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Steve80

International Driving Licence Renewal in Thailand

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I am 40 and emigrating to Thailand next year on a Elite Visa and to not intend on returning to the UK unless I have to.

 

I have a international driving licence but it expires after one year. I will be driving my girlfriends car and motorbikes and will also need to get insurance.

 

Is there a way to renew the UK international driving licence in Thailand or would I need to do something else to obtain a licence to drive?

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The easiest thing to do is to apply for a Thai driving license. As you have a UK license that only involves some eyesight tests and maybe watching a video. You will probably also have to get a proof of residence form from immigration and obtain a medical approval form from a doctor, but it's a fairly painless procedure.

 

Well worth it in my opinion to get the Thai license. If you let us know where you are based I am sure other members will be able to give you advice on the documentation required and also the best doctor to visit for a medical form.

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My current UK driving licence only allows me to drive 50cc Mopeds and Cars (not higger powered mopeds or bikes), yet my international driving licence allows me to drive higher powered bikes it seems which has baffled me. I expect I will be driving a car more anyway and have 20+ years no claims in the UK.

 

I intend to live in Buriram and visit Bangkok when needed and Pattaya to see the girlfriends family (not looking forward to TM30!)

 

Any help on the procedure would be appreciated as I speak very little Thai so far (going to learn more out there).

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you'll be able to get a temporary 2 year thai licence, renewable to another 2 and repeat. Apparently you can't get a 5 year licence with an Elite

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7 minutes ago, Peterw42 said:

OP, there is know such thing as an international driving license. What you have is an international driving permit (IDP) that accompanies your home license as a translation document. An IDP is not a stand alone license.

Most countries in the world are signatories to the international driving treaties and accept each others licenses. The IDP is just a standardised document that presents your home license details in a common format that police etc can understand.

 

If you drive in Thailand using only an IDP, although some police may accept on face value, you are not licensed. 

 

http://driving-in-thailand.com/type-of-driving-licence-required/

....and don't forget that it is  only valid for a maximum of 90 days from arrival in Thailand.

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Steve80 - Every response you've had so far on this thread so far is correct...

 

However, the BiB are a law unto themselves as they have only ever picked up the regulations and laws from the peers who also don't have a particularly comprehensive understanding of Thai laws, or even a basic understanding. 

 

The best advice you will get: 

1) Get a Thai Car and Motorcycle License

 

With your British license and an IDP you will be able to transfer those into a Thai Motorcycle and Car licenses. 

 

That your UK Driving license only has the 50cc bike category 'may' not matter. I was able to get a full Thai Motorcycle License without ever having had a UK motorcycle license (I too had the basic motorcycle categories on my UK car license). 

 

In having a Thai Car and Motorcycle License, you will always be covered and any ambiguity with insurance or even a Policeman who doesn't understand what he's looking at unless its a Thai license will be avoided. 

 

 

You will easily get a 2 year Temp license (renewed every 2 years) - the process is simple and easy to do on your own when you get here.

The major pain in the neck is getting the Letter of Residency (affirmation of residence), everything else is easy. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Peterw42 said:
9 minutes ago, Blue Muton said:

....and don't forget that it is  only valid for a maximum of 90 days from arrival in Thailand.

Yes thats right but there is one poster who always says otherwise, contrary to websites. police, DLT, insurance companies.

So the contradiction is that the IDP is not required in Thailand, but if you do have one its only valid 90 days?

 

The IDP makes getting a Thai License much more quickly - I may be mistaken with my next comment, without an IDP doesn't the whole test process need to be carried out to obtain a Thai DL ?

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10 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

So the contradiction is that the IDP is not required in Thailand, but if you do have one its only valid 90 days?

 

The IDP makes getting a Thai License much more quickly - I may be mistaken with my next comment, without an IDP doesn't the whole test process need to be carried out to obtain a Thai DL ?

Most DLTs will do a Thai license with only your home license (no driving test), IDP can certainly help but not usually essential. (unless its not in english)

I Got Thai license with only a valid Australian license. lots of friends the same with only home country license.

 

The 90 day things is written in the traffic act as a Thai license is required if/when you get a Long stay visa (by default that means longer than a 90 day stay). 

Edited by Peterw42
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@Steve80, forget about the International Driving Licence. (actually it's a permit, not a licence and has no validity without one). It's your UK driving licence which is the prime mover for obtaining a Thai driving licence once you come to live here. And as others have already said, it's a fairly simple process.

 

As far as I remember, (and this is going back some) when you gain a UK licence to drive a car, the 50cc moped permission comes as part of the package. But does not permit you to ride a motorcycle and so it would not permit you to do so here either. You will have go through the full process to obtain a motorcycle licence. But don't worry, it's not that difficult.

 

Good luck for the future.

 

 

 

Edited by Moonlover

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6 minutes ago, Moonlover said:

@Steve80, forget about the International Driving Licence. (actually it's a permit, not a licence and has no validity without one). It's your UK driving licence which is the prime mover for obtaining a Thai driving licence once you come to live here. And as others have already said, it's a fairly simple process.

 

As far as I remember, (and this is going back some) when you gain a UK licence to drive a car, the 50cc moped permission comes as part of the package. But does not permit you to ride a motorcycle and so it would not permit you to do so here either. You will have go through the full process to obtain a motorcycle licence. But don't worry, it's not that difficult.

 

Good luck for the future.

 

 

 

The Moped endorsement , as Richard says above, often slips through the system, its not uncommon for The DLT to see it as a full bike license.

Not the first time I have heard of it happening.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

So the contradiction is that the IDP is not required in Thailand, but if you do have one its only valid 90 days?

 

The IDP makes getting a Thai License much more quickly - I may be mistaken with my next comment, without an IDP doesn't the whole test process need to be carried out to obtain a Thai DL ?

I suspect the contradiction is more likely to be either the different interpretations of the law in different offices and the whims of individual officers depending on the day of the week or the colour of their underwear.

 

I was required to produce both my UK licence and IDP when I first applied for my Thai licences and they certainly checked for the "full" bike category on my UK licence.

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3 hours ago, Peterw42 said:

The 90 day things is written in the traffic act as a Thai license is required if/when you get a Long stay visa (by default that means longer than a 90 day stay). 

Just do what i told you many times (because obviously you can't understand Thai): Show the original Thai law to a Thai speaker and let them explain to you what it says, then you will understand that a "temporary visitor", can use an IDP, for up to a year. Only permanent residents can't use it.

But i guess you just like to troll, and don't want to understand it.

 

"temporary visitors" is anybody on any kind of visa, tourist, non-immigrant etc.

Thai Immigration act section 38 (TM30) uses the same wording for this group of people as the traffic act.

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I have owned a car and driven in Surin Province for almost 5 years. During this period, I have been thru dozens of police checkpoints as many as 5 between my home and Surin Immigration and not once was there any issue when I produced my US DL. Although I had one that was issued in July 2014 my IDP had never been ask for. When I insured my new car with Ford Ensure, there was no issue with my US DL or request that I must have a Thai DL. In September, I applied for a Thai DL. I took my passport, house book, IDP and doctor's certificate to Surin LTO. I did the vision and reaction test, watched a 45 minute video, had my photo taken and received my license. In-out less than 2-hours. Total cost 238 baht, 30 for doctor, 3 for passport copies and 205 for the license fee. Since I received my DL it has been out of my wallet 2 times as an ID for check-in for hotel stays in Pattaya and Bangkok.

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