How I Passed My Thai Car Driving License Test And Got My Thai Driving License Today

Monday 9th September 2013

Wow! I can hardly believe it – I passed the Thai practical driving license test today and got my Thai driving license. This is the fourth time I have attempted to pass the Thai driving license test and finally I succeeded.

Photo Of My Brand New Thai Driving License

Screenshot of Alans Thai Driving License

Alans Thai Driving License

There it is, my Thai driving license valid for one year.

The Re-Test Today Was Far From Easy – But I Did Learn A Trick

I was out on my private test track early this morning practicing the manouvers for this afternoons practical test at the official testing site at Pakchong (Pak Chong) in Thailand.

I did about 20 parallel parking into the box manouvres and failed (by hitting posts) on about three of them. I did notice that after about five manouvres I was loosing concentration.

The stopping on the white line I had a lower success rate. About 20% success.

I wasn’t recording these test exercises as I did before. We have gone past statistics now.

My Performance On The Real Official Thai Driving License Test Track

I only had parallel parking and stopping on the white and yellow lines to do having already passed the reversing test.

First The Parallel Parking Test

From the practices I had been doing on my own private test track I knew every move to the centimeter.

But I screwed up right at the beginning.

When you start the reverse the nearside rear wheel has to be withing 10 cm of the nearside post. At that point you stat your revering turn.

But my rear wheel was about 30 cm away and the narrow distance between the posts didn’t give me enough room make a correction. I tried and hit a post with my wing mirror. It was only a millimeter and I suppose they didn’t see it because technically it was a fail.

As you will have read on the Best Thai Car Driving License Test Videos Post my technique is to enter the box on 2 moves and exit on 4 – total 6.

But for some reason I couldn’t get into the box on 2 moves. It seemed shorter than my test track and the fact that I started from the wrong position didn’t help.

I was getting desperate now. Another failure staring me in the face. Because I hadn’t started from the ideal position. I had no choice but to sacrifice another two moves to get into the box. Total moves now is 4 so only 2 to get out! In effect that meant a simple straight reverse up to the the rear posts then exit in one risking clipping the nearside rear wheel on the first post. (I did this on the first test)

I managed it but it was literally with a millimeter’s clearance.

To be honest I had stopped counting the gear changes – such was the tension. I just knew instinctively that I didn’t have too many lives left! Then it was round to the stopping exercise.

Stopping On The White And Yellow Lines

I always found this difficult on my own private test track.

Stopping exactly on the yellow I had mastered by lining the yellow line up with the front wheel mud flap about 50 mm from the top by leaning out of the window.

But stopping on the white line was another matter.

This is a white line 100 mm wide and 140 mm from the edge of the curb. You have to stop with both nearside wheels on this line and both front wheels exactly on the yellow line. (The latter as I explained I mastered).

By standing for half an hour or so and watching people attempting this test before I had my go was very informative and useful.

I was watching the people stopping and seeing if the inspector failed or passed them. This is what I learned:-

  • If you hit the kerb with your wheel (I thought this was a sure failure) but are able to continue it’s OK.
  • If you park in the 140 mm zone between the white line and the kerb it’s OK as long as both nearside wheels are on the white line.
  • You only fail if:-
    • You hit the kerb that you mount it or you can’t proceed without reversing.
    • You don’t have both nearside wheels at least partly on the white line.

As to stopping directly on the yellow line (which I have perfected) that didn’t seem to matter today but I have seen people failed on other days for not doing it.

How About My Stopping Test?

Seemed it was perfect.

I had been practicing at home in our beautiful retirement home in Pakchong (Pak Chong) and as I have said in another post the stopping lines on my own test tract are not an exact mimic of the official one because you approach the official ones from 90 degrees whereas mine are parallel to the drive.

So I practiced at home by driving close to the start of the white line then turning towards it to simulate the 90 degrees turn on the official driving test track. This practice plus allowing my wheels to get closer to the kerb did the trick. I passed this test too!

The Relief When He Handed Me The Passed Papers!

When I had finished this last manouver I had no idea whether I had passed or failed again. So image my relief and joy when he handed me the passed papers! And Kanyah’s relief was actually traumatic to witness.

