporary Thai licenses. Based upon what you say, it’s clear that it’s critical to renew before the license expires. My question is: how far in advance can I renew my license?

    You say: “For the five-year license, it can be renewed three months prior to the expiry date”.

    I assume that what you mean is that, in general, it’s possible to renew one’s driver’s license up to three months prior to its expiration date. (Renewing three months prior is possible either with a 2-year license or with a 5-year license.). Is that correct?

    Also, you say: “The expiry date of the Thai driving license is always the applicant’s birthday, no matter what the issued date is.” I got my temporary license in December of 2019. The expiration date on my license is December 2021, not my birthday. Maybe the expiration date has changed?

  14. Hi, I’m going to DLT soon to get both the car and moto driving licence. I already have the car licence from my country and I will bringing it officially (embassy) translated that day. Are you sure that I am exempted from the theory test for the motorcycle licence since I have the car’s one? Thank you!!!

  15. Hi there! Thanks for such a detailed article. Definitely will help us apply.
    I just wanted to get your input on a question that I had been getting different information for.

    If I have a valid International DL along with my AU DL, can I drive with these two documents or should I still get a local DL?

    (I am on an ED Visa)

    Thank you!

    • It depends on how long you want to stay in Thailand. If it’s less than a year, you can just use the international license. If you plan to stay here longer than that, it’s better to make a local driving license, which is easy for you since you already have the AU license.

  16. Hi there! I just want to know when taking both motorcycle & driving tests, are you able to do both theory & practical tests on the same day?

  17. Do you know if you can take a motorbike licence at Klaeng. Both driving and theory. And do you need to book a time

    • You can go to the Department of Land and Transport at Klaeng without having to book in advance. I would say it’s better to go there since an early morning (eg. ~8.30am) to make sure the queue is short and you can finish all the test on that day.

      The procedure/required document are mentioned in the article.

  18. Is it possible to use the TM30 form in lieu of a certificate of residency from Thai Immigration??

  19. Your article says applicants need a letter from their embassy confirming their address OR a valid work permit. My application for a Thai licence was declined even though I had a valid work permit because my employer had not written my address in my work permit.

    • In this case, you should ask your employer to update the address on your work permit. If they don’t want to do it, you might need to go to the Ministry of Labour or BOI and explain the situation to the gov officer.

    • Regarding “letter from their embassy confirming their address”: actually that was new for me, too.

      When I did my two licences at the DLT in Bangkok they wanted to see a letter of the immigration stating my name.

  20. I already have Thai Driver License, unfortunately, I lost it somewhere between Thailand, Philippines and U.S. Can someone tell me what website I could go to get my Thai Driver License print out?

    • I would be very surprised if there were a government website that offered that option. In general things in Thailand tend to be very much ‘in person’ and not very much ‘online’. It’s one of the reasons why many employers in Thailand have extra ‘administrative leave’ days for their staff: Sorting out those kind of things often takes a day at a government department. This said, if you find an option that doesn’t involve you having to do it in person, I’d love to hear about it.

      • There is an app now: DLTQRLICENSE. It is only in Thai and has your digital bike and / or car license, but you need to be online (have wifi or data access) to show it to the police officer.

  21. The US embassy Thailand website states that you need 2 1×1 photos to take to Thai DMV. I have not seen or heard of that from any blogs or any Thai friends. Can you clarify if this is true? Thank You

  22. My 10 year Thai driving license will expire in March of 2019, How difficult is there to renew? If difficult, is there a service I can use to go through the hassles? I appreciate your advice. Thanks.

  23. One of the required documents listed is the arrival card. Since this is taken from me before I get to the baggage claim, how will I ever be able to include it?

    • Hi Dustin. Thanks for picking up on that. It should be the TM.6 departure card. I’ve made the changes.

  24. if you have a disability (as I do and a 40 year driving history) it can STILL be a problem for you to do this. Firstly, the medical – finding a doctor who will not take disabled people at face value is difficult. I had help from my friend with this but there was doubt right up to the signing. Then, the DMV may decline the application, although I had a good experience in Khon Kaen. In the end they asked me to drive around the block with an examiner in the car. It wasn’t the regular test, just literally left, left, park, left and back to office. The clause is “in good physical and mental health”.

  25. A very good article.
    Chiang Mai Buddy wants 3,000 baht to provide the basic service for acquiring a Thai drivers license if you ALREADY have a valid international licence.
    It’ll be much more expensive if you don’t have already.
    Finally, a Residency Certificate from immigration office suffices and cuts out the need for an Embassy visit.

  26. Great article and website overall! Is there a similar company as Chiang Mai Buddy based in Bangkok? Just looking at getting the Thai license with my Canadian one + Intl License. thanks!

    • Not sure to be honest – however, if you like I can put you in touch with a former staff member of mine who might be able to help. Send me a message via the contact form and I’ll be sure to forward it to her.

    • There is one called Fatboys thai drivers licence service. they are around phrakhanong/bangchak area. But they are quite pricey, i paid around 1900baht, but they will pay for all the payments for me, such as the 205 baht for the card itself and the medical cert.

      • I would recommend going to medconsult clinic – only costs 250 baht for the medical certificate and took about 10 mins in total

  27. At Mo Chit area: you forgot the peripheral vision test. You also need to sit through 5 hours instead of 2 hours.

    Since January 2017 the temporary license was increased to 2 year instead of one. And if you do not renew your licence before the expiry date you need to start over from the beginning. So if you have temp but fail to renew it, you will need to make a new temp again, instead of bumping it up to the 5 year one.

    I recently went through there and made a write-up. You will find some updated information in the comments.

    Another note is that you mention it is not possible to get a license on a e.g. tourist visa – this seems like a gray zone since loads of people mention that you can do it.

      • Glad to help. I noticed you missed to add in the peripheral vision test.

        Basically it is the last of the tests (color > depth > reaction > peripheral) you do. You put your head at a station and look straight ahead. They will then turn on a colored light either on your left or right side and your goal is to tell them which color it is a few times.

        • Worthwhile to add I think is that it will not be _any_ color (like brown, purple etc.).
          They check three colors only: red, yellow, and green!
          (Which I found a little bit difficult to detect though as their green and yellow are quite close. I wonder what lamps/LEDs they use…)

          And: I guess it is NOT the best idea to do that test they day after your best buddi’s wedding ceremony. 😉
          Alcohol (even that from a previous day) causes some “tunnel viewing”, which makes it hard to pass that test.
          2 ct.


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