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webfact

New driver license is valid in ASEAN member countries

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The current agreements between Thailand and Laos, and Thailand and Malaysia are already good enough to take your Thai registered car to those countries. Apart from being restricted to 30 days at a time, there are no other restrictions, you can enter and exit at any international crossing along their shared borders and so what is this licence going to do? What about if you were to bring a car registered in someone else's name across the border? Take a picture of that car and get a new licence? I mean, who comes up with these ridiculous ideas?

I think the first step is implementing a comprehensive agreement that each member country WILL actually follow, that allows cars from each member country to ACTUALLY be allowed to cross the border without restrictions. Currently there are too many restrictions and a borderless ASEAN region, where you can drive across multiple countries in one car (or bus or truck) has yet to occur. ASEAN (AEC) is nothing like Europe in that regard, and may never be.

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"Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia."

"drive their cars in ASEAN member states" TV you need to get clarification on this article.

The LTD is again spouting out nonsense information. As anyone with knowledge of this matter knows, driving a Thai car to another ASEAN member state is fraught with difficulty and governed by individual agreements. Only Laos, Malaysia and Singapore freely allow Thai cars to enter their territories.

Cambodia and Myanmar impose restrictions on time and distance that a Thai car may travel from the border and no insurance is offered. A tour with government guide is required for official transit of Myanmar.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

I suspect the translation of this was not made very well - more likely what they are indicating is an acceptance of the licence throughout all ASEAN member states and allows the holder to drive a locally registered vehicle, such as a rental car when in these countries. The car picture thing is a bit confusing though.

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Can't wait to get one of these. It will be so handy when I take my car to Brunei to drive around. biggrin.png

I'm pretty sure you could already drive a Thai car into Brunei if you wanted to. But at the same time, given the hassle of getting there with a car (it's an island after all and I haven't heard of a car ferry operating from peninsular Malaysia though it may exist) more than likely you would be the first person ever to drive a Thai car to Brunei.

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I think it is best if you have an international licence. I have one and it is good in any country.

As far as the UK International Driving Permit is concerned (note Permit, not Licence) this is wrong, and could be seriously inadvisable advise to follow. The UK permit is valid in Thailand for THREE MONTHS, because it was originally designed for HOLIDAYS not residence abroad. Of course the local BiB might be impressed if you waive it in their face at a road-block given how poorly-trained they are, but if you have an accident with only a Permit to show, good luck trying to get an insurance company to pay out. Get a Thai licence - its a doddle - and it serves as an ID card as well - no need to carry the passport (though legally you should i know). I've had Thai licences for car and bike for 4 years - best few quid i ever shelled out in LoS.

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I think it is best if you have an international licence. I have one and it is good in any country.

Those only last a year, and it is extremely easy to get a Thai license if you have a foreign license. You just have to remember that light green is yellow, and dark green is green.

They are VALID for a year, but legal continuous use in Thailand is restricted to THREE months only. I agree with you - the few quid i spent on getting my Thai licence was the best cash i ever spent in LoS.

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Theoretical license allowance vs. reality of what the policeman/boarder guard will allow you to do.

I would not count on it. coffee1.gif

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I think it is best if you have an international licence. I have one and it is good in any country.

no such thing as an international DL, you may mean an IDP, which is "legalised" translation of your home countries license,

its not a license, and it only confirms you have valid DL in your home country , valid only for a year

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"Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia."

"drive their cars in ASEAN member states" TV you need to get clarification on this article.

The LTD is again spouting out nonsense information. As anyone with knowledge of this matter knows, driving a Thai car to another ASEAN member state is fraught with difficulty and governed by individual agreements. Only Laos, Malaysia and Singapore freely allow Thai cars to enter their territories.

