Many expats or even people on a long holiday in Thailand consider buying a vehicle at some point. If you are one of those, then you must transfer ownership of the vehicle in your name after the purchase. Don’t listen to those who tell you it is impossible or who try to dissuade you. It’s not even that difficult when you have everything you need, and you know what you´re doing. In case you need help feel free to contact our service for a free consultation.
The transfer of ownership must take place at the land transport office. There is one in every district. You also need to keep in mind that the transfer has to be done at the DLT where the vehicle was initially registered. You want to make sure the car or bike was registered at an office near you. Otherwise you´ll have to travel to change the title into your name.
This is the same place where you´ll later pay for annual vehicle tax and compulsory insurance.
Below is a list of maps that will show you the way to the Ground Handling Office on the outskirts of Bangkok.
- Bangkok Area 1 – Bang Khun Thian
- Bangkok Area 2 – Taling Chan
- Bangkok Area 3 – Phra Khanong
- Bangkok Area 4 – Nong Chok
- Head Office, Bangkok Area 5 – Chatuchak
Now that you know where to go, let’s see what to bring. As for everything in Thailand you will need to prepare a stack of documents. We will clarify what exactly you need to change the name in a Greenbook. In most cases the seller will not join you to the DLT, that´s why it is very important that know what documents to request during the purchase. By law the seller does not need to be there as long as you have photocopies of their ID and signature on the application form for the transfer of the deed (green / blue -book).
The buyer needs to bring the following to the Land Transport Office:
- Vehicle ownership booklet (green book)
- Signed copies of passport info page and visa page
- Residence Certificate from Immigration or your embassy (or a work permit)
- Application form signed by the seller (form available at the office)
In addition, you’ll need either of the following from the seller:
- Signed copy of national ID card if the seller is a Thai citizen
- Signed copy of passport info and visa pages if the seller is a foreigner
Ownership transfer at the Department of Land transport
As for most government office visits it can be smart to think about the time when to go. Especially in Bangkok official offices getting very crowded. The best time to transfer the ownership of a vehicle is somewhere around 10am. We recommend a polite dress code at the DLT, no short, no slippers and no tank-tops (just use common sense).
On the day you make your way, bring the vehicle in question to the Department of Land and Transport, as an inspection must be carried out there.
At the DLT make your way to the section for transfer of ownership, you can ask the staff to show you the way. Reaching the counter hand over your documents for a check. If everything is ok and you don´t miss any documents, you can move on to the next step. You´ll be guided to the inspection area where your car or motorbike will be checked for safety and street legality. You´ll receive a paper confirming that your vehicle is ready for the name transfer.
Afterwards you´ll have to purchase the required mandatory insurance. The insurance is sold in another room, usually you can chose between 2 different companies. Depending on your vehicle this can range anywhere between 200 to 900thb.
Next you´ll have to go back to the first counter where you had your documents checked. The DLT staff will check your documents once again and give you a que number. It depends on the DLT how long you´ll have to wait. Some will issue the updated green/blue- book on the same the others you´ll have to wait until the next day.
When you return to pick up the updated owners-booklet, you have to pay a small government fee for the service. The fee is somewhere around 300thb. You may also be asked to pay for the annual tax (in case it is expired).
Why Transfer of Vehicle Ownership is Important:
Ensuring the vehicle’s ownership is transferred to your name is not just a legal requirement; it’s crucial for:
- Security: It guarantees that you are the legitimate owner, safeguarding you from any potential legal disputes in the future.
- Insurance Claims: In the event of an accident, having the vehicle in your name makes insurance claims smoother.
- Selling the Vehicle: When you decide to sell the vehicle in the future, the process becomes straightforward with all documentation in order.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
- Missing Documents: Ensure you have all the required documents ready. Missing even one can delay the process.
- Assuming Seller Presence: Remember, as long as you have photocopies of the seller’s ID and their signature on the necessary forms, the seller’s presence isn’t mandatory.
- Ignoring Vehicle Inspection: This step is critical. Ensure your vehicle is in a condition that passes the DLT’s inspection.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How often do I need to renew the ownership transfer? Once the vehicle is transferred to your name, you won’t need to renew the ownership. However, you’ll have to renew other documents like insurance and vehicle tax.
- Can I transfer ownership of a vehicle gifted to me? Yes, the process remains largely the same, but you might need an affidavit or document stating the vehicle was gifted.
- What if the seller refuses to provide signed documents later? Always ensure you have all necessary signed documents from the seller at the time of purchase.
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet regarding the transfer of ownership for vehicles in Thailand. For foreigners, the process can be especially confusing due to the language barrier and the additional documentation needed. If you want to save time and energy it is a good idea to involve an agency to help you with the paperwork and the actual transfer of vehicle ownership. You can message us for a free consultation.