Motor Vehicle Act – B.E. 2522 (1979)
This Act is to be called Motor Vehicle Act B.E. 2522.
This Act shall come into force on September 17, 2522 (1979).
The following shall be repealed:
a. Motor Cat Act B.E. 2473 (1930)
Definition: A motorcycle is a vehicle with two tires or less, which is powered with an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. In case it
accompanies a sidecar, it may have one more wheel.
(other definitions omitted)
The Minister of Transport and Communications shall be in charge and control of the execution of this Act and shall have the power to prescribe such Ministerial Regulations as requirements of motor vehicles and their engines, standards for mirrors and horns, specifications for license plates, maximum loads and capacities for motor vehicles, etc.
No one is allowed to use a motor vehicle on public roads unless such a vehicle is registered under this act. No one is allowed to use a motor
vehicle on public roads which is registered but whose owner hasn’t paid the annual vehicle tax.
A motor vehicle to be registered under this Act must meet standards set by ministerial regulations.
Motor vehicles listed below are exempt from registration.
1. those for the service of King
2. those for the use by the police, registered by the police, and with a designated sign
3. those for the service of Royal family, Royal relatives and their servants, and with a designated sign
4. those whose owners have reported discontinuation of use
5. those prior to sale
Motor vehicles listed below are exempt from registration fee and vehicle tax. But they still must pay for license plates.
1. Fire engine
3. Those belonging to the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications
4. Government roller car
5. Government tractor
6. Those belonging to the Red Cross
7. Those belonging to foreign embassies or the United Nations
8. Those used for agriculture under ministerial regulation.
A motor vehicle shall be registered at a Land Traffic Office with a jurisdiction over the owner’s registered address. If the owner mostly wants to use the vehicle at some other area, he may have it registered at a Land Traffic Office with such a jurisdiction.
If the owner is a foreigner who has no registered address, he shall register the vehicle at a Land Traffic Office with a jurisdiction over his current address.
Registered motor vehicles must carry and show their license plates when in use on public roads.
In case it becomes apparent that a registered motor vehicle fails to meet registration requirements, the owner must not put the vehicle in use until it is properly serviced to meet the requirements.
When changing the color of a motor vehicle, the owner must report it within seven days.
The owner must not modify the registered motor vehicle in such a way that it doesn’t meet registration requirements.
If, apparently, a registered motor vehicle doesn’t meet registration requirements, the owner of the vehicle may receive an order to have it inspected.
In case the owner of a motor vehicle changes his address, he must report it.
In case of transfer of ownership, it shall be reported.
When taking a registered motor vehicle out of Thailand, the owner must ask for a permission, except some cases prescribed by a ministerial regulation.
The Minister of Transport and Communications shall issue regulations regarding Section 17 and Section 18.
Section 20 – Section 28
Title 2: Vehicle Tax
Section 29 – Section 41
Title 3: Driver’s License
Anyone who wishes to drive a motor vehicle on public roads must possess an appropriate driver’s license. The driver must carry the driver’s license and a photocopy of the registration book and show them to competent officers upon request. This does not apply for those who are learning to drive a motor vehicle according to the provision of Section 57.
If the driver is an alien who doesn’t have an immigrant visa, he may drive a motor vehicle with a driver’s license specified in the Section 42-2. In such a case, he must carry documents specified by the treaty between the Thai government and the government which issued such driver’s license, and show them to competent officers upon request.
In case there’s a treaty between the Thai government and a foreign government regarding mutual acceptance of driver’s license, an alien who doesn’t have an immigrant visa may drive a motor vehicle with a driver’s license issued by such a foreign government, or an automobile association authorized by such a foreign government.
Anyone who wishes to drive a motor vehicle must apply for a driver’s license according to following categories:
1. Temporary license for a private car, three-wheeled car, or motorcycle
2. License for a private car
3. License for a private three-wheeled car
4. License for a public car
5. License for a public three-wheeled car
6. License for a motorcycle
7. License for a roller car
8. License for a tractor
9. License for a motor vehicle not specified in 1. – 8.
10. International Driving Permit for a car or motorcycle
Those who has a license #4 may drive a private car.