Cambodia and Myanmar impose restrictions on time and distance that a Thai car may travel from the border and no insurance is offered. A tour with government guide is required for official transit of Myanmar.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

I suspect the translation of this was not made very well - more likely what they are indicating is an acceptance of the licence throughout all ASEAN member states and allows the holder to drive a locally registered vehicle, such as a rental car when in these countries. The car picture thing is a bit confusing though.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

Wise folks those Vietnamese....

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Hell my drivers license I can drive in All 50 states and two countries but my car floods every time I try to drive to Hi the 50th states

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"Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia."

"drive their cars in ASEAN member states" TV you need to get clarification on this article.

The LTD is again spouting out nonsense information. As anyone with knowledge of this matter knows, driving a Thai car to another ASEAN member state is fraught with difficulty and governed by individual agreements. Only Laos, Malaysia and Singapore freely allow Thai cars to enter their territories.

Cambodia and Myanmar impose restrictions on time and distance that a Thai car may travel from the border and no insurance is offered. A tour with government guide is required for official transit of Myanmar.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

I suspect the translation of this was not made very well - more likely what they are indicating is an acceptance of the licence throughout all ASEAN member states and allows the holder to drive a locally registered vehicle, such as a rental car when in these countries. The car picture thing is a bit confusing though.

Singapore does not "freely allow" your car to enter the country.

Been there, tried that.

You need Singapore insurance, even though my insurance said it was valid in Singapore. And then you need to fit an electronic road tax device.

Park your car in Johor and take public transport.

Saves a lot of hassles.

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"Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia."

"drive their cars in ASEAN member states" TV you need to get clarification on this article.

The LTD is again spouting out nonsense information. As anyone with knowledge of this matter knows, driving a Thai car to another ASEAN member state is fraught with difficulty and governed by individual agreements. Only Laos, Malaysia and Singapore freely allow Thai cars to enter their territories.

Cambodia and Myanmar impose restrictions on time and distance that a Thai car may travel from the border and no insurance is offered. A tour with government guide is required for official transit of Myanmar.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

I suspect the translation of this was not made very well - more likely what they are indicating is an acceptance of the licence throughout all ASEAN member states and allows the holder to drive a locally registered vehicle, such as a rental car when in these countries. The car picture thing is a bit confusing though.

Singapore does not "freely allow" your car to enter the country.

Been there, tried that.

You need Singapore insurance, even though my insurance said it was valid in Singapore. And then you need to fit an electronic road tax device.

Park your car in Johor and take public transport.

Saves a lot of hassles.

Yes they do - by freely I mean you can show up at the border without pre-approval and gain entry. Other countries including Malaysia and Laos also require you to obtain insurance to drive legally (well, not Cambodia or Myanmar, but they don't officially allow Thai cars to enter hence no insurance either - they only allow you to enter with certain restrictions on time and distance).

Thai insurance is NOT valid outside of Thailand. Similarly, Malaysian insurance is NOT valid outside of Malaysia. BUT you can easily purchase insurance for Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore at the border and inside the country. These are the only 4 countries in SE Asia which freely allow foreign registered vehicles to enter.

The Singaporeans don't restrict Thai cars - I saw a Thai registered pickup driving in Singapore once. Even if you need the electronic road tax device how does that restrict your entry?'

Your "suggestion" is simply about saving money and nothing else.

You don't know what you're talking about.

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"Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia."

"drive their cars in ASEAN member states" TV you need to get clarification on this article.

The LTD is again spouting out nonsense information. As anyone with knowledge of this matter knows, driving a Thai car to another ASEAN member state is fraught with difficulty and governed by individual agreements. Only Laos, Malaysia and Singapore freely allow Thai cars to enter their territories.

Cambodia and Myanmar impose restrictions on time and distance that a Thai car may travel from the border and no insurance is offered. A tour with government guide is required for official transit of Myanmar.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

I suspect the translation of this was not made very well - more likely what they are indicating is an acceptance of the licence throughout all ASEAN member states and allows the holder to drive a locally registered vehicle, such as a rental car when in these countries. The car picture thing is a bit confusing though.

