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A Quick Guide to Renewing Your Thai Driving License in Bangkok

This is my experience of renewing my five year Thai driving license. It doesn’t matter which office you go to. I chose the one in Bang Chak this time instead of the one in Samut Prakan as it’s a few minutes walk from a skytrain station. Just go to BTS Bang Chak and take Exit 3. You are looking for a road on your left with a blue archway over it. It’s just after Sukhumwit Soi 99. Walk down the road to the Department of Land Transportation (see map). It is a three-story purple building on your left. You cannot miss it.

Entrance to Soi (left picture) has a blue archway. Walk down the soi to the purple building

When you enter the building, go to the information counter. They will check your documents. If you don’t have the correct photocopies already, she will direct you to the service for this to your right. In my case, I needed a signed photocopy of my passport (photo page, visa page and last entry stamp page) and work permit (photo page, last extension page, and page with my home address). If you don’t have the latter, you either need a yellow house registration book with your name on it or a letter from Immigration with proof of address. Please note, a sign on the counter says they only issue 250 queue tickets per day. I got queue number 247 at 10:45am, so, advisable to come early.

This is the information counter where you get your queue number. To the left is where you start queuing. To the right is the place where you have your photo taken.

After you get your queue ticket, wait near the counters to your left for your number to be called. The lady here will check your documents. Next up is the physical tests in the large room opposite. Apparently, you should wait for your number to be called but I went straight in without realizing. But you’re not really jumping the queue, as you use the same number to enter the seminar room for the road safety video and then later to have your photo taken.


There are three tests but two stations. First one is to test your peripheral color vision. You have to look straight ahead and then say what color you see to the left or right. It can either be red, green or yellow. You will fail if you look left or right or say the wrong color. Several people failed by saying yellow was red. So be careful with this color. If you fail, go to the back of the queue and try again. The next two tests are at the next station. For the first one, you have to press a button to align two sticks. This tests depth perception. For the next test, you put your foot on the accelerator and then, when you see a red light, quickly put your foot on the brake. This tests your speed reaction. Watch how others do it if you don’t understand the instructions in Thai.

Next up is the one hour road safety video. You have to wait for your queue number to be called. The times for this are on the hour from 9am to 12pm. I was in time for the last one at 12pm. As there were many of us and the room on the ground floor only seats 60 people, we were invited up to Room 301 on the third floor.

This is the final stop where you sit and wait to be called to have your photo taken.

Once this was over, we went back down to the ground floor to the section to the right of the Information counter. Sit down and wait for your number to be called. I had to wait here for over an hour. In this large room, you pay the fee and have your photo taken. They will then print out your new driver’s license. If you do like I did and wait for your license to expire first, then they will give you five years from the date of your next birthday. So, I got 5 years + 359 days. The cost for me was 555 Baht as I had to have some details changed. But the standard fee is 500 Baht.

If you had a different experience or you have some tips, please post in the comments below. Please note, It’s been twenty years since I applied for my first Thai driving license and so I cannot help you with tips for doing this. But, I do know that in this same building you can apply for an International Driving Permit if you want to use your Thai driving License abroad.

60 thoughts on “A Quick Guide to Renewing Your Thai Driving License in Bangkok

  • June 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm
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    Process of obtaining the initial Thai driving licence is the exact same. Initial license is good for 2 years and is considered “temporary”, as that’s what is wrote on the license itself.

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    • August 23, 2019 at 11:23 pm
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      No, when you renew your 5 year, you don’t need a medical cert.

      Reply
      • November 15, 2019 at 9:47 am
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        You do need a medical certificat when you change your 2-year license for a 5-year licence at Bang Chak. I was just turned away because I didn’t have one.

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    • March 31, 2020 at 9:13 am
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      What are the requirements in renewing thai driving license for foreigners?

      Reply
  • June 8, 2019 at 4:31 pm
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    Did you have to book for driver licence application in advance? Last time I visited Department of Land Transportation, they told me that I have to apply for application from their website (or something like that) and that there is a queue about 3 month. It was near Aranyaprathet. Not only me, but Thai brother of my girlfriend was told that he have to book a meeting as well.

