I went for renewal of my 5-year driver's license today. When it was all over, and I reflected upon it, I was pleasantly surprised by the relative ease of the process.
I got there at about 0800, and waited at the door of the building for the 0830 opening. They opened the doors at about 0820 (yes, EARLIER than posted), and I got my ticket, #105, for the "foreigners" group. The numbers began at 100. They started calling the numbers to go up to the 2nd floor at 0830. It was about 0840 when my number was posted on the sign.
Upstairs, they checked my paperwork, and I learned that you need copies of BOTH sides of your expiring license. A quick trip outside to the shop across the way, and a 2 baht fee later, I was back upstairs. (By the way, what is needed for a 5-year renewal is copies of your passport pages - front and visa, a copy of your current 5-year license - front AND back, and the original of the Residence Certificate that you have to get from Immigration prior to going for the renewal. You will NOT need a medical certificate, as previously required.)
After getting the OK on my paperwork, I was given a red card for the next station. At that station, I was immediately sent to the small testing area (an open cubicle of about 10' x 10') where about 20 people are lined up along 2 sides for testing. The tests run were: 1. Color chart - the girl points a stick to circles of red, green, and yellow; and you must say which color each circle is. 2. Peripheral color vision - you put your chin on a box, look at a yellow dot in front of you, and identify the colors she flashes on each side of your head. 3. A depth perception test - you hold a box, with red and green buttons on it, look at the box in front of you that has 2 "sticks", one red, one yellow. She starts movement of the red stick from the back to the front, and you press the green button when you believe the 2 to be parallel. 4. A reaction test - you step on an "accelerator" pedal, and, in a couple of seconds, a row of green lights starts to move up. You must move from the accelerator to the brake pedal to stop the lights before they reach the top of the scale.
After passing those 4 tests, I was sent to a "Training Room", with a TV up front that is running a video of driving rules. In fact, this is obviously just a waiting area to allow them to enter the information onto your new license card, minus the photo. A bit later, regardless of how much of the video you've seen, they call you out to pay your fee (605 baht), and give you a ticket to await your photo. When called, you enter the cubicle for your photo, they take the picture, and have you wait outside. A couple of minutes later, they call you back in, and give you your new license and receipt for payment.
DONE! In my case this morning, the total time from entry to exit of the building was about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Not bad, considering that TIT!
Oh, by the way, the new license is very nice. Good plastic stock, and very attractive appearance.