Dave's friend Paul should have known that he needed a Thai
Driving Licence or an International Driving Permit together with his foreign Driving Licence. That being said the regular fine for driving without a valid licence is only 400 baht (see picture I found on internet), up from 200 baht.
In December 2017 a new form of traffic ticket is being introduced (see pictures from Bangkok Post).
Note that one of the possible offences is: Beyond the stop line when waiting for the traffic light. Many
motorcyclists, also farangs, seem to ignore that. I find this strange as this rule also applies in Farangland.
A good pair of glasses, a strong stomach, and a few free days
16th November 2017
Thanks to Dave
When I went to get my retirement Visa last year, they wanted proof of residence. So I gave them my Black House Book. They said that was no good, as It didn't have my name in it...well it wouldn't, would it as Farangs cannot own land. They said: did I
have a Driving License? no I'm afraid not, what about a water or Electric bill with my name and address on it? My name is not on them. After a lot of toing and froing home, they gave me the visa eventually. So I decided I'd better get a driving License.
A friend Jo, a taxi driver said he would take me as I had no idea where the test centre was, or what to do when I got there. I had to get a proof of residence letter from immigration first, so I went to soi 5 with my Passport,
House book and 2 photos and they gave me the necessary paperwork.
Next morning we went to the test centre, where I registered and they said come back at 8am next Tuesday, which I did.
We then had some
tricky eye tests, then 4 1/2 hours of videos on all aspects of Driving of which all of 5 minutes were about motorcycling. There were ten minutes of Thai people relating their accidents and about 15 minutes of terrible crashes caught on CCTV, most of them
looked fatal, with pictures of dead people on the road. Most of them were caused by running Red Lights and Speeding. There was a 20 inch TV, with blue subtitles, so it was very hard to understand what was being said and the seats were very hard.
Then it was back for a third day, this time I had to go on the motorcycle for the driving test. It was 25km round the back way, as motor cycles are not allowed on the Motorway. The test was easy, as long as you could ride, you passed.
Now came the hard part, 50 multi choice questions on driving and road signs. They were not all straight forward, a lot about car parking, which I knew nothing about, and you could only get 5 wrong. I'm afraid I got 15 wrong. But
the good news is you can go back next day and take it again. They give you the answers to the questions you get wrong, so I managed to pass with 48 right.
My Visa renewal is due next month, I wonder if they'll want to see my
driving License? I bet they don't, haha.
Foreigners from 14 designated countries are now eligible for a 10-year retirement visa according to Thailand's Immigration Bureau. The countries are Australia; Canada; Denmark; Germany; Finland; France; Italy; Japan; Netherlands; Norway; Sweden;
Switzerland; United Kingdom, and United States.
The Thai government announced the new visa last November, but it only became available last week.
The extended 10-year retirement visa called an O-A Longstay Visa is a an option in addition to the
standard one-year visa for retirees. The 10-year visa requires a minimum bank guarantee of THB3 million, which must be deposited in a bank and remain at the stipulated cash level without withdrawals for three months prior to filing papers. An alternative
to depositing THB3 million in a bank is to show proof of an income of not less than THB100,000 a month.
There is a THB10,000 processing fee for the visa application and the visa requires applicants to have medical insurance that offers cover of at
least USD10,000. Applicants must also undergo a screening process to ensure they do not have pending criminal convictions or face charges in their home countries.
Even the 10-year visa will be issued in two distinct stages. Once the paperwork has
been completed approval is given for a five-year period with an option to continue for a second five-year period. It will require an update of information, files and photographs at the close of the first five years.