No Joy To Be Enjoyed In Success

Sadly, although we were both relieved to be rid of this damned driving test curse there wasn’t much you to be had. I had a celebratory bottle of Leo at the nearby shop (much to Kanyah’s disgust) then we went home.

A Little Luxury Denied

There is a riverside restaurant in Pakchong (Pak Chong) that is pretty (ish) but being beside the river it is a relaxing respite for me.

I often asked Kanyah to go there but for her it’s too expensive and food it not so good.

She is right of course but she did promise to take me ‘when you pass your driving test’.

That time is now Kanyah. But no she refused.

Then the heavens opened and there was no point anyway, the way the rain was falling you’d be as wet as if you had jumped into the river yourself.

So it was off to home with satisfaction but no celebration.

That’s how my life is in retirement in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

Car Freedom Is Not Mine Yet

You could be forgiven for thinking (as does Kanyah) that now I have the Thai driving license I will be free to take the Toyota Vigo pickup and go where and when I want. Not so.

Freedom doesn’t come so easily.

First off before I take the car (I expect – I haven’t tried it yet) more than just down the road I’ll be quizzed and challenged by Kanyah. “Why do you want to do that” and “petrol is too expensive.”

But the biggest challenge yet to be sorted out before I drive anywhere is:-

Car Insurance

Kanyah has a typical Thai approach to driving on the roads. Scant care for driving licenses or insurance.

But before I venture out I want to be sure that I and the car is covered by comprehensive insurance. They call it No. 1 here.

This is the next battle I face with Kanyah. I’ll just insist that my name goes on the insurance documents and that it’s fully comprehensive. May be expensive but I can’t go digging into my pockets to pay for a major accident. I know she’ll argue until she’s black in the face that this isn’t necessary.

Watch Out For Joyous Times Ahead – ?

Getting the Thai driving license is supposed to give both of us some freedom and flexibility to travel around. The purpose of which is to get more (or in my case some) enjoyment from life. Let’s see how that pans out. Stay in touch by joining the Announcement List

Thai Driving License Driving Test Track for Sale

The first thing Kanyah did (made me do) when we got home was to pack away my own personal private Thai driving license test track. See photo below:-

Photo of Thai Driving License Driving Test Track for Sale

Thai Driving License Driving Test Track for Sale

Now I no longer have use for it it’s up for sale:-

  • Pass your Thai driving license test as I did
  • One careful owner – used only 1,000 km
  • Portable – can be used anywhere
  • Guaranteed to work – I passed my Thai driving test using it
  • Flexible – make it any size you want to suit your car
  • Full instructions included

Asking Price Only 10,000 Baht ($300 or £200) ONO.

Flexible payment terms available:-

  • PayPal
  • Cash – GBP (£), Thai Baht
  • Cheque
  • Canned or bottled Guinness
  • Air ticket to U.K.

Free Delivery

I will deliver free of charge to your pickup truck. (Your pickup must be parked in our drive)


Free to the buyer these invaluable bonuses to help you pass your Thai driving license test:-

  • Videos of me on the private test track performing the manouvers
  • Written description of the manouvers and how to perform them
  • Detailed drawings of the test track complete with dimensions
  • Tips on how to pass your Thai driving license practical test from my own real-life experience

 PS Thank You All

Traumatic would be too strong a word to describe this particular episode of our retiring in Thailand journey.

Tense certainly. Fraught certainly. But no quite traumatic.

For me anyway. For Kanyah it seems like it was (and still is) traumatic – but then she seems to turn everything into a trauma.

But what I want to say is to all those people who have supported me through this Thai driving test rigour is Thank You.

Please don’t under-estimate the value of your support. Simple words of support like “You can do it mate” spurred me on to do those practice sessions every day that eventually lead to passing the test.

Thanks to all of you.

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19 Responses to “I Passed The Thai Driving Licence Test – Got My Thai Driving Licence”

    May you enjoy your driving freedom for many pleasurable miles.


    admin Reply:

    Thank you Mike

    Best Regards

    Alan Brown


  • John Rochford:

    Congratulations !


    admin Reply:

    Thanks John



  • Great, congrats….enjoy your freedom, take it easy I know what the roads are like!!


    admin Reply:

    Many thanks Keith – I’ll take care.