Those who has a license #5 may drive a private three-wheeled car.
A driver’s license under the category #1 – #6 or #9 is valid for one year. A driver’s license under the category #7 or #8 is valid for three years. Upon renewal of a driver’s license, it is valid for either one year or three years.
A driver’s license under the category #2, #3 or #6 may be renewed as valid for life.
To apply for a driver’s license, the applicant must satisfy requirements set by this Act.
Requirements for application of license #1
1. He (applicant) is at least 18 years old. In case for a motorcycle under 90cc, he is at least 15 years old.
2. He has sufficient knowledge and skills for driving the vehicle.
3. He understands traffic rules set by the Land Traffic Act.
4. He doesn’t have disabilities which affects him in driving the vehicle.
5. He is certified by a medical doctor that he’s not suffering from illnesses which endanger him in driving the vehicle.
6. He is not suffering from mental illnesses.
7. He doesn’t have a driver’s license which he wants to apply.
8. His driver’s license is not under suspension. In case his driver’s license has been revoked, sufficient time has passed since the revocation.
Requirements for application of license #2 – #6
1. He has possessed the license #1 for at least one year.
2. He satisfies provisions of Section 46.
3. He hasn’t been fined more than once during the past six months for following traffic offenses. In case he has been found guilty at a law court for these offenses, it has been at least 6 months since his completion of the punishment.
- a. ignoring traffic signs and signals
- b. driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- c. obstructing other traffic
- d. speeding
- e. driving dangerously
- f. driving selfishly
Requirements for application of life-long license #2, #3 and #6
1. He has possessed a license #2, #3 or #6 for at least 1 year.
2. He satisfies requirements of Section 46. He’s at least 20 years old.
3. He satisfies the third requirement of Section 47.
Requirements for application of license #4 and #5
1. He has possessed license #1 for at least 1 year.
2. He satisfies provisions of Section 46. He’s at least 25 years old.
3. He satisfies the third provision of Section 47.
4. He is a Thai national.
5. He’s familiar with roads of the province which he wants to apply his license for.
6. He’s not suffering from infectious diseases.
7. He’s not an alcoholic or drug-addict.
8. He hasn’t served a jail term for certain serious crimes. In case he has, it has been at least three years his completion of the term.
He who wishes to apply for license #4 or #5, but cannot satisfy the 8th provision of Section 49, may turn in a petition.
Requirements for application of license #7, #8 or #9
1. He satisfies requirements of Section 46.
2. He has sufficient knowledge and skills for the vehicle.
He who has license #2, #4, #5 or #6 may apply for license #10.
(appointing of inspectors who examine applicants)
A driver’s license may be revoked when the driver no longer cannot satisfy the requirements.
A driver’s license may be suspended for not longer than one year for following reasons:
1. He is found guilty at a law court for violation of this Act.
2. He refused to obey an order by a competent officer while driving.
3. He is found guilty at a law court for endangering other people by reckless driving.
4. He caused serious threat to public safety on the road.
In case of losing a driver’s license, the driver must report it within 15 days, and receives a substitute license. After receiving a substitute license, if the lost license is discovered, he must return the substitute license within 15 days.
The owner or driver of a motor vehicle must not let anyone without a proper driver’s license to drive the vehicle, except under the provisions of Section 57
When practicing to drive a motor vehicle, the learner must be under the instruction of a driver who has had the license for that vehicle for at least 3 years.
During the driving lesson, no other person than the learner and the instructor may stay in the vehicle.
The instructor is responsible for any damage or accident during a lesson, unless it is proved that the learner refused to obey his instruction.
Title 4: Penalty Provisions
Section 58 – Section 63
He who drives a motor vehicle without a proper driver’s license is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one month or a fine not exceeding 1,000B.
He who drives a motor vehicle with a driver’s license which has expired, has been suspended or revoked is subject to a fine not exceeding 2,000B.
He who fails to present his driver’s license or a photocopy of the registration book to a competent officer while driving a motor vehicle is subject to a fine not exceeding 1,000B.
He who commits following offenses are subject to a fine not exceeding 1,000B.
1. selling or lending his driver’s license to another person.