Today I will share my experiences about how I got my driving license in Thailand.
Update 30 January 2017.
I just got this link that is a Thailand Driving License Online Test, (opens in a new window), so this could be a very good start point to practice the questions online for a driving license in Thailand if you don’t want to spend time on a traffic school here in Thailand. And when it comes for a car driving license, I will order a international and make a switch to Thai. More about that when its done.
It all begun for one year ago. At that time I lived in a condo I rent from a friend. I had it on my list over thing I want to have. Mostly so I can drive around without to think about all the police controls and even when it comes to the insurance part. We all have heard storys how wrong things can get.
(opens in a new window). My first attempt for one year ago failed to appear because some misinformation about that I can not get it with a TR visa (tourist Visa). So I had to at least get a Non B.
After some time things developed on my private life, the goal about driving license faded somehow away. But still on my mind and popped up from time to time.
Meanwhile I started a Work permit / Visa B process together with a company registration process and actually today I got a sms that its all almost done. Great! =)
Now back to how I got my driving license in Thailand.
For one month ago. I just woke up and told my self: This high season, I want to drive around on the island and explore, much more than previous season without to feel tense about the police. Everything great thing starts with a though as I have mentioned on my previous post on this blog, so even this one.
I sat down and start to google. I found one homepage with great info about the process.
Ok. its pretty forward. I asked my girlfriend to call and determine the fact if I can do it with a tourist visa.
The answer was: Yes I can, But then I need a “Certified Resident Report of Address”
So here is the real information: 8 december 2016, you can have a driving license based on a Tourist Visa IF you can fix a “certified Resident Report of Address”
I am renting an apartment from a thai lady and when i signed the contract, she give me a copy of a paper. to be honest with you I don’t know what it is. I have read something about yellow and blue books, but don’t really get it and I don’t need to get it. I thought it maybe is a copy from that.
So i took this paper, my passport and my lovely girlfriend down to the Immigration Patong. When we arrived, I just let her do the talking and i just had to take some pictures to complete my request and also to pay 500 Baht for the document.
The dokument i got looks like this:
Probably not the best picture of me, but hey… I will not apply for Mr Universe. So I am ok with that.
Next thing on the list to fix was a Health certificate from government hospital.
I had heard somewhere that a visit to a clinic will work too.. So lets find a clinic. I had see some on Nanai Road, so we drive on Nanai Road. After like 10 minutes we found one that look very good and they also had plastic surgery services. I have never seen my girlfriends eyes so big and she was shining during our stay. So i maybe promised something inside there. Anyway, I was expected to get some kind of medical examination, but the only thing that got examined was the bench i had to sit on, while the cute nurse filled in a dokument for me. Very good clinic. I guess they can fix a lot of things.
I took 2 copies, because i want motorbike and car license. that cost me 100 Baht. So far we are up to 600 total.
Here is how the health certificate looks like. As you can maybe read, Im very healthy.
Next day we took a roadtrip to Phuket town and to the “Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office”. it was very easy to find with google maps.
When we arrived, we stand on a line for about 3 minutes and when it was our turn, my girlfriend give all the dokument to the counter lady and the lady give us back a slip with a date. 6 december. Thats one week in front. Seriously, I had read some info about several months wait time.
So here is some more real information. According the date we were there, 29 november, we got one appointment time for the 6th december, not several months.
As many of you know, 5 december is the Kings birthday, so everything was closed, and the last day on my passport was 6 december, so i had to prior to get a 30 days extension. And i found out about this the weekend before the 5th. There is no way I wanted to risk any kind of overstay, so i come up with a plan… To drive the 6th to the “Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office” as scheduled, but let my girlfriend explain about my situation. I was then prepared for some rescheduling for about one more week. But the sweet man we met told us that we can come any day we want within 30 days. He was really sweet and humble by the way. I really liked him. I didn’t understand a word he say, but he was a very kind person. So back to Patong and to immigration for my 30 days extension. That process is pretty straight forward.
The next morning ( 7th december) we drive back to Phuket and i reported myself. I had read that they will show some long movie, and they did! it was 4 girls dancing and signing about road safety. At this point i felt like I was on a Candid Camera. It was really surrealistic. I actually got upset and thinking WTF!. Then it stops and another “music video” started to play. I had to serious negotiate with my thoughts here. Do i really have to sit here for 4 hours to get a driving license in Thailand and watching this shit? I had plans to just leave from there. But I am glad I didn’t. there was only 2 music videos and after that it got serious.
I have a driving license for car issued in Sweden and I have drive car for about 20 years. So many things on that movie, I was already familiar with and of course some things were new to me of the obvious reason that I am in Thailand. So i really pay attention to not miss anything. I have to add something here. What I see on those approx 4 hours is NOT what I See on the streets in Patong. The movies and the concept behind is very good, I could say it barely meets Swedish standards, but there is some big loose between this room and the world outside that room, unfortunately. My girlfriend slept on my shoulder almost all the time.
After that it was time to make some test on the computer. The nice man give me some papers together with my computer access cards. I went to another room and started my test on the computer. There was 50 questions i had to answer and to pass i have to score at least 45.
First attempt motorbike fail. second pass.
First attempt Car fail, second fail. So i had to come the next day, today.
It felt like same question for both motorbike and car. And my last attempt, i failed with one point and it was a mistake from me. The computer shows the wrong answers and i pushed the wrong number.
Today we arrived 9 am, I went in to the test room and i got one computer. I answer my 50 questions and after that i rechecked every single question. I passed with 46points. So now we have to wait until 12:30 for the driving.
The driving for the car license is based on 3 task and i have to pass all of them. park, drive forward and backward on a narrow gate and drive close to a yellow line and stop at a specifik yellow mark on the road.
I failed on 2 off them, parking and the “follow yellow line”. The reason i fail? Well As i say before, I have drive for 20 years, so I know how to park properly and also how to drive in narrow spaces. I failed because the instructor didn’t know any english. Ok my girlfriend tried to translate as best she could ( and she do a really good work on that overall) but there was such stupid things. Like I can not be stil to long when Im parking, because the sensors are registering that as I have parked. Even if they allow me to park in 7 steps. and for the “follow a yellow line”. The line was literally next to a high pedestrian edge. I hire the car from the place, so I really didn’t wanted to scratch it. And it was actually my first time ever inside a right handled car, So I am satisfied anyway. I got a new appointment next week, so I maybe should rent a car and drive somewhere to practice on my “inverse parking skills”.
After my failure, we went in to the building and handle over the documents and I finally got my temporary motorcycle driving license in Thailand! After all, It was that one I have thinking about for a year, so somehow its a mission complete already. I got my driving license in Thailand!
I will go there next week and try again with the goal to make it. If I will not, then i can order a international driving license based on my Swedish license and just get a thai license on the spot. But I want to try once more. I want to nail that parking and the yellow line!