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  1. #1
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    Renewing a Thai driving licence

    8 a.m. Friday 6.10.06 - farang, accompanied by a Thai friend to act as translator, presents himself at the reception desk of the Ubon government office of whatever it is to renew a Thai driver's licence, armed with all the necessary documents.
    farang - I would like to renew my Thai driver's licence please (show licence to the Thai government official)

    Thai government official - No can do (have you ever noticed how rude Thais - especially government officials - can appear to be?)

    farang - Why not?

    T.g.o. - This licence doesn't expire until 11.10.06

    farang - Yes, I know that. I've come in to do it today as I will be unable to do it over the next 2 weeks due to work commitments.

    T.g.o. - no can do

    farang - Why not?

    T.g.o. - Computer no can do

    We now have a Thai-farang impasse with a build-up of Thais behind me wishing to renew motorcycle licences or whatever else they do at this office.

    increasingly irate farang - I'd like to renew my licence early so that I can continue to drive legally

    T.g.o. - Come in at a later date

    i.i.f. - The earliest I can come in is 24.10.06, so I will be 2 weeks with an expired licence.

    (Here it comes, the Thai resolution to everything)

    T.g.o. - (with that shrug of the shoulders that Thais must acquire in some government training course that they all do when they start their career). Mai pen rai.

    i.i.f. leaves office at 8.03 with all documents intact and no licence.

    bobforest

  2. #2
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    BF, it's just the way the system works, you can't get it renwed until it expires. Mine had expired like 3 months and then I got the 5 year one, no problem. I know most of the cops in my area and it's no problem for me. Don't cop an attitude or the powers that be can show you a lot more than attitude. You'll get a lot more help putting out honey than you will ever get with vinegar. RELAX
    Eliminator
    1986 Kawasaki 900

  3. #3
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    aging one's Avatar
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    The license is good for one year and then another 6 months. But dont go that far 16 or 17 months into it get the new one. Try to get the 5 year kind.

    If you go over the 18 months you have to take the damn written test again.

  4. #4
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    And, don't go in on the day it expires or you'll get another one year license. To get the five year you have to have had the one year for over a year. If you go in the day it expires you'll be one day short.

  5. #5
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    You should have asked here first.

    We all knew the correct way to do it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobforest
    have you ever noticed how rude Thais - especially government officials - can appear to be?
    Not really, no. I've only been here 18 months but I'd have to say that just about every encounter I've had with Thai Government Officials has been professional and courteous; even on the one occasion when I myself was a complete and total asshole.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by buadhai
    I'd have to say that just about every encounter I've had with Thai Government Officials has been professional and courteous;
    Yeah, but you always take that machete with you.

    Thanks for the information on the thread by the way this was new information for me.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everybody.

    I'm going to try the honey approach instead of the vinegar, even though I thought I was being very controlled and non-caustic.

    Of course I should asked on Teakdoor instead of getting one of the Thais in my office to make that phone call for me before I went to the government office.

    bobforest

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Yeah, but you always take that machete with you.
    That's my motto: Walk softly and carry a big machete.

  10. #10
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    BF

    I f you have your 1 year licence and you go in before it expires they give you another 1 year licence beofre you can get your 5 year.

    If you go in after your first 1 year licence has expired you get a 5 year licence because you hav ehad a licence for more than one year.


    Just read Budhai as well

  11. #11
    A bladdy woman
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobforest
    This licence doesn't expire until 11.10.06
    So is mine. I'm thinking to ask my mates about this but I don't need now. Thanks to y'all.

  12. #12
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsquirrel View Post
    BF

    I f you have your 1 year licence and you go in before it expires they give you another 1 year licence beofre you can get your 5 year.

    If you go in after your first 1 year licence has expired you get a 5 year licence because you hav ehad a licence for more than one year.


    Just read Budhai as well
    Good info, thanks, my renewal is coming up soon too.

  13. #13
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    Been a bit busy so haven't had chance to fill you all in.

    The day after my licence expired, I was stopped by the police on the way to work. Wouldn't you believe it, the first time. So I thought I'd show him my Oz licence instead of the newly expired Thai one, if he asked to see any documentation. I rolled the window down, and greeted him. He decided to display his English language talents: "Where you from? Where you go?" After answering him by displaying my best Isan talents, he said, "You handsome man!" as he stroked my arm resting on the open window. I quickly agreed and returned the compliment. With a big Thai smile, he waved me on my way!

    I've now got my 5 year licence so I shouldn't get stopped again.

    bobforest

  14. #14
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobforest View Post
    After answering him by displaying my best Isan talents, he said, "You handsome man!" as he stroked my arm resting on the open window.

  15. #15
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobforest
    I've now got my 5 year licence so I shouldn't get stopped again.
    Thanks Bob.
    I needed that info because two weeks ago I was told that rules have changed and farang cannot have 5 year license.
    The officier was obviously lying to me.

  16. #16
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    Quick update:

    My 1 year motocy license ran out last week, so this week I went down to the office here in Chiang Mai. I presented the following documents and was given a nice shiney new 5 year license.

    * Passport
    * One photocopy of the information page
    * One copy of the non-imm visa page
    * One copy of the extension to 1 year page
    * A letter from the British Consulate certifying my address
    * Two 1"x1" passport photos
    * 255 Baht


    * She asked me for my work permit, but I don't need one where I work, so she said fine.

    The whole process took less than an hour.
    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

  17. #17
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Notice.

    If you want a 5 year license don't come to Phrae.
    Neither I or any other farangs can get one.
    Officiers make the rules up as they go along
    TiT

  18. #18
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    All good info. Thanks. I need to renew mine middle of next year, so very handy to know.

  19. #19
    Khun Marmite
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim View Post
    Notice.

    If you want a 5 year license don't come to Phrae.
    Neither I or any other farangs can get one.
    Officiers make the rules up as they go along
    TiT
    I'd love to know what this means:

    Information: A driving license is only 1 year old according to government permission for foreigners annually.
    From here.

    I want to change my licenses - to update the address printed on them - but it the bit I quoted above makes it look like they don't do 5 year licenses any more.

    Anyone got a 5 year license since the coup?

  20. #20
    Tonguin for a beer
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    My experience the other day in Petchabun:

    I got my car license 6 months ago and of course no one told me you need a seperate one for a bike so off I went.

    Got there early and with all the photo copies, Passport, Visa stamp, my tambien baan and Aussie drivers lisence. All good except I forgot the medical cert. No worries I did this before, just popped into the clinic where the woman filled out the form on the spot. Hey, I was standing and looked ok! Back to the office where the lovely woman had done everything already. I just had to do a reaction test and off I went. Very easy here.
    Fahn Cahn's

  21. #21
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDN
    Information: A driving license is only 1 year old according to government permission for foreigners annually.
    Looks like you have found it.
    Aliens can only have a one year license now.

    What really pisses me off is the stupid tart in the license office.
    When I complained and told her that every farang I know has a 5 year license she just says "no, farang only one year"

    Why the fok can't she be helpful and say "Rules changed"

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
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    Why would they change the law like that?

  23. #23
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Chuchok
    Why would they change the law like that?
    Because the longest 'permission to stay' possible is one year
    Just a guess

  24. #24
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    Yeah,but it's been like that for years.Are they doing it to make extra dosh,or are they just trying to show people who's boss?

  25. #25
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    The 5 year license was about 20 baht cheaper than 5 x 1 year license so it's not for the money

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