How to Renew a Thai Driving License

Foreigners driving in Thailand are required to hold a Thai driver’s license which come in 2 and 5 year versions. First, you do not have to apply for a 2-year license before obtaining the 5-year driver’s license in Thailand.

You can apply for a driver’s license at the Department of Land Transport (Chom Phon 1032 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900) which is a 10-minute walk from BTS Mo Chit Station. They are open from Monday to Friday, between 8.30 AM and 4.30 PM. We recommend that you avoid lunch time and early morning queues for first time applicants. A translator is ideal to avoid bad surprises.

Documents Required:

  1. A temporary Thai driver’s license
  2. A valid passport
  3. A valid Non-Immigrant Visa
  4. A work permit OR certified letter of address from the applicant’s embassy or the Immigration Bureau (the document cannot be older than 30 days)
  5. 2 photographs, 1×1 inch and not older than 6 months. We recommend that you use the photo service on the premises, so there won’t be an issue about how old the pictures are


Here’s what you have to do:

  1. At the driving license application window, request a driving license application form.
  2. Fill out the form
  3. Get your photographs taken for under 100 baht
  4. Verify the information with the officer at the driving license application window
  5. Make copies of the following pages in your passport: the first page, the visa stamp page, the last entry stamp page, and the page with the last visa extension (if applicable)
  6. If you have a work permit book for address verification, copy the following pages: the first and second page, the page with your employer’s address, and page 23 if you had a changed address listed
  7. Present all your documents to the officer at the driving license application window and receive a queue number with your documents returned to you
  8. When your number is called or shown on the screen, submit your documents with your passport and work permit (if applicable). Your passport will be returned to you and you will be asked to pay a fee of 505 baht for which you will be given a receipt.
  9. When your name is called, sign the back of the driving license and the receipt
  10. Laminate your new license at the laminating shop.

The expiry date of your new license will be five years from the day you receive the license.

At Thai Driver’s License Service, we understand that your time is valuable and would like to offer our expertise in obtaining Thai driver’s license to make you life easier. For more information click here. 

Understanding the Renewal Process of the Thai Driving License

Renewing your Thai driving license isn’t as daunting as it might sound. In fact, the process can be relatively simple with the right information. Let’s delve deeper to ensure that your experience at the Department of Land Transport is as smooth as possible.

Thai Driving License: The Basics

It’s essential to note that driving in Thailand without a valid license is not just unlawful but can also result in denied insurance claims in the event of an accident. Therefore, always make sure your license is up-to-date.

Eligibility Criteria for Renewal:

Before embarking on the renewal journey, ensure you’re eligible:

  • Your temporary Thai driver’s license should still be valid. It’s advised to start the renewal process a few weeks before the expiry date to avoid any last-minute hassles.
  • Ensure you have a valid Non-Immigrant Visa. Tourist visas usually don’t qualify.
  • A valid address in Thailand is necessary. This is to ensure all communications reach you in time.

The Physical Tests:

Once you’ve gathered all your documents, remember that you’ll also need to undergo a few basic physical tests, checking reaction times, depth perception, and color blindness.

Advanced Driving Test:

Though not mandatory for everyone, sometimes, you might be asked to take a driving test. This usually happens if there’s a long gap between the expiry of your last license and the renewal.

Handy Tips for a Smooth Experience:

  • It’s advisable to have all documents translated into Thai. This not only speeds up the process but also ensures clarity.
  • Carry extra copies of photographs and documents. It’s better to be over-prepared.
  • Familiarize yourself with Thai traffic signs and rules. Occasionally, you might be asked a few questions or given a basic written test.
  • Opt for the photo service available at the Department of Land Transport to avoid any photo-related issues.


After receiving your license, make a few photocopies. Store them separately from the original. In the event of misplacement, these can be handy.

Digital Advancements:

To keep up with technological advancements, the Thai government is working on digitalizing the Thai driver’s license process. In the future, this will mean lesser paperwork and quicker renewals.

Exploring Beyond Bangkok:

While this guide focuses on the Bangkok-based Department of Land Transport, there are several other branches across Thailand. The process remains largely the same, but always double-check the specifics depending on the province.

Stay Safe on Thai Roads:

With your renewed license in hand, it’s pivotal to always prioritize safety. Thai roads can be different from what you’re used to, especially in more rural areas. Therefore, always be vigilant, follow the traffic rules, and ensure your vehicle is in good shape.

If you ever feel overwhelmed with the renewal process or simply want expert assistance, remember, Thai Driver’s License Service is always here to help. Safe travels!

FAQ: Renewing a Thai Driving License

1. Can I renew my Thai driving license if I’m on a tourist visa?

No, typically you cannot renew your Thai driving license on a tourist visa. A valid Non-Immigrant Visa is usually required for the renewal process.

2. How long before my license expires should I start the renewal process?

It’s advisable to start the process a few weeks before your license expires to avoid any last-minute issues.

3. Do I have to take a driving test again while renewing my license?

Not always. However, if there’s a significant gap between the expiry of your last license and the renewal, you might be asked to retake the driving test.

4. What physical tests will I have to undergo during the renewal process?

The physical tests usually include checks for reaction times, depth perception, and color blindness.

5. Can I renew my license at any Department of Land Transport in Thailand?

You should ideally go to the Department of Land Transport where you initially received your license. However, it’s possible to renew it at other branches, but the process might differ slightly.

6. How long will the renewed license be valid for?

The renewed license will typically be valid for five years from the day you receive it.

7. What should I do if I lose my Thai driving license?

If you lose your driving license, you should report it to the nearest police station and get a copy of the police report. Then, visit the Department of Land Transport with the report, your passport, and relevant documents to apply for a replacement.

8. Are there any online facilities to renew my Thai driving license?

As of the last update, the complete renewal process requires a physical visit. However, the Thai government is making efforts to digitalize many services. It’s recommended to check the official Department of Land Transport website for the latest information.

9. Can I drive in Thailand with my home country’s driving license?

While it’s possible to drive with an international driving license or your home country’s license for a short duration, it’s recommended to get a Thai driving license for extended stays or if you’re residing in Thailand.

10. What if my Thai is not fluent? Should I bring a translator?

Bringing a translator can be helpful, especially if you’re not confident about your Thai language skills. Some departments may have English-speaking staff, but it’s better to be prepared.

Remember, rules and regulations can change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest updates from official sources or consult experts like Thai Driver’s License Service for accurate and up-to-date information.

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