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Use of Thai Driver's License in USA!


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All- A fuuny story..

I was just in Portland (Oregon) last week and in Portland they have periodic road blocks looking for DWI drivers and such...

Anyway.. As I was on my way out of of town when I ran into one of these check points... Each driver was met by a Police Officer and you had to show your DL to him/her..

When it was my turn, I pulled out my Thai Driver's License and showed it to the officer... He took it and looked at it. He's clearly puzzeled by it.. (We all know that it's printed entirely in Thai, no english at all)..

He asks me if this is a "real" Driver's License.. I say "yes". He asks if I have a US one.. I say no, not on me... He uses his radio and asks dispatch how to "run" a Thai license.. A few seconds later the dispatcher comes back and says (with some laughter heard in the back ground) that you can't "run" it...

The officer tells me to wait for a minute while he asks his superior.. Three mintes later a Sgt. comes over with the license and leans into my car. He gives me back my license and says "sorry for the delay sir, we don't get my foreign licenses here."

As I take the license back and start to put into my wallet, the Sgt says to me (in a lowered voice) "hey, is it really true what they say about Bangkok?" I reply, "I don't know. What do they say about Bangkok?" He replies (with a grin on his face) "Are there THAT many women there?"... I lean toward him and say "No. Even more! Can't you tell by the wide-ass grin I have on my photo?!"

He just laughs, back up away from the car and waves me on my way.. LOL

Bangkok.. world famous.. even some 7,000+ miles away in Portland Oregon.

--UPSer laugh.gif" border="0laugh.gif" border="0

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Cool story!!! My US licence will expire soon so my Thai license will be all I have!

I read somewhere that International licenses are valid everywhere except the US. Does that mean that we have to show our locally-issued licenses? I can't think of an alternative...

Cheers!

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Crash--

Did you get my reply to your PM??? Anyway, about the use of your Thai license... I've emailed several state DMV offices (Calif included) and gotten a reply from each one..

The uniform answer "YES you can use your Thai license", BUT you must satisfy three conditions:

1) Be a NON-RESIDENT of that particular state. If you're a resident you MUST have your license issue by that state and not another.

2) You will NOT be driving for hire (paid)

3) You will NOT be in the state for MORE than six months

If you can meet these conditions then you can drive with your Thai license...

However... You need to have it "Officially" translated from Thai to English.. Official in this case means it must be done by the Dept of Land Transport or the Justice Ministry in BKK.... You keep the translations and the original DL with you..

--UPSer

PS: Will be in BKK 11/16 for a while. Will SMS you when I arrive..

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quote:

Originally posted by Crash999:

Cool story!!! My US licence will expire soon so my Thai license will be all I have!

I read somewhere that International licenses are valid everywhere except the US. Does that mean that we have to show our locally-issued licenses? I can't think of an alternative...

Cheers!

 

You'll have to check on this but with International licences they are not valid in the country of issue. So, if you get an International License with your US license in US then it is not valid for use there.

However if you get the International License in Thailand with your Thai license then you can use it in US.

That's at least how it applies to the British licences unless the US just point blank refuses to accept International Licences.

You might also have to check on residence qualifications e.g. you may have to be living outside the US for at least 180 days per year to be able to use an International license.

Is there any reason why you can't renew your US license?

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themayorofpattaya --

You are correct, by design any international DL is valid everywhere EXCEPT in the country/state of issue.. For example, a Thai Int'l DL is valid OUTSIDE of Thailand but not IN Thailand. A US Int'l DL is valid OUTSIDE of US but not IN the US... Why? Since you had to present your "home" drivers license to the government to get the Int'l one issued to you, they want you to use your "home" country license when you're at "home"; use the other everywhere else.

Each country wants you to use your "native" drivers license... Thai license in Thailand, US License in the US, etc..

According to the DMV's that I contacted, the only requirements they have is that you can only drive in their state for 6 mos or less and you must be a non-state resident of that particular state..

The only meaningful purpose for having (or keeping) a US-state issued DL is for auto-insurance purposes.. I called two big insurance companies and both told me that they won't issue a policy to a driver without either a US or Canadian DL... Both suggested that if you're going to go overseas (and thus get a foreign issued DL) to KEEP you US-issued DL and NOT let it expire... While they won't be able to access your driving "record" for your overseas DL, they will be able to see that you've been CONTINIOUSLY licensed to drive in the US.. Evidentially THAT is the big issue, being licensed without interruptions...

--UPSer laugh.gif" border="0laugh.gif" border="0

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The other catch is that at least the bigger car rental companies won't accept a Thai license, even if accompanied by an 'international license' of some sort. I'm certain that Thailand is on the banned list for Hertz and Avis, but I don't know about the others from first hand experience. You can argue with them all day that your license is 'valid' and they won't give a stuff.

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Sorry, my experience on this is different. Since i have a thai driving licence, i'll just try to use it with the rental companies and did it sucessfully in the USA, South-Africa, Greece, Holland without hassle. Only in Holand they asked "Do you have a dutch one", where i replied: No!; no problem!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was quite ticked off when I tried to get a US licence and was told my state would not accept my Thai licence -- or an international one! I had to take the driving test again, after driving for 20+ years! (The examiner and I just drove around and BS'ed for a while.)

Still, once in Phuket a buddy tried to rent a jeep. The rental shop would not accept his UK licence or an international one. Fortunately, I had a Thai licence at the time, so I rented the jeep. I drove it out of the agency and out onto the highway. After about a mile, I pulled over and let my friend have his jeep. You never know what will happen with licences.

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