Thai Driving License

Ignorance is No Excuse for Not Following the Law

Ignorance is No Excuse for Not Following the Law

chiang mai buddyAlthough any motorbike rental company in Chiang Mai will rent you a bike without asking to see your driving license (their sole interest will be a copy of your passport), driving legally in Chiang Mai (or renting a car) requires one. The only accepted form of license is an International Driving Permit or a Thai Driving License for the class of vehicle you are driving.

If you find yourself pulled over in one of the frequent police roadblocks enforcing helmet and license violations, whipping out your New York City or Munich driver license is useless and the 400 BHT fine you receive (same amount for no helmet) must be settled on the spot.

If you do get caught it’s best to mind your manners since belligerence will only be rewarded with impoundment of your bike and additional headaches figuring out what to do from there.


  • Appointment required
  • Separate process for existing and new license class applications
  • Guroo support included at transport office
  • License renewal service available

3 Types of Applications

There are three separate and distinct processes regarding Thai driving licensure in Chiang Mai. The first applies to obtaining the same class of driver license already held in your home country, the second when applying for a new class of license for the first time, and the third applies to renewing your existing Thai driving license.

Existing License Class

  • Must present same class license
  • 2-3 hours total time
  • Return transport to licensing bureau
  • Guroo support included
  • Medical and residency certificates required (not included)


To obtain an equivalent class of license you already hold in your home country (i.e.: ‘M’ for motorbike), you’ll require:

  • Original passport (any class of visa)
  • Original driver license for the class being applied for
  • Residency certificate
  • Medical certificate (available as a walk-in service from Chiang Mai Ram hospital for 300BHT )
  • Approximately 2 hours total time (including transport)

NOTE: If your current license is not in English, a certified translation is required from an authorized Thai translation company (200 BHT additional).

Included in Guroo Service Fee

  • Transportation to and from licensing bureau
  • English-speaking Thai Guroo support (2 hours)
  • All Government licensing fees
  • 1,500 BHT (additional 300 BHT for certified translation)
  • Medical certificate and residency certificate not included