When you are living in Chiang Mai, Thailand full-time, there are several services you may need that will require you to have a valid long-term visa. The number one example is getting a Thai Drivers License. If you want a motorcycle license or a car license, you will need to take the necessary steps, and you will need to have a long-term visa.
How to Get a Drivers License In Chiang Mai
To get a drivers license in Chiang Mai, you must first get your long-term Thai visa. It doesn’t matter if it is a Non-O Visa, ED Visa, or Non-B Visa – all qualify. In addition to your long-term visa, you will need the following documents.
- Two photos
- Medical certificate & copy (valid for one month)
- Residence Certificate or Work Permit & copy
- Application Form
Complete the application and take the documents with your passport to the Chiang Mai Department of Land Transport. The Land Transport website in Bangkok has an English version for your convenience. Arrive early and be sure to study if you will be required to take the test.
If you already have a valid car license, you can apply for a local Thai license and skip the test. You are also technically able to use this license to drive a car in Thailand. A valid international license is also acceptable to drive in Thailand.
A license to drive a car is not, however, applicable to driving a motorcycle. For this, you will need a specific motorcycle license.
If you prefer, you can apply for and arrange the testing for both a car license and motorcycle license at the same time.
What to Expect at Chiang Mai Land Transport Office
A visit to the Land Transport Office in Chiang Mai is much like any other motor vehicle office anywhere in the world – crowds of people and a lot of waiting in line. Here are a few tips to make sense of the chaos.
- Arrive early (doors open at 8:00 am)
- Submit application (ask for appropriate window at help desk)
- Eye and reflex tests start at 9:00 am
- Video program 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (with English subtitles)
- Written test 10:00 a.m – 12:00 pm
- Driving test (must have your own vehicle) 1:00 p.m.
- Pick up license
If you are applying for more than one type of license, you will need to return for a third day to complete the second driving test. If you fail to pass either of your written tests, you can arrange to re-take the test anytime within 90 days. The fee is nominal. At the time of writing this, the Bangkok Land transport Official website lists a cost of 105 thb for a motorcycle and 205 thb for a car. Check for current fees in Chiang Mai.
PRO TIP: You May not get an appointment for several weeks or more. And your Residence Certificate and Medical Certificate expire in just one month, so it might be a good idea to check the length of the queue first.
If all of this sounds a bit daunting or time-consuming, SANS can help. If you would like to request a drivers license add-on service as part of your SANS Visa Service in Chiang Mai, then let us know. Our visa agents can arrange this for you as a one-stop service.