Getting a Thai driver’s license has some great advantages over carrying a driving license from your home country. You’ll often enjoy being waved through traffic checkpoints and you may even be able to receive discounts at golf courses, national parks and the zoo.
The process is quite easy, especially if you have an international driver’s permit (IDP) from your home country.
Gather these documents and be sure to arrive early to your local transportation office as they only accept applications from foreigners from 8:30am until 9:50am. If everything is in order, you can have your new Thai driver’s license the same day!
What you need if you have a work permit:
- your passport
- copy of your passport’s info page, entry and future exit date stamps, arrival/departure card, visa
- your work permit
- copy of your work permit’s info page, work information, renewal dates or date of expiration
- medical certificate from a hospital or clinic (must be less than 30 days old)
- your original driver’s license from your home country
- international driver’s permit (IDP)
- If you don’t have a work permit, you can get Certificate of Residency from immigration
- If you are applying for both a car and motorbike license, bring two sets of copies of all of your documents. You will receive a separate license for each vehicle class.
- Don’t forget to sign all copies in pen (blue ink is best)
After submitting your paperwork, you may need to take an eye test (for colorblindness) and pass a multiple choice traffic rules test after watching an instructional video.
If you aren’t licensed to drive a motorbike or car at home, and you would like to have a Thai license, you will have to complete a driving test as well. Proceed to the driving test area where cars and motorbikes can be rented from entrepreneurial individuals for a small fee. Take note of the course path and go slowly. The motorbike and car driving tests should take about five minutes each, and the judging of the tests tends to be rather lenient.
Once you pass, have your photo taken and wait for your one-year temporary license. Driver’s license fees for motorcycles is 55 Baht per year and for cars it’s 105 Baht per year. Return next year and you can get a permanent 5-year license by paying the renewal fee.
The transportation office in Phuket is located in Phuket Town next to the Phuket Polytechnic College.
View the Phuket Transportation Office on a map
All in all, the whole process should take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with your own Thai driver’s license.