Firstly, it is important to state that Thai driving is designed for long-term residents of Thailand instead of tourists. Tourists can drive in the country using an International Driving License, although this is only valid for up to 60 days. You should not rely on presenting a driving license from your own country as technically, these aren’t valid, although some police officers may be more generous than others!
Suppose you drive a motorbike and a car. In that case, you will need two separate licenses, both of which are relatively easy to obtain and involve a theory test and a physical test include eyesight and reaction tests. If you present a valid license from your “home” country, you won’t need to take the practical test. The test center in Pattaya is located next to the Regents School, just off Highway 36, close to the junction with Highway 7.
Documents Required (First Application)
1.A Certificate of Residence or a Work Permit
The Immigration Office in Jomtien issues a Certificate of Residence. You will need to take a copy of your rental agreement or another proof address, your original passport plus copies of ALL pages and your TM30, and two passport photos. It is generally available for collection the next day although they say it may take up to two weeks. If you have a valid work permit, everything is far more manageable as this is all that is required.
If you walk into any clinic and tell them that you want a medical certificate for a driving license, they will know what you need. They usually cost between THB150 and THB250, and the fact that you have managed to walk into the clinic means you will be fit to drive!
You will need to take your original passport plus copies of your photo page, visa page, and entry stamps with you as proof of ID.
4.2 Passport Sized Photos
Two passport photos are required although it is unclear why as they take a digital photo for your license!
5.Valid Driving License
Take your driving license from your home country with you or your International Driving Permit to prove that you don’t need to take the driving test’s practical element.
An application form is available from the Land Transportation Office and can be completed on the day or better still before you go.
Assuming that you don’t need to take the driving’s practical element, you will need to take a color blindness test, a distance perception test, and a reflex test, which are all relatively straightforward. After you will be required to watch a video and then take a multiple-choice theory test based on content in the video.
Once you have passed all elements, you will be issued with a two-year (temporary) license.
To renew your license, you will need to follow all of the steps above except you would need to show your Thai driving license instead of the one from your home country. The physical tests are all retaken, and although you won’t retake the theory test, you will need to watch the video. This time you will be issued with a full five-year driving license.