The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket Question
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Tourists driving in Phuket: get legal, or get fined - or worse

Tourists from all over the world come to Phuket and rent a car or motorbike during their holiday, but are they allowed to use their license from their home country to drive a rental vehicle on the island?

tourism, transport, crime, accidents,


The Phuket News

Sunday 18 December 2016, 10:00AM


No matter which country you hail from, police say that you must have a Thai license or an International Driving Permit in order to drive legally in Phuket. Photo: Tony Webster
No matter which country you hail from, police say that you must have a Thai license or an International Driving Permit in order to drive legally in Phuket. Photo: Tony Webster

QUESTION

I have been staying in Phuket a while but I am still not clear about whether or not foreigners can drive in Phuket using a driver’s license issued in their home country. Everyone knows at least one foreigner who has been caught out with this, regardless whether the foreigner has moved here or is just a tourist.

So, can foreigners use their license from home here in Phuket? Also, what if my license is already issued in English?

And to be clear, exactly what are the penalties if I am caught driving without a Thai license, and what happens if I am in an accident?

– Tilde Chimbote, Chalong

 

ANSWER

Foreigners wanting to drive in Thailand – but do not yet have a Thai driver’s license – must hold an “International Driving Permit” (IDP) issued in their home country.

Please note that the IDP is technically not a license, it is a translated version of a license issued by a country that signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (!968), which replaced the Convention on Road Traffic (1949).

Under the Convention notes that countries that signed the Convention recognise “any domestic driver’s licence drawn up in their national language or in one of their national languages, or, if not drawn up in such a language, accompanied by a certified translation.”

That means any person wanting to drive in Thailand by using a driver’s license not issued in Thailand – and especially those not issued in English -- must have BOTH a valid license issued in their home country AND an IDP in order to legally drive in Thailand.

This applies to foreigners staying in the country long-term and to tourists driving motorbikes or cars rented for their short holiday here.

Having a valid license is critical, not just to avoid being fined by police for breaking the law, but especially in case you are involved in an accident.

If you do not have a valid license and an IDP, you can be held fully responsible for any accident you are involved in and any insurance coverage may automatically become void as you were driving illegally.

– Chutinan Jindachuea, Chief, License Division, Phuket Provincial Transport Office.



If you are stopped by the police and you cannot present a valid license issued in your home country and an IDP so we can check it in English, you will be fined.

The fine is usually between B200 and B500. You can pay the fine on the spot or police can seize your license until you come to the police station and pay the fine, and then get your license back.

If you refuse to pay the fine, then we will have to proceed with legal action, which being presenting your case in court.

In short, if you don’t want to be fined for driving illegally while on holiday here, get an IDP from your home country before getting on the plane.

– Lt Surapong Phuhgrom, Inspector, Kathu Traffic Police.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
Security:
   => Forget password?

Vasiliy | 13 January 2018 - 21:38:18

What do you mean about IDP? In my country creating IDP in ukrainian and english languages. My driving license is plastic card. Is it sufficient for your policeman?

The Phuket News

Kurt | 03 January 2017 - 16:45:52

.."The fine is usualy between 200 and 500 thb"..  yes, yes.
So, what is now? 200thb or 500 thb?
Is it up to the police officer? Or is it sett thai law wise?
Why always this tea money doings/talk/mediation by the boys in brown?
Makes so tired.

The Phuket News

marcher | 03 January 2017 - 12:43:06

Kurt. I don't know what the hell buying land has to do with driving. Keep to the subject

The Phuket News

Joe12 | 21 December 2016 - 20:04:01

la0wei...You are reading the wrong Treaty. The article states, "...Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968), which replaced the Convention on Road Traffic (1949)." See article 48 of the 1968 Treaty. The Treaty was actually signed by Thailand on 8 November 1968. 

The article further states, "...countries that signed the Convention recognise “any domestic driver’s licence dr...

The Phuket News

Kurt | 19 December 2016 - 10:09:50

@ Marcher:  A british person can privately not own land in Thailand. But a thai can own land in UK.

@ Ia0wei: Thailand forget conveniently that ratified international laws are above thai national laws.
I bed that most of the RTP officers not even know about that 1949 Convention on Road Traffic.

@ topstipster: I hope for you that this RTP officer invites you to show him that 1000 thb fine ti...

The Phuket News

la0wei | 18 December 2016 - 21:37:46

Dear Mr. Jindachuea, dear Mr. Phuhgrom

I am rather surprised by your comments because Thailand ratified the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic on 15th August 1962 and as such Thailand agreed to recognize local driving permits of other member states as long as they fulfill the requirements stated in Annex 9 of that convention.

To my understanding it would therefore be perfectly legal to d...

The Phuket News

toptipster | 18 December 2016 - 17:11:14

This is directed Lt Surapong Phuhgrom. I was stopped last week, left my IDP at home by mistake , so got fined. Why 1000Baht. You mention 200-500 baht. Be interesting to see your reply.

The Phuket News

marcher | 18 December 2016 - 16:44:48

All well and good for the Transport office to state these rules, but who is going to enforce the law? Obviously not the police, apart from picking up their tea money And what is the point of a rather measly fine for no licence and then letting them drive away. The vehicle should be impounded until they produce a legal licence
Unfortunately many people do not have a licence at all, particularly fo...

The Phuket News

LivinLOS | 18 December 2016 - 12:54:11

And yet this totally fails to answer the question if someone DOES have an english language home country license.. 

The Phuket News
Matches 9 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Four police chiefs flunk Songkran ‘road safety test’

What about a change in road safety thinking in RTP Force? Not only a priority during Songkran and last week of the year, but 365 days of the year. ...(Read More)


Phuket Gov gives financial compensation to Songkran road death victim’s family

Is this a new policy? Giving money to families of Chinese road victims on Phuket, even when they not wearing a helmet? Hope Provincial Hall has a l...(Read More)



Alibaba move to redefine Thai-Chinese trade

With all due respect, & although Jack is probably a good bloke;The belt and road is a political scheme, to cover the growth of China’s political...(Read More)


Dengue danger: Phuket hits highest infection rate in the country

Asian tiger mosquitos have a normal roaming range of about 100 meters. Dengue fever is contracted when a mosquito bites an infected person & then ...(Read More)


Phuket Gov gives financial compensation to Songkran road death victim’s family

Another disgusting photo op of the grieving father and family receiving his prize money from the Governor. "See...Thai peepun ah goot...geep mone...(Read More)


Phuket fishing operators protest EU regulations

The EU is perfectly entitled to set conditions to ensure that the products that they purchase are sustainably harvested. Don't want to comply? Th...(Read More)


Dengue danger: Phuket hits highest infection rate in the country

Yes, but which population figures are we using here? It's well known that Phukets real population far exceeds the official figures since so many p...(Read More)


Phuket fishing operators protest EU regulations

"Couldn't agree more with your protest. Good on you! Who wants the EU anyway. Just ignore them. They think they are world law enforcer,"...(Read More)


Phuket Governor opens fire over pollution

Phuket Governor has a lot on his plate To much water flooding, or not enough water threat All beaches and beach waters polluted by law ignoring Orbo...(Read More)

The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.