Motorcycle license in Thailand: how to get it

All the steps to obtain a motorcycle license in Thailand. Whether or not you have a driver’s license, it will be useful to pass the Thai motorcycle license to be in good standing at frequent roadside checks and to be insured in case of an accident.

The Thai motorcycle license also allows you to travel in all ASEAN countries.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has ten countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.

Advice before starting the process

A relevant comment from Ermi Pape on May 2, 2017:

“Present yourself at the transport office BEFORE obtaining a residence certificate and a medical certificate

If you do not already have a driving license or do not have an international license (i.e., if you have to take an exam to obtain a Thai license), you will be registered in a queue (4 months waiting in Chaam, 2 months waiting in Pranburi!!!!) to set the course date and theoretical and practical exams…

And since the certificates mentioned above are only valid for one month, you will have to go back to the checkout to get them (500+80 baht in the trash in my case, +80km without a permit and a good half-day lost)”

If you have a motorcycle license

Before coming to Thailand, you will need to apply for an international license at your local town hall.

The international permit is sufficient for a short stay, but if you stay for more than three months, you will have to pass the Thai motorcycle permit.

You will need your Foreign license and the international license.

Whether you have an expatriate visa or a tourist visa, you will need these documents:

A medical certificate issued by an approved State Hospital

Just go to an approved state hospital and ask for a medical certificate for the driver’s license, the doctor will then give you a short medical examination and give you the document for a cost of 50 to 200 baht.

A certificate of residence

Ask the nearest immigration office or your embassy.
You will need:

Two-color passport photos of 4cm x 6cm

Copies of the passport: the main page, the visa, the TM6 form (it is the white paper stapled) and the entry stamp, also bring your original passport.

Proof of residence: the rental contract if you rent, the “yellow book” if you are the owner or an invoice with an indication of the duration if you stay in a hotel or a guesthouse.

The form for residence certificate completed.

Immigration will then give you a date (1 to 2 weeks depending on the office) to pick up your certificate.

Usually, the residence certificate is free, but this depends on the immigration offices (you may be asked for between 200 and 300 baht).

If you have a work permit, you do not need a residence certificate; you will need to present a photocopy of your work permit.

Transport Office (in Thai: kong Son)

Then you must go to the transport office with:

The completed driver’s license application form (to be requested when you arrive)

Your passport

Copies of the passport: the main page, the visa, the TM6 form (it is the white paper stapled) and the entry stamp.

Copy of the national permit

Copy of the international license

The medical certificate

The residence certificate issued by immigration

Important: You must sign all the photocopies you bring with you.
Here the Driving license application form in Thai and with the English translation, but the form may change or be different according to the region.

Then they will make you pass very simple tests:

– the first test is to tell the color of the points on a board that a man shows you with a stick.

There are three colors: yellow, green, and red.

– the second test is reflex, you must accelerate to green light, and when the red light comes on, brake as quickly as possible.

– the third test for your depth perception is to align two rods, one of which is movable with a joystick that goes from front to back.

– the fourth test consists of saying the color that lights up on the right or left of your head while keeping your eyes fixed in front of you.

If you miss a test, you can generally get back in line and retake it directly.

Then you pay about a hundred baht (100/300 depending on the region), and the Thai motorcycle license is given to you.

The validity of a motorcycle license in Thailand

The permit is valid for two years initially; then upon renewal, it is valid for five years.

If you only have a car license

You will proceed in the same way as in the first case, and you will also have to take the exam on a scooter, with a basic route inside the courtyard of the transport office. You can come with your motorcycle.

To make sure you don’t miss the exam, walk the course several times.

There are a few zig-zags to do between barrels and the red line in relief, which you have to pass without touching the white part.

Photos of the route for the motorcycle license in Thailand

If you have no permits

You will have to pass all the steps described above and also, pass the Thai traffic regulations.

Pass Thai traffic regulations

It is a QCM that is not too difficult because the machines on which you pass the code all have an English version of the test.

Before the test you will be required to take the course in Thai, it is always an experience even if you don’t understand anything!

I don’t speak English well, and I missed the first test because I didn’t understand certain words and phrases, and they also have a sense of humor like:

If you are tired while driving, you should:
1 drink a coffee
2 take methamphetamines (yaa baa)
3 stop in a parking lot to rest.

