The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Phuket Question
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Tourists driving in Phuket: get legal, or get fined - or worse

Tourists from all over the world come to Phuket and rent a car or motorbike during their holiday, but are they allowed to use their license from their home country to drive a rental vehicle on the island?

tourism, transport, crime, accidents,


The Phuket News

Sunday 18 December 2016, 10:00AM


No matter which country you hail from, police say that you must have a Thai license or an International Driving Permit in order to drive legally in Phuket. Photo: Tony Webster
No matter which country you hail from, police say that you must have a Thai license or an International Driving Permit in order to drive legally in Phuket. Photo: Tony Webster

QUESTION

I have been staying in Phuket a while but I am still not clear about whether or not foreigners can drive in Phuket using a driver’s license issued in their home country. Everyone knows at least one foreigner who has been caught out with this, regardless whether the foreigner has moved here or is just a tourist.

So, can foreigners use their license from home here in Phuket? Also, what if my license is already issued in English?

And to be clear, exactly what are the penalties if I am caught driving without a Thai license, and what happens if I am in an accident?

– Tilde Chimbote, Chalong

 

ANSWER

Foreigners wanting to drive in Thailand – but do not yet have a Thai driver’s license – must hold an “International Driving Permit” (IDP) issued in their home country.

Please note that the IDP is technically not a license, it is a translated version of a license issued by a country that signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (!968), which replaced the Convention on Road Traffic (1949).

Under the Convention notes that countries that signed the Convention recognise “any domestic driver’s licence drawn up in their national language or in one of their national languages, or, if not drawn up in such a language, accompanied by a certified translation.”

C and C Marine

That means any person wanting to drive in Thailand by using a driver’s license not issued in Thailand – and especially those not issued in English -- must have BOTH a valid license issued in their home country AND an IDP in order to legally drive in Thailand.

This applies to foreigners staying in the country long-term and to tourists driving motorbikes or cars rented for their short holiday here.

Having a valid license is critical, not just to avoid being fined by police for breaking the law, but especially in case you are involved in an accident.

If you do not have a valid license and an IDP, you can be held fully responsible for any accident you are involved in and any insurance coverage may automatically become void as you were driving illegally.

– Chutinan Jindachuea, Chief, License Division, Phuket Provincial Transport Office.



If you are stopped by the police and you cannot present a valid license issued in your home country and an IDP so we can check it in English, you will be fined.

The fine is usually between B200 and B500. You can pay the fine on the spot or police can seize your license until you come to the police station and pay the fine, and then get your license back.

If you refuse to pay the fine, then we will have to proceed with legal action, which being presenting your case in court.

In short, if you don’t want to be fined for driving illegally while on holiday here, get an IDP from your home country before getting on the plane.

– Lt Surapong Phuhgrom, Inspector, Kathu Traffic Police.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Kurt | 03 January 2017 - 16:45:52

.."The fine is usualy between 200 and 500 thb"..  yes, yes.
So, what is now? 200thb or 500 thb?
Is it up to the police officer? Or is it sett thai law wise?
Why always this tea money doings/talk/mediation by the boys in brown?
Makes so tired.

The Phuket News

marcher | 03 January 2017 - 12:43:06

Kurt. I don't know what the hell buying land has to do with driving. Keep to the subject

The Phuket News

Joe12 | 21 December 2016 - 20:04:01

la0wei...You are reading the wrong Treaty. The article states, "...Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968), which replaced the Convention on Road Traffic (1949)." See article 48 of the 1968 Treaty. The Treaty was actually signed by Thailand on 8 November 1968. 

The article further states, "...countries that signed the Convention recognise “any domestic driver’s licence drawn up in their national language or in one of their national languages, or, if not drawn up in such a language, accompanied by a certified translation.” - see article 41 of the Treaty. 

"That means any person wanting to drive in Thailand by using a driver’s license not issued in Thailand – and especially those not issued in English -- must have BOTH a valid license issued in their home country AND an IDP in order to legally drive in Thailand." refer also to Section 42 and 42-2 of the Motor Vehicle Act B.E. 2522 (1979).

There are Treaties between some Governments and Thailand that allow mutual recognition of Driving Licences that include the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Clearly then, the sample you provided does not comply with the Treaty or domestic law. 

Even though and IDP is valid for 12 months after arrival in Thailand, you will find that most comprehensive insurance policies will be void after 3 months if you are still driving on a foreign licence.

