Travel Tips : Going to Laos by car

Going to Laos by car, or how to to get all the legal paperwork done to take your own Thai registered car into Laos and to drive legal in Laos. This first step is getting the purple "International Transport Permit" book at our local "Department of Land Transport". It was actually very simple. My wife, the owner of the car, requested to get the book and she needed : Application form, ID car, Copy of her ID card, Original Blue Book from the car, Costs 285 Thai baht. We were told to come back after 1 hour to pick-up :
  1. The purple car book (International Transport Permit)
  2. Vehicle Inspection Certificate
  3. Two (2) big stickers with the letter T
The next step is thing of driver license. Although I have been told that an Thai driver license is accepted I am not sure if that is by law or just by practice on the road. I was informed that I could not get an Thai IDL at the DLT in Pattaya but that I needed to go to the head-office in Chonburi. So I went to Chonburi where I supplied :
  1. Valid 5-years Thai drivers license
  2. Passport
  3. Proof of residence (Letter of Residence or Yellow House book)
  4. 2 pas photos
  5. Copies of all original documents. The copies have to be signed.
Again it was very easy. At the information desk they checked all the paperwork, I submitted the papers at counter 4 and paid 505 Thai baht. I had to wait for about 35min and there is was my first Thai International Driving Permit.

The third step is the thing of insurance. I am told that you will have to buy insurance once you enter Laos. Weird because I already have an insurance, right? So I asked my insurance company (The Viriyah Thai) about it and was told that their insurance is only valid in Thailand. That is weird because I thought that I once asked that a few years ago and was told that I would be covered in as long as I did told them before traveling. So it seems that your Thai insurance is not valid outside Thailand and that the insurance you buy in Laos is only compulsory so no First Class insurance. Just that you know! When we are back I will inform you about the hassle of crossing the border.

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