A day at the Department of Land Transport


While living in Thailand I always try to do everything by the book, as far as possible at least. So when I wanted to buy a car and drive myself in Thailand I went to the Department of Land Transport to apply for a Thai Driver License for a car. In those days in 2003 it was very easy, just show your National & International Driver License and you will more or less get your Thai Driver License. I applied only for car and was asked if I not wanted to have for motorcycle also. Yes, of course! So after paying less as 1.000 Thai baht I had my Thai Driver License for Car and Motorcycle. You will get to cards. The first cards were only valid for 1 year, after 1 year I did get an renewal for 3 years. And after 3 years normally you would get an driver license for the rest of your life. But just before my renewal the law changed and from that day on everybody gets an maximum of 5 years valid driver license. No problem, but every 5 years you will have to go to the DLT to get an renewal. Not a bad idea as there are many people on the road who should not drive anymore.

So this week it was again time for renewal of my driver licenses. And it was a bit time consuming but a easy process here in Nan province. We arrived at 8 o'clock to be at first at the que, but that did not matter much as there were only about 40 people showing up for new & extensions of driver license. I needed to supply :
  • Pasport + copy of front page & visa page (non-immigrant visa)
  • Proof of address, in my case my Yellow House-Book + copy of page 1 & 2
  • Old driver licenses
  • Signed application form
Then I had to sit & watch a 1 hour video (in Thai) about driving safety. After that I had to do a colour test. A random light would flash up in Yellow, Green or Red. And I had to say the colour. Then a reaction test. Start "driving" when a light goes green, the break when a light goes red. Done. 

Then back to the counter where everything is inserted into the computer system and pay 555 Thai baht for my car driver license and 325 Thai baht for my motorcycle driver license. And then to another counter to make a photo of my beautiful face and print the new driver licenses. Done. At about 11:30 we were out of the Department of Land Transport.

But we would come back the next day to pay tax for our car and motorbikes. And to change the address at the Registration Book. But to be able to pay tax you will have to test your car / motorbike (if it is older as 6 years). And to be able to pay tax you will also have to proof that you have compulsory insurance for your car. So we went first to a private company in front of the DLT and had the car & motorbikes tested and bought insurance there :
  • Test car = 200 Thai baht
  • Test motorbike = 60 Thai baht
  • Insurance car or big motorbike = 645 Thai baht
  • Insurance scooter = 345 Thai baht
Testing was done reasonable serious and even the noise of my big motorbike was tested. But why not for scooters or cars? After that we went to the DLT and queued for tax payment and change of address. The first was easy, the latter not. According to the local DLT here we have to go back to the DLT of origin and let them move the registration to here. Then we have to come back to finalise the move of registration here. I am not really sure about this and I will check this with another DLT first.
  • Tax for scooter & motorbike = 100 Thai baht
  • Tax for almost 10 years old Toyota Prerunner = 3.400 Thai baht (after 6 years you get discount)
All was done in about 2 hours.

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