Documents needed to get a Thai driver licence

To obtain or renew a Thai driving license, you have to go to your nearest Land Transport Office.

Please note that the required documents can vary according to the local offices. To be sure of what you need, we recommend that you give them a phone call and ask beforehand.

However, generally, the documents you need are:

  • If it is the first time you are applying, a signed photocopy and a translation of your national driving license, if you have one.
  • If it is for a renewal, your Thai driving license.
  • A signed photocopy of your passport (front page and visa page).
  • A medical certificate (can be issued at any hospital or clinic for 50 to 100 bahts).
  • A proof of address (yellow book if you have one, or letter from your embassy or from a police station stating your place of residence).

If you want to apply for both a motorbike permit and a car permit, make two sets of the photocopies.

Usually photographs are not needed anymore, as they now use a digital version, so they take your picture at the Land Transport Office.

If you can’t speak Thai, it is recommended that you also bring along your favorite long-haired translator!

The usual procedure is as follows:

  • Arrive at the office in the morning, fill in an application form and sumbit your documents.
  • Pay the fee (105 baht for a one year license, 525 baht for a five year license).
  • If you already have a national driving license, you don’t have to take an actual driving test or the written test about regulations.
  • You do need to take the color test, and in some cases, two other types of tests.
  • During the time when they make your permit, you may have to attend a class where they show you a DVD with a few basic things about traffic laws (like types of roads, types of vehicles… but nothing about courteousness and very little about safety !).

Then you receive your permit. The first time you apply, the permit is only valid for one year. After one year, you can renew it for five years (provided you have a non-immigrant visa).

Did you apply for a driving license and experienced something different that we stated on this page? Would you like to share a report of how it went at your local Land Office? Please let us know by commenting below.

19 Comments on “Documents needed to get a Thai driver licence”

  1. My yearly motor bike Licence ran out on the 4 th aug this year,at that time I was in Cambodia and I. had just returned is this going to cause problems…..thank you

  2. Hi Richard, no there won’t be any problem at all. The worse that can happen is that they ask you to take the writing tests again, but I think it happens only if your licence has been expired for a very long time, at least several months. Please let us know how it went when you do the renewal.

  3. When you say proof of address is that proof of address in Thailand or my home in the US? If that is true about my home in the US my drivers license from the US has my address on it would that be sufficient? Because I am not working for anyone in Thailand I have hired company and Thailand but I just stay with girlfriend when I come to Thailand at her apartment

  4. my thai 2 year driving licence expires on 8th December, how far in advance can i apply for renewal 5 year licence ?

    I wanted to apply about 20th November, is that ok ?

  5. Just want to put it here for the people who changed jobs recently. The old work permit has your address in it, so you could use it as proof of address. The new work permits don’t, so you will have to either get the yellow book or a certificate of residency.
    Found it out the hard way this week, after several people (and the internet) told me the work permit would be a replacement for the certificate of residency.

    1. Just fallen foul of this as well and the fact that I have just got back to Thailand from a Christmas break means I can’t get the letter from immigration until I have done my first 90 day report – anybody got any other suggestions?

  6. Just wondering when getting a Thai drivers license do they make you hand in you home country drivers license? This happened to us (not Thailand but different country) and when moving to different country again we have to do new (extensive) theory and practice exams (while if we had our home country drivers license this wouldn’t have been the case).
    Anyway appreciate the info.

  7. I’m holding Myanmar Driving License and it’s valid to drive in all 10 ASEAN countries. Can I use in Thailand as well? Thanks for comments.

  8. This advice appears to have been published in 2012.
    Has anything changed since then? If not please update the published date to avolid confusion. If so please advise changes.

  9. As far as I understand, if one is in Thailand on a Tourist Visa, and has a U.K. Photo ID license (not the old paper licenses) then this is sufficient for driving in Thailand. An IDP is not required. Anyone heard of a recent law change making it a requirement to get an International Driving Permit now? This wouldn’t make much sense, as an IDP is basically only a translation of a foreign driving license into English.

  10. Hi I left the country for a year and now am back…had a 2 year licence that has expired a year ago … do I have to go through the whole process again and as I have a work permit I guess I don’t need proof or residence? Thanks for any advice.

  11. Hi.
    I need to to do my liscence from scratch. I lost mine and cannot get a renewal because i dont live in germany anymore ( i am german) . Can i do the entire liscence as an expat? Do you know whom i can contact for that? And how long it takea?
    Thanks so much

  12. Would recommend going to medconsult clinic in sukhumvit soi 49 to get your medical certificate done – took no time at all and no hassle

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