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  1. #1
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ johnb's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Apr 2004
    Mam and I live in Muang Surin


    I have always followed advice from this and other boards that I need to have an international driving license when driving in LOS.

    This summer my old one had expired and I couldn't get one organised in time for departure. Thought I would get away with it as I only drive in the Surin/Krasang area and, in any case, I have never once been stopped by the police in 6 years.

    Sod's law,first day there I was stopped twice in one day, first time a random roadside check in the middle of nowhere, the second time for allegedly coming too late through a changing traffic light in central Surin.

    I showed my Portuguese license. It was fine. No questions. The second cop even accepted my explantion about the lights (green when I passed but got stranded in the middle of the junction blocked by right turners).

    Anyone got similar experiences? Was I just lucky? Has something changed in the cops instructions? Is it something to do with different interpretations in far Isaan compared to other areas? Is the international license still needed?

    John B
    nao faz mal means mai pen rai

  2. #2
    Moderator rolyshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Sep 2002
    Derby UK


    Is the international license still needed?
    I suspect the answer has to be yes,but T.I.T.
    A mate in Udon has never had an international permit and drives round on his green UK licence only. He's had to produce it a couple of times,but never had a problem.

  3. #3
    Member สมาชิก
    Join Date
    4 Apr 2008


    In my experience, the Thai police have always accepted EU Photocard driving licence, even without the green counterfoil, at least for random checks & minor infringements . However, as far as I'm aware an International Driving Permit is still required, and in the event of a major accident, causing injury or even fatality I wouldn't like to be without it - insurance cover can quickly become invalid if you are driving without the correct licence.
    Del a.k.a Sexist Schweinhund

  4. #4
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ db1's Avatar
    Join Date
    1 Sep 2004
    Reading / Surin/phusing/sisaket


    I have driven in los many times just on my UK licence, got stoped twice, once for alleged speeding, showed my licence they just looked at it then asked my wife for her details, and gave her the ticket, second time was in Surin no seat belt, again showed UK licence just gave me a 200bht fine.
    dont judge me by my past, I dont live there anymore.

    David & Aree

  5. #5
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
    Join Date
    18 Jun 2003
    West Midlands/Leong Nok Tha, Isaan


    I have always made sure that I have the international license purely because of the "TIT" factor. I drive mainly in Isaan. Coppers up there see less farangs and therefore have less chance of boosting their income. If they decide to keep your international license until you pay a "fine" that you don't want to pay because you didn't commit the offence, you could always let them keep it! Best really to judge the situation with some reality. If 300 baht makes the problem go away (£5 ish) then it's probably worth it.
    Major rental companies are usually ok with just a British license but I agree with an earlier comment that not having the international probably voids your insurance in the event of an accident.
    I have been stopped twice in 16 years. First time for driving through some red lights. It was at a crossroads where all 4 ways were red for 10 minutes so I gave up waiting. 300 baht sorted it out. Second time was at a notorious police road block on the route from the far north east to Bangkok. A Thai brother-in-law with a (real) Thai Police warrant card sorted that one. That's one thing Thailand has in common with the UK: friends in high places!!

  6. #6
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 May 2004
    Bridlington - UK


    The risk is insurance not paying out not so much the police checks although I suspect a serious accident without adequate insurance would be very costly. IDPs are cheap and easy to get and as Noel says can be donated to the police as they are easy to replace. In Africa I had a stack of them because as in Thailand the police supplemented there income by hassling foreign drivers.
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen


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