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      • August 25, 2019 at 12:19 am
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        I did my first licence a short while ago. I believe July. No appointment necessary. However I printed the form and filled it out prior to attending with all my documents to the first counter.

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        • September 3, 2019 at 11:57 am
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          Where did you print it from? I’ve had a look around, but couldn’t find anything

          Thanks.

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  • June 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm
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    If during the previous 5 years you have changed passports remember to bring your old one as well, along with the obligatory photo copies.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 11:40 am
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      I have renewed my license last week and even I changed my passport during the last 5 years I did not need the old passport. Had it with me anyway.

      Reply
      • September 3, 2019 at 10:51 am
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        I just went into renew my 5 Yr license in Trang office, same place as previous 2 times. Have a non imm O visa, same as last 10 years but now been told I can only get 2 year temporary visa. For 5 year visa I was told I need a retirement visa. Tried to talk sense showing the official website with requirements to no avail. So I have gone backwards.

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        • September 3, 2019 at 2:01 pm
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          To update re getting only 2 years renewal, I went back for more talking in afternoon and further attempts of persuasion. Finally they realised their error, unbelievable but true. Now have my 5 year licenses, car + mbike..whew??.

          Reply
  • June 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm
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    Went to renew my 5 year license at the main office on Phaholyothin. They said they no longer accept the yellow book house registration as evidence of address for driving license. They said to get a statement from Immigration or Embassy instead.

    Interestingly, the vehicle registration building in the same compound had no problem using the yellow book to change my address on my car registration.

    Go figure.

    Reply
  • June 8, 2019 at 7:05 pm
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    Only for people with PR – the lady at the information desk said I should have got a Thai pink ID card, but she would let me through this one time. Lots of debate on ThaiVisa about whether or not the pink ID cards are of any use…but it seems they might be mandatory for government purposes in the future.

    Reply
    • June 9, 2019 at 10:35 am
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      I have the pink ID card also. They didn’t want to live ok at it.

      Reply
  • June 8, 2019 at 10:08 pm
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    I was at the Soi 99 drivers license 5yr renewal and repremanded like a child for wearing short trousers only down to the knees, so sent away to get long trousers before allowed to do the eye and reaction tests with a later group.

    Reply
    • June 9, 2019 at 6:00 am
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      Yes, standard practice at all government offices across the country. You have to be dressed properly. I posted a picture of the sign there but I will add this too. Thanks.

      Reply
  • June 9, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    I have been to Bang Chak three times, 1,2 and 5 year license but strangely enough I`ve never seen this safety video. Never been asked to either…

    Reply
  • June 9, 2019 at 4:10 pm
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    Do i need to take those test again when i need to renew my driving license for another 5 years … i mean i have my 5 years license at the moment and soon to expire by sept … from other info i got they said i dont need to go through that vision test anymore?

    Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 11:41 am
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      The physical tests need to be done every time for renewal regardless of the license.

      Reply
  • June 11, 2019 at 9:31 am
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    forgot to post…when renewing, there an age limit, after which you need to do the written test? I am 75. My wife is more worried, than i her next renewla is in 2020, when she will be 78.
    tia.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2019 at 10:23 am
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    Thank you for this informative post.

    I extended my 5 year driving license today, same place. Arrived at 07:45 but seems they open for queues at 07:30 and there was already a long line.

    I had my passport copy (photo page, visa page and last entry), copy of front and rear of expired driving license, and an affirmation letter of residence from British embassy, translated in to Thai and legalised at MOFA. Note I managed to do the MOFA legalisation process at MRT Khlong Tei, underground adjacent to the station by Amazon coffee shop. A very efficient process.

    The queue moved quickly and I had the physical reaction and eye tests done just before 09:00 and was one of the last called in to the hours video training at 09:00, which has English subtitles.

    Then waiting for the license (payment and photos and issuance all done at the same desk). Waited just under an hour and out by 11:00.

    Could have been far worse!

    Reply
    • June 21, 2019 at 10:29 am
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      First time I have heard the residency letter needs translation. Is this others experience as well?

