Do I need a special license to drive in Thailand?

Jerrica · Oct 10, 2019 05:07 PM

Padang Besar Customs office

The answer is no, Malaysians do not require a special license to be allowed to drive on Thailand roads.

Malaysians are allowed to drive in Thailand because we are part of the 10 ASEAN countries.

It also helps that our country’s domestic driver license come complete with a photograph attached and also include the English language. Totally saving us the need to prepare extra documents regarding our identification!

Malaysia Thailand border

But of course, having a valid driver’s license with more than 6 months before the expiry date is only just one of the items you need for driving in Thailand.

What if you’re planning to drive your own personal car into the country? There is more to prepare compared to just arriving in Thailand and renting a car.

First off you will need to prepare your usual travel documents like driving license, passport and arrival card (also known as the TM6 form).

1 of 3 customs offices between Malaysia and Thailand

Then this is where things get complicated. You will also need:

  • Original vehicle registration card, or in other words, your car grant
  • A copy of your car road tax
  • Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI)

Compulsory Motor Insurance is a legal requirement (Motor Vehicle Accident Victims Act 1992) set by Thailand.

Location to collect customs document

The Caltex station in Gurun R&R is one of the locations you can easily obtain the neccessary documents

The insurancee form is easily obtainable from the local Department of Land Transport (DLT), insurance companies and also insurance agents set up near the borders. The insurance usually cost RM 20 for 9 days.

To pass the border via a car, you will also need a set of forms which can be easily downloaded and printed online.

  • TM2 Information of Conveyance form - 2 copies
  • TM3 Passenger List form (if passengers are present) - 2 copies

In the event that you are driving a car that does not belong to you or owned by a company then there is even more to prepare!

  • Authorised letter from vehicle owner and copy of owner’s IC/ Passport
  • Form 24 (SSM company registration details) and Form 49 (this only applies if you’re driving your company’s car)

streets of Thailand

Photo by Connor Williams on Unsplash

There are currently 5 entry points to Thailand from Malaysia.

  1. Wang Kelian, Perlis - 9 am to 7 pm 
  2. Padang Besar, Perlis - 6 am to 10 pm 
  3. Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah - 6 am to 12 am (midnight)
  4. Bukit Berapit, Perak - 6 am to 11 pm 
  5. Rantau Panjang, Kelantan - 6 am to 10 pm

*All times stated here are Malaysia GMT+8

Our research has also led us to the discovery that if you’re not driving your own car, the Sugai Kolok/ Golok border will require the authorised letter to be stamped by a Commissioner of Oath.

Take note that as of the time of writing, Thailand borders have yet to set up the 24-hour operations.

If you're privvy to news, you would know that Prime Minister Tun Mahathir has announced in October 2018 that the borders will start operations in April of 2019. But the plan was put off when the Thai Embassy announced that Sadao Customs are not yet ready to operate around the clock. 

No updates yet about when the Bukit Kayu Hitam-Sadao Customs will assume 24-hour operations.