People who have a license from their home country can come into the Transportation Department to check if their license can be converted into a Thai one. Officials will look into the type of vehicles that the driver is allowed to operate and what kind of restrictions apply according to the license. Some countries in Europe can easily convert their license if their road regulations are similar to those in Thailand. For instance, driving on the same side of the road and following the same basic road rules.
People from countries such as Germany and the US (who drive on the other side) may not convert their licenses into a Thai license; they have to carry out both the theory and practical test in order to drive in Thailand.
There are many different kinds of licenses throughout the world – too many to detail here – so the best thing to do is to head to the transport office with your valid license and passport and show it to someone at the information desk. They will determine whether or not you can convert your license to a Thai one.
Q: Will I be able to use my valid UK drivers license in Thailand?
A: You must convert this into a Thai license first. You will need to bring your passport, work permit (or a notification of address from Immigration) a medical certificate, as well as copies of all of these, to the Land Transport Office in Phuket Town. Head there for 8.30am sharp, just as you would if you were doing a test, but show them your valid license.
You will have to do a short brake test, which requires you to put your foot onto the brake whenever you see the red light, as well as a simple eye test. Then you’ll have to watch a video. That’s it though, you’ll then pay around B200, get your photo taken and you’ll be handed your new Thai license!