Vietnam does NOT allow Thai cars in at all under any circumstances. In the past they allowed pre-approved Thai groups on a caravan tour in with an official escort driving in front of them throughout their journey. They may still allow this arrangement, but periodically RHD cars are restricted from entering at all, even under these circumstances.

Wise folks those Vietnamese....

Rumour has it that the Vietnamese impose these restrictions because they don't want large numbers of Thais, many of whom own cars (even cities like Ubon, Udon and Khon Kaen probably each have as many cars as Ho Chi Minh) causing accidents and causing a nuisance for locals, not to mention that public transport operators don't want to lose out on income by allowing foreign tourists driving their own vehicles when they should be taken around by a local tourism operator.

The RHD thing seems like an excuse to deflect attention from the real reason, but on the other hand a majority of Vietnamese do believe driving a vehicle with the steering wheel on the "wrong" side is extremely dangerous and no way it should be allowed in their country. They can't believe Cambodia is so lax on it and even Thailand too, but the Vietnamese won't allow it. Similarly, the Vietnamese would never ever travel in the tray of a pickup truck for safety reasons. I've heard Vietnamese people comment on how Cambodian workers crammed into the back of trucks coming out of the industrial estate next to the Vietnamese border be described as "being treated like pigs, not humans" since humans aren't supposed to be crammed into the back of trucks.

Anyway, driving in Vietnam is not for the faint-hearted. I'm used to it though, I possess a Vietnamese driver's licence but I doubt even a Thai driver would survive it. And I'd hate to think what would happen to a Thai driver that causes an accident - there would be a huge mob that gathers and they'd probably stone someone to death, who drives recklessly causing serious injury or death. And let's not forget how strict the Vietnamese police are. Sure, they're corrupt too but unlike the slap on the wrist one gets in Thailand, they can be rather quick to confiscate your ride if you don't follow their rules.

In many ways the Vietnamese are quite progressive, well OK except for the mob that forms whenever there's an accident.

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I hardly think its fair to say the stupid starts here, surely it started some time ago and just extends.

The stupid thing, apart from this news story already having been published before (seems like every month there's another story about Thai driver's licences supposedly being accepted in all 10 ASEAN member nations) is that the LTD actually believes that other member countries will honour them. The reality is far from that - Thai licences are not valid in countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, no matter what the LTD wants to believe.

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This is breaking news?

The ASEAN agreement to accept each others licenses was signed in 1985. I think the articles author wasn't aware of that.

I get your point, but agreements that are signed in this part of the world are often just photo ops and don't result in real changes on the ground.

Want another example? In 2003 six GMS (Greater Mekong Sub-region) countries, which include Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and the two Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region agreed to allow cars, buses and trucks registered in any member country to drive to another member country.

The agreement was never implemented on the ground.

Try driving a Thai car to China or Vietnam and see how far you'll get. Even driving away from the border regions of Myanmar you won't get far. Speaking to a local Shan resident of Tachilek city, the border town next to Thailand's Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province last year, I learned that the Burmese stopped allowing Thai cars to drive beyond the Tachilek city limits a couple of years ago. Previously you could drive to the Chinese border town of Mong La and back but that can now only be accomplished if you go on an expensive tour. So in many ways things are going backwards not forwards.

It's also a bit one-sided because nowadays the Chinese can drive their own cars (and even motorcycles) down to Thailand via Laos with almost no restrictions. However, the Thais aren't allowed to do the same if they want to go to China - Thai cars are treated like any other foreign registered vehicle - they'll need to arrange permission, permits, a local number plate and guide to meet them at the Lao-China border, all of which must be arranged months in advance and can cost a fortune, in excess of 100,000 Baht just for the privilege of driving into China.

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I think this post refers to a Thai Drivers License, good to drive a car in these countries.

The issuance of a ASIAN license was a post a while back on Thaivisa.

I believe you have to request it.

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