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Expat Exchange - Getting a Driver's License in Thailand
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Hua Hin Night Market (Hua Hin, Thailand)


Getting a Driver's License in Thailand

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Here's a primer on how to get your driver's license in Thailand.

Sometimes when you're new to a country a task like getting your driver's license can make you feel like you're 16 years old again trying to pass your driver's test. Here's an overview of the process of getting your driver's license in Thailand.

Foreigners who wish to drive in Thailand must meet certain requirements. Firstly, they must be at least 18 years old. They must also possess a valid international driving permit (IDP) or a valid driving license from their home country along with a certified Thai translation by their embassy or consulate. The IDP or translated license must be carried along with the passport at all times when driving.

It's important to note that the IDP or foreign license is only valid for a certain period. If a foreigner is staying in Thailand for more than 6 months, they are required to obtain a Thai driving license. To get a Thai driving license, foreigners need to provide a proof of address in Thailand (such as a rental agreement), a medical certificate, their passport, and their existing foreign license or IDP. They will also need to pass a written test and a driving test.

As for the regional differences, the driving laws and regulations in Thailand are generally consistent across the entire country. However, the enforcement of these laws can vary from one region to another. For example, in some tourist-heavy areas, local police may be more lenient with foreigners who do not have the proper driving documentation. However, this is not a rule and driving without the proper license or permit can result in fines or other penalties.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Hua Hin Night Market (Hua Hin, Thailand)

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William Russell
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