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Pattaya Daily News

24 August 2009 :: 22:08:27 pm 1923

Expats Informed on Driving Licenses

Sunday 23rd August 2009, - The Director of the Land Transport Department that deals with the issuing of drivers licences, Khun Kalorn Wuntip very generously agreed to attend a Sunday morning meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club at (PCEC) At Henry J Beans Pub on the northern end of Pattaya Beach Road. As he does not speak much English, M/s Kanchanar from the Rayong City Land Transport Office did an excellent job of translating the presentation into English.
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She explained that as well a copy of your passport and the equivalent photos of yourself, you must have a “Residency Certificate,” which can be obtained at your local Immigration Office (which is Soi-5 Jomtien for Pattaya residents). You also must have a medical report of your health condition, which usually is very straightforward, with checks on your blood pressure, eyesight, etc, and this is available from any local doctor or hospital for upwards of 100 baht, with Banglamung Hospital being only around 60 baht if you do not mind the trip out of the city centre.

Locally, Thai driving licenses are issued at the Land Transport Department Office and this is situated on Highway 131, which runs from the end of the overpass north of Pattaya and carries on south to Rayong. This is easily found if you do a U-turn to the right at the International School of Regents, head back towards Pattaya for about 400 metres, the turn left, go a few hundred metres, turn left again ant there it is on the right side.

Thai driving licences for both cars and motorcycles usually require you to do both a theory and practical test. But if you have an International drivers licence, you may not have to do a practical test. Foreign nationals must be residents and not tourists, and many are under the misconception that the driving licence from their country of origin is sufficient, but this is generally not the case. It is interesting to note that if you have such a licence, you can obtain a valid international driving licence from the Land Transport Department in Chonburi for a very reasonable cost of slightly over 500-baht.

During the PCEC meeting M/s Kanchanar set the record straight on some of the misconceptions that the expat community has on obtaining a driver’s licenses, including renewals, lost licenses, and a host of other tricky issues. She expertly handled some very complex issues, such as “what happens if you loan your car to an overseas national with a driving license from his country of origin, and he has an accident?” – Generally it is up to the attending police officer to decide.

The most difficult “too hard basket” question came when a PCEC member stated that a small group of his friends had their applications torn up and when they returned with a Thai interpreter, there was a block put on further communication, and again the applications were torn up. It transpired that the officials concerned wanted an extra 300-baht to complete the job, and even though it was unethical the expats concerned would no doubt have rather paid the extra 300-baht, than have to go to the trouble of returning on another day.

M/s Kanchanar commented that she was unaware of such problems in the Rayong office where she worked, that such practices were not common with Transport Department officials, and that these types of activities were being stamped out. Generally speaking, the majority of expats at the PCEC meeting were very happy with the services that the Land Transport Department were providing to expats, which was very comforting news to hear, for the officials who attended.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Announcement News

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