      Reply
      • June 21, 2019 at 5:13 pm
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        I was getting a certified copy of my passport translated and legalised for application for pink alien card, and obtained the residency letter from the embassy at the same time. I therefore decided to get both translated and legalised together. It may not be necessary but this is what I did, one day at the driving centre is enough, I’d flip if things were rejected and I had to go back again with further documents!!

        Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 9:24 am
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    As part of the process, did you have to complete the drivers license application form, which is all in Thai?

    Reply
    • January 3, 2020 at 9:15 am
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      Just read all this info and the thread. I need to renew my licence which actually expired last october! I did my test in Samut Prakan. Can my work permit still be used as proof of address? Do i have to do that multiple choice test again? Will I need a whole day off work or can i go on saturdays?

      Reply
  • July 18, 2019 at 3:06 pm
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    how to pass the depth perception test

    Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 10:34 am
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    At the Phahohlothin 18 office, there is no need to come early. I went twice recently after lunch (twice because I did not have a medical cert the first time). One time my number was called as soon as I got into the waiting room. The next day, more people were there and there was about a 20 minute wait. Everything else was similar to that described in the article except we only watched the movie for 30 mins when a woman came in with our papers and everyone immediately left the room to go to their next station.

    Reply
  • October 3, 2019 at 2:12 pm
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    i see agents advertising to renew driving licences, then i see you had to go through all the requirements again, ie, 3 tests and the video, so how does this work out then, never heard of anyone doing the tests again

    Reply
    • October 3, 2019 at 7:10 pm
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      if you will renew your driving license for another 5 yrs … you will have to go through physical test ( e.g depth perception , reflex , peripheral and color blindness ) plus you need to watch 1 hr video …FYI if you have a new passport kindly bring your old passport orginal and photo copy of the front page . No medical cert is required …

      Reply
  • October 3, 2019 at 2:18 pm
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    is there any form needed to submit all documents for renew 2 years license? or just go with the documents? If yes where can I get such form coz I believe it would be in Thai so I need to fill them out in advance. Thank you

    Reply
  • October 8, 2019 at 9:49 am
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    Hi there, today I went to Bang Chak to renew my Drivers License. They gave me an appointment for December, is this normal or some kind of hassle a foreigner has to go through? Any ideas on how to speed up this process? Thanks.

    Reply
    • October 8, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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      I went to bang chak on 4th oct at 7 am and they open office to give you queue no at 7.45 so there is no point taking Appointment. And I also asked whether any form needed or not…so I found out they keep my form side. So you just need documents and originals no need to fill any form.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm
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    Hi everybody ,my 5 years thai driving licence will expire when i m abroad and i will be back to thailand after 2 month of the expiring date ,can i still get 5 years renowal?

    Reply
  • November 5, 2019 at 10:56 am
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    Good question up here, i am on the same situation, expired 3 months ago, how does it works?
    I seem to recall there is no need to re-do theory or driving test if the expiration date is no longer than a year, but maybe things changed again?

    Reply
    • November 25, 2019 at 2:12 pm
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      Any answer to this, yet? This will apply to me as well… Maybe need to say I lost it and get a new one before leaving Thai

      Reply
  • November 6, 2019 at 8:25 am
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    So no traffic theory test for the 5 year renewal, hé?

    Reply
  • December 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm
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    Ok chaps, i got the answer to my question by going there by myself and doing what i needed to do, so, basically, both DL (Car/Moto) were expired from 4 months, all i had to do is to align 2 sticks inside a box by using 2 push buttons on a box, then the brake test with a foot pedal, recognize the green,yellow,red colours and then that horrible horrible 1 hour movie’s watch.
    505 baths for the new car license, 205 bahts for motorcycle, you have to make copies of both your passport front page and visa stamp, fill their forms and also get a residence letter from the immo, which takes 1 day to get, the yellow book is no longer accepted by them….
    No need to take other tests unless your DL is expired from 12 months (mine was 4 months over), i think.
    Good Luck!

    Ohh and something that might be of interest to many….they give you 5 years even with a 30 days exempt visa !!!

