The Department of Land and Transport Office processes all of Thailand’s driving licences. You will need to go in person to the nearest local office to complete the paperwork and get a driving licence. In Pattaya the nearest office is next the Regent International School on Highway 36.
Best way to get there from Pattaya is 10 mins down highway 7, take the 36 highway back to Pattaya, you will pass Regents school with the front of the school on your left, its the next left turn after that, approximately 150 metres past the front of the school
The following paperwork is required:
- Passport with valid non-immigrant visa (tourist visa is not accepted)
- Work Permit. If no work permit is held then usually a Certificate of Residence issued by the Thai Immigration or a Letter of Residence issued by the Embassy will be sufficient. The work permit must be valid and the letter or certificate no more than 30 days old.
- Medical certificate from a hospital or health clinic which must be no more than 30 days old.
The Medical Certificate is a health report from a doctor stating you are in good enough health to operate a motor vehicle. These can be obtained for about 100 baht to 200 baht, at any of the hundreds of clinics scattered around Pattaya. If applying for both motorcycle and car you will need two certificates.
- Photographs will be taken with DLT cameras as part of the process
- International or foreign driving licence. A foreign driving licence must have a certified translation issued by the Embassy. Foreign driving licenses in the English language will sometimes be accepted with no translation necessary
The whole process can take a few hours to complete depending on the office and the number of people applying. The forms have to be completed in Thai, so non Thai-speakers should take along a Thai speaker for interpretation and to help fill in the forms (can the Pattaya office there are lots of Thai staff around to assist you with the process)
Applicants for Thai driving licences have to be prepared for lengthy queues so it is best to arrive early – before 08:30. Sometimes the Pattaya office is so busy that applicants arriving after 09:00 may be turned away.
Applicants will be required to:
- Fill in the licence application form
- Hand in the application
- Participate in an eyesight test
- Participate in a reaction test
Once all the formalities have been completed a Thai driving licence, valid for one year, is issued. After this period the person will need to renew their licence and can apply for a licence that is valid for five years.