It is, therefore, necessary to review your road English before taking this test.
If you miss the code you can repeat it another day, be friendly with the examiners, during the exam they can put you on track if you have any doubts.

Thai traffic regulations questions in pdf:

Thai Highway Code 1

route code 2

route code 3

You can practice taking the test on this site:

Voila, good luck with your motorcycle license in Thailand and don’t forget that Thailand is at the top of the countries where there are the most road accidents, so be careful!

Renewal of driving license

Here is the translation of the page from the Thai Department of Transport :

Before your two-year temporary permit expires, you must apply for a regular five-year license.

You can renew your license up to 2 months before your current license expires.

Attention: you should not wait until the end of the two years before renewing it, or you will have to obtain another temporary license and make the necessary tests again!

You will need to prepare the documents as follows:

Passport with visa (original copy and photo)

Residence address in Thailand with an original certificate from the embassy or immigration office (valid for one year) or work permit with original copy and photo

Original medical certificate (5 diseases form) from a clinic or hospital (valid for one month).

Original copy and photo of the incorrect international license (1949 Convention) or local driving license (translation into English or Thai and certification of the embassy if it is not in English.


If you are disqualified at #4

Check the documents

Print the application form

If you are qualified to No. 4

Take a 1-hour training course*

Do a physical test

Do a 5-hour training course

take a physical test

Take a theory test

take a practical test

Pay the fee (105 baht) then a photo will be made and your license printed

It’s a little difficult to understand so here’s the translation of a 2018 article:

When you get a driver’s license in Thailand, you start with a 2-year temporary license. When it expires, you have the option to upgrade to the 5-year license.

Usually, you should have a long-term visa, but I have had friends who have managed to get one with a tourist visa but beware; it might be more difficult.

Requirements for a 5-year driving license

1. You must return your old Thai license (no photocopy required)

2. Residency certificate is needed

3. Medical certificate indicating that you are in good health to drive

4. Photocopy of your passport (signed)

5. Photocopy of your visa (signed)

6. Photocopy of your departure card (signed)

7. Actual passport for verification purposes (will be returned to you immediately)

8. Your Thai home address

Permit procedures

You then proceed to the land transport department in your region with all the information mentioned above.

Since you are moving to a 5-year license, you do not have to arrive very early.

Those who arrive early are usually those who need to get their first license, as the process can take a few hours.

Please note that you should arrive before 2 pm if you can.

If the office is crowded, they may ask you to come back tomorrow if you arrive after 2 pm.

Go to the center’s office and give all your information to the employee.

Tell them you’re here to move on to the 5-year license.

The employee will check all your documents and if everything is in order will direct you to another office.

This employee will also check your documents and, if all goes well, send you to the eye exam area.

Ocular test procedure

The vision test is quite simple. You are in front of a traffic light, and the light passes between red, yellow, and green.

You answer the employee on the color you see.

Pay and get your license

I paid 1050 Baht, but it was for a 5-year motorcycle and car license.

The next step is to take pictures for the permit.

A staff member will take three pictures of you, and you will have to choose the one you prefer for your driver’s license photo.

You will wait a few more minutes for treatment, and they will give you your new license and your day will be over.

You can drive legally in Thailand for the next five years, but don’t forget to register your vehicle and take out insurance.

The advantages of a 5-year driving license

Having a driver’s license is an excellent idea for foreigners staying in Thailand for a long time.

Of course for the obvious reasons of not having to pay the police.

Also, not having a license can effectively cancel your insurance if you have an accident.

You can also use your driver’s license for discounts in some museums, parks, temples, and places where foreign tourists are often charged more than Thais.

You can also use your Thai permit as an identity card to book hotels or take a flight from airports.

I used my Thai driver’s license in my home country when I returned home for two months (it does not specify its origin).

My country allows the use of the Thai driving license for 90 days.

Many other countries have similar rules.

If you are considering using your Thai license in another country, make sure you know the rules.

Another option is that you can get an international driving license using your Thai license.

Road safety advertising

See also:

Transport in Thailand, travel to the land of smiles



Settled in Thailand since a few years (with trips to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia), I love this country and its inhabitants, the real country of Smiles! Sorry for any translation errors that may occur. Feel free to mention them in the comments, I will correct them. Thank you.

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