    Reply
  • January 3, 2020 at 2:18 pm
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    In the past I used to renew my driver’s license at the Main Land Transport in the Chatuchak area, but now I would consider doing it where it is closer to my home area in Paknam, in the suggested place mentioned here in Bangchak, where Richard just went

    Are the tests practically the same as in the main Land Transport in Chatuchak area?

    Thanks in advance for your support Richard and co.

    Reply
  • February 11, 2020 at 2:45 pm
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    UPDATE: February 11, 2020.

    Went there this morning to renew my 2 year Car and bike license to the 5 year one at L&T Bang Chak. Arrived at 7.45 AM and there was already a long que (Around 50 people)

    Had to hand in the following:

    Passport copy x 2
    Visa page x 2
    Last Entry Stamp Page x 2
    Copy of Digital Work Permit x 2 (Screenshots of both pages)
    Copy of the information from the QR code of Digital Work Permit x 2
    Medical Certificate Original and 1 copy

    Had copies of the front and back of the license but they didn’t need those.

    Didn’t have the medical certificate because I didn’t think/read it was needed (with some conflicting reports) The two clinics I found were both closed (There is one near the BTS Bang Chak station) Decided to go back next week with everything ready instead of hopelessly driving around to find an open clinic.

    Will report back on the rest next week ??

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 3:53 pm
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    What happens when you change your passport in the middle of the 5 years obviously your passport no is printed on the driving license so do you just have the no changed or do you redo the tests for 5 years?

    Reply
    • February 27, 2020 at 4:04 pm
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      Just go and apply for a new one. There is an additional fee to change something on your license. I didn’t realize you were supposed to do this and so I didn’t have mine updated until it was time to renew anyway.

      Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 12:42 pm
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    If you have a valid work permit (which actually stipulates your present residential address) is an additional residence certificate from immigration still needed? Or can that be skipped? (takes an entire day to get one)

    And is there a website where the renewal form can be downloaded?

    Reply
    • March 6, 2020 at 11:27 pm
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      I believe you still have to produce the certificate from the immigration, as they did not even accepted the yellow book which is by itself a proof of residence, it looks as they want to be sure all the info are still current.

      Reply
  • March 5, 2020 at 4:33 pm
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    I went to renew my 5-year motorcycle license to another 5-year one at the DLT headquarters at Mo Chit today, and got turned away because I didn’t have the original of my work permit, just photocopies. I didn’t have a medical certificate and they didn’t say I needed one.

    So in addition to the photocopies of everything listed above, make sure you have the ORIGINAL of EVERYTHING.

    Reply
  • March 13, 2020 at 4:37 pm
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    Your passport number is written on your driving license. I have just renewed my passport so i have a new number initially when i asked about this i was told take your new passport with the old 1 to the transport office where you apply initially and it will be changed keeping the same dates. Today i was told dont worry let it expire and then change it also immigration gave me this perception by saying the change in passport no has been recorded so it all correct. Any thoughts

    Reply
  • May 4, 2020 at 8:33 pm
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    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for these details! Could you or anybody confirm if the dept of land transport will be working as of May 5, 2020? Their website (https://www.dlt.go.th/en/) has a notice that it was suspended from Mar 31, 2020. Now that the restrictions have been eased up, will the offices be open to work from May 5, 2020 or not?
    Thanks much in advance

    Reply
  • May 5, 2020 at 10:45 am
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    Hi Richard,
    Could you suggest if the license (5 yr to 5 yr) renewal is back at the office now? It has been suspended and it’s not clear how foreigners can renew it.
    Thanks much in advance

    Reply
  • May 8, 2020 at 11:22 am
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    I just came from Land Transportation Office Area 4. It seemed less busy than on previous visits, especially for a Friday. I was told that, currently, only Thais were allowed to renew licenses, foreigners would have to wait an unspecified amount of time. Interestingly, the woman walked away and a different woman asked if she could help me. She looked at my license and was about to let me through when the first woman showed up and repeated that foreigners couldn’t renew at this time. I wonder if the possibility for renewal depends on the area office or the person manning the door. I did ask what I
    should do if I’m stopped by the police next week after my license expires. If I understood her answer correctly, I should just smile.

    Reply

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澳门新葡亰真的假的