How to get a Thai driving license without exams and bribes in Pattaya
August 6, 2021
I'll tell you about the easiest way for foreigners to get a Thai driver's license in Pattaya or other places in Thailand, and the “most simple” way – because for this you will not need to pass any exams at all (neither theory nor driving) or give bribes, everything is absolutely legal.
Step by step:
0) The basis of all this possibility – you must have an international driving license with the desired category (International Driving Permit) – you must first obtain them in your country.
1) We receive a “Residence certificate” (aka “residence letter”) – this is done at the Pattaya Immigration Office, or at your local Immigration Office, it costs 500 baht. To get it, you need two photos and the address of the place where you live. Some immigration offices ask for the rental contract and the ID of the owner of the place where you live, with this I came across, for example, Hua Hin. You also need your international passport.
2) Getting a medical certificate in any hospital is a pure formality, it costs 200-250 baht. They measure blood pressure, ask you for height and weight, check in 15 seconds for color blindness, and, well, they also ask “how are you?”, you “everything is ok” to them, they answer “khrab” and give a certificate of health. It took 15 minutes from arrival to exit, of which 13 is just sitting in the lobby and waiting for the certificate.
3) Check the timetable of the Provincial Land Transport Office closest to you, documents can only be accepted on certain days, for example, Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. On the visiting day submit all the documents you have collected:
- Residence certificate
- medical certificate
- international driving license
- a copy of the front side of an international driving license
- the main photo page of an international driver's license (it contains a photo and allowed categories)
- international passport
- a copy of the main photo ID page (the international passport)
- a copy of the page of the international passport with the current entry stamp/visa
It is better to make all copies in advance, but sometimes photocopies can be made directly in the office or the nearest shop.
They will look and return the foreign and international license and give further instructions, for example, they will say to be on the second floor by 10:00. At 10:00 (they may start a little earlier) there, a person will call by name everyone who submitted documents in order to conduct the simplest tests (even children will pass them, there is nothing to worry about at all):
- color blindness: you will need to name the color that lights up – red, yellow, green;
- eye estimation: put a couple of sticks on the same level;
- reaction: press the brake when the red light comes on.
All 3 tests for 1 person take about 1-2 minutes in total, it is easy, if even someone who is a little tired or worried several times does something wrong (with me there were 4 people out of about 25), they do them over and over until they do it right.
4) Then you receive further instructions, for example, submit the paper that was given after the tests to the appropriate window. You need to pay ~300 baht, you sit down right there and wait about 30 minutes when they call for a photo, after which they will call in another 5 minutes and issue a license.
That’s all. And no theory, driving exams and watching some kind of an hour-long movie, which is compulsorily watched by all who obtained their driving license with passing exams.
Total expenses for replacement and obtaining a driver's license
How much money is needed in total to obtain and replace a driver's license?
- medical certificate: 80-100 baht (may be more expensive, depending on the hospital you choose)
- certificate of residence (300-500 baht)
- driver's license:
- motorcycle (temporary for 2 years): 155 baht
- motorcycle (for 5 years): 205 baht
- car (temporary for 2 years): 355 baht
- car (for 5 years): 605 baht
When obtaining a driver's license for the first time, they always give a temporary license. When replacing a driver's license, they can give both temporary (in the absence of a visa) and permanent ones.
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