Documents needed to get a Thai driver licence

Tougher tests for the Thai driving license

In an effort to improve the safety on its roads, Thailand has introduced tougher tests for obtaining a license. Effective since June 1st, 2014, the new tests will have 50 questions, instead of 30 questions for the old tests. In order to pass, drivers will need to answer at least 45 questions out the 50 correctly, which means a passing grade of 90%, instead of 75% for the old tests.

If you want to have an idea of what the new tests look like, you can download them at PDF format.

In English: set 1 | set 2 | set 3
In Thai: set 1 | set 2 | set 3

The correct answer is in bold (don’t mind the arrow, it’s probably the answers given by a candidate).

The new tests will be mandatory for all new drivers applying for a license for the first time (the 1 year license). Those applying for the 5 year license will not need to take the tests, but the drivers applying to renew their 5 year license will need to attend a one hour lecture (usually all you have to do is sit in a room and watch a DVD – in Thai).

Documents needed to get a Thai driver licence Or to renew a Thai driving license, you have to go to your nearest Land Transport Office.

Please note that the required documents can vary according to the local offices. To be sure of what you need, we recommend that you give them a phone call and ask beforehand.

However, generally, the documents you need are:

  • If it is the first time you are applying, a signed photocopy and a translation of your national driving license, if you have one.
  • If it is for a renewal, your Thai driving license.
  • A signed photocopy of your passport (front page and visa page).
  • A medical certificate (can be issued at any hospital or clinic for 50 to 100 bahts).
  • A proof of address (yellow book if you have one, or letter from your embassy or from a police station stating your place of residence).

If you want to apply for both a motorbike permit and a car permit, make two sets of the photocopies.

Usually photographs are not needed anymore, as they now use a digital version, so they take your picture at the Land Transport Office.

If you can’t speak Thai, it is recommended that you also bring along your favorite long-haired translator!

The usual procedure is as follows:

  • Arrive at the office in the morning, fill in an application form and sumbit your documents.
  • Pay the fee (105 baht for a one year license, 525 baht for a five year license).
  • If you already have a national driving license, you don’t have to take an actual driving test or the written test about regulations.
  • You do need to take the color test, and in some cases, two other types of tests.
  • During the time when they make your permit, you may have to attend a class where they show you a DVD with a few basic things about traffic laws (like types of roads, types of vehicles… but nothing about courteousness and very little about safety !).

Then you receive your permit. The first time you apply, the permit is only valid for one year. After one year, you can renew it for five years (provided you have a non-immigrant visa).