So, why would you not bother getting an IDP? 


Kurt...as usual you are totally wrong. British people can and do own land privately. International laws are most definitely not above national laws, nor can they be. It's a matter of territoriality and sovereignty. There are also no mechanisms for enforcement. If you bother to read some, they specifically refer to national laws. Hell, if you don't know about treaties, how can you expect Police officers or anyone else for that matter to know. 

The Phuket News

Kurt | 19 December 2016 - 10:09:50

@ Marcher:  A british person can privately not own land in Thailand. But a thai can own land in UK.

@ Ia0wei: Thailand forget conveniently that ratified international laws are above thai national laws.
I bed that most of the RTP officers not even know about that 1949 Convention on Road Traffic.

@ topstipster: I hope for you that this RTP officer invites you to show him that 1000 thb fine ticket.
Hopefully he than apologize and refund you 500 - 800 thb.

The Phuket News

la0wei | 18 December 2016 - 21:37:46

Dear Mr. Jindachuea, dear Mr. Phuhgrom

I am rather surprised by your comments because Thailand ratified the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic on 15th August 1962 and as such Thailand agreed to recognize local driving permits of other member states as long as they fulfill the requirements stated in Annex 9 of that convention.

To my understanding it would therefore be perfectly legal to drive in Thailand with a foreign driving permit that looks like e.g. this one as it fulfills those requirements: http://www.600ccm.info/pages/x_fish/images/131211_01.jpg

Your comments on above would be highly appreciated.

The Phuket News

toptipster | 18 December 2016 - 17:11:14

This is directed Lt Surapong Phuhgrom. I was stopped last week, left my IDP at home by mistake , so got fined. Why 1000Baht. You mention 200-500 baht. Be interesting to see your reply.

The Phuket News

marcher | 18 December 2016 - 16:44:48

All well and good for the Transport office to state these rules, but who is going to enforce the law? Obviously not the police, apart from picking up their tea money And what is the point of a rather measly fine for no licence and then letting them drive away. The vehicle should be impounded until they produce a legal licence
Unfortunately many people do not have a licence at all, particularly for motor bikes. Just watch tourists wobbling along the road for their first ride ever. Most have never ridden a motor bike in their life
Then we have the question of authi ciency of licences In England, for instance, it takes training and a tough driving test to get a licence whereas here very little skill is required. Strange then that a British licence is not valid here, but a Thai licence is valid in the UK

The Phuket News

LivinLOS | 18 December 2016 - 12:54:11

And yet this totally fails to answer the question if someone DOES have an english language home country license.. 

The Phuket News
Matches 8 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket rescue workers appeal to Chinese gods for a ‘safer’ Patong Hill

Yes, that will reduce the accidents for sure. Don't worry about driver training, vehicle safety checks etc. This will fix the issues. ...(Read More)


Interpol alert out for Red Bull scion

The major charge of reckless driving causing death ends on Sept 3, 2027 but is likely not provable. If there were any witnesses they will have now ...(Read More)


Phuket rescue workers appeal to Chinese gods for a ‘safer’ Patong Hill

They should be praying to the Chinese god of vehicle safety checks and driver training....(Read More)


Interpol alert out for Red Bull scion

No we've not been dragging our feet, only took 5 years to issue a blue notice, 5 years to revoke his passport, all the times he's flown in and...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

So the PN editor writes that Thailand is an “international hub for crime". If one reads the background of Alexandre Cazes, he has lived in Thai...(Read More)


Troop checkpoints to ward off Yingluck fans

It looks a bit or there is coming days a partial martial law without declaring it....(Read More)


Interpol alert out for Red Bull scion

....Just notify us, we not want him arrested!.... That is why we absolute not want a Red Notice. The Blue Notice is just to show we do 'somethin...(Read More)


Interpol alert out for Red Bull scion

"Col Kritsana insisted police are not stalling the process to bring back Vorayuth as suggested by some." If this is true, why didn't ...(Read More)


Phuket motorcyclist dies after crashing into pregnant buffalo

No wonder many drive like crazy and do not slow down when something appears in the distance Even if a car is already halfway out of the parking space...(Read More)


Phuket lifeguards warn of surf danger as sections of beaches closed

Is it not time that each beach gets a senior beach guard with more authority to keep people out of the sea at red flag areas? It can safe lives. P...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.