How to renew an expired Thai driver’s license
August 6, 2021
Obtaining a new Thai driving license is usually straightforward. This instruction is based on the replacement of a 6 months expired Thai car temporary driver's license. Changing a driver's license in Pattaya, Bangkok or other cities in Thailand is similar.
To renew your Thai driving license, as well as obtain a new one, you should contact the Department of Land Transport in Thailand. In Bangkok, for example, there are several offices, go to the nearest one:
The color scheme of all DLT offices is the same, so it is always easy to recognize them on the spot.
We enter and immediately opposite the entrance there is an information desk – always start your visit to DLT from it:
The employees working at the information desk know well all the English words that are in demand in dealing with DLT, so there are no problems with communication here. I told the employee that “(I want to renew my expired Thai driving license”, he understood everything perfectly and asked for the following documents:
- my current expired driving license;
- original passport;
- certificate of residence;
- medical certificate (see “Driver’s medical certificate in Thailand – how to get it with the least cost of time and money”);
- a copy of the main spread of the passport (where your photo and full name);
- a copy of the spread of the passport, where the current stamp on crossing the border of Thailand is located.
Since I am already experienced in these matters (see my article “How to get a Thai driving license without exams and bribes in Pattaya”), I had everything prepared in advance, the employee checked all the documents, stapled them and gave me an electronic queue ticket.
Just a few minutes have passed and my turn has already come:
I went to counter number 11, I gave all the documents to the employee. He entered the information into the computer for a couple of minutes, then gave me a check that he correctly indicated my name and phone number in the printed application, I put a couple of signatures and was sent to the next stage – passing physical tests in the room opposite:
There, in the same way, there was an electronic queue board, where I did not have a single competitor, so I immediately went to “test”. The tests are all elementary, exactly the same as when obtaining a license (see the article about obtaining from the link above): they check eyes, color blindness and reaction – for everything in total, literally 2-3 minutes and you're done.
An important point: when exchanging expired Thai driver's licenses for a new one, you do not need to take any exams (neither theory, nor driving) if the expiration date is less than 1 year. There is no penalty either.
You go to wait for a call on the same electronic queue ticket to a room nearby:
This is where the photographing takes place, the payment of the fee for the issuance of new driver's license (they took 205 baht from me) and right there, in front of you, driver's licenses are printed and issued.
That’s all. It took me longer to write and publish this article than the process of obtaining new driver's license described above, which took me… 21 minutes!
I specially measured it – I entered DLT at 14:15, and got the new driver's license already at 14:36 – it just went incredibly easy.
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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