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World


  • mel:

    well done alan, malc must have known before hand as he as not come in today.
    strange that as he was paying for the pass party.
    if mrs b wants the car so badly pay another one and leave it at the office. going to work darling, off to the office mrs b 
    just an idea
    mel and the plough customers


    admin Reply:

    hi Mel,

    Malc won’t be in for a while he’ll be staying at home to save up for the pass party!

    Now I have found out why Mrs B wanted me to pass the driving test so badly. I’t so she can drink while I drive.



  • Sammy Lee:

    Congratulation Alan!!!


    admin Reply:

    Thanks Sammy



  • Len:

    Very glad to here of your success. (In passing your Thai Driving Test)

    Car Insurance In Thailand

    Do make certain that you get Class A (1) insurance.

    In an accident you may get lucky if not your fault but practically he who has more money pays regardless of who is at fault and falangs are an easy target. In Bangkok or Pattaya you might get help from the tourist police but even then not always.

    100+ Meters Of Telephone Line Stolen

    In typical Thai style – I would have sent congrats earlier but someone cut and stole 100+ meters of telephone line so no web for a week.

    Cannot just replace – they have to ask permission from Bangkok and once approved then the have to order the wire from Bangkok and wait for it to arrive. Just got it back 1 hour ago.

    Enjoy your new freedom which overrides the cost of gas.

    5 Year Driving License

    Lastly check with locals about your 5 year license – some (many) locations require that the 1 year date has past to get the 5 years – go before and you get another 1 year – some locations it does not matter.

    Yellow Book To Get A Thai ID # 

    If you get a yellow book you will get a Thai ID #  which you can have put on your 5 year license.

    It’s not important but it does put you into the Thai system for ID and shows Thai that you are part of the country and not some touristy type. Again congrats.


    admin Reply:

    Hi Len and thanks for the comment and the valuable information.

    (I hope you don’t mind but I have broken your comment up into sections and added headlines. Makes it easier to read and to reply to).

    Car Insurance In Thailand

    I just checked with Kanyah and we do have Class A (1) insurance.

    A question, Len. As I understand it it is the car that is insured not the driver. therefore anyone can drive the car and they don’t need to be named in the Policy. Is that correct?

    100+ Meters Of Telephone Line Stolen

    I was blown away by this. There is a lot of cable theft in the UK and the trains (particularly Underground trains) are frequently delayed as a result.

    In the UK it’s usually the heavy power cable that is stolen.

    But telephone wire is to light I would have thought it wouldn’t be worth stealing. And they only took 100 m.

    On the other hand, they’ll steal anything. They even stole our watercolour prints and replaced them with photocopies!

    Yellow Book To Get A Thai ID #

    This is definitely something I have to look into i and another friend has mentioned it. A thai ID would be useful in helping our son Alex to get his Thai Nationality. It’s one of the requirements on the website in fact.

    Once again, Len, it’s been a delight to read and to reply to your comments.

    You have a lot of knowledge about living in Thailand and it’s great that you share it with us.

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World


    Len Reply:

    You are correct – the car is insured – but I never checked but I would suspect if another
    driver had an accident he best have a legal driver’s license. In USA they mostly
    insure the driver – so my Thai auto insurance was worthless when I rented a car
    last year. Cost me almost as much for 4 weeks of insurance that a year Thai ins.
    Suspect they cut telephone wire because no fear of high voltage and cutting electrical
    wire would affect many more people.
      For a yellow book you will have to check with your Amphoe not as hard as your
    driving test but for me I had to go wih wife and her blue book and 3 people to
    sign a document that I lived in the village ( the more respectful the better-leader-GI-teacher etc.) As always each Amphoe is different – some easy – some My Me Tong – most
    just want to be helpful and will work with you. Overall farangs (falangs in Issan) are
    good for their economy.
      Lastly – I haven’t read you print problem but while I trust villagers I had security
    bars put on all windows and doors. No guarantee but at least a little deterrent. Unfortunately we are targets – some will steal from the poorest so we look delicious. 


  • Steven Jones:

    Hi did you manage to pass the theory it in English


    admin Reply:


    You can choose between Thai or English for the theory test.

    Everyone sits at their own computerised box and you press button A, B, C or D (I think there are four choices but maybe sometimes more) depending upon what you think the answer is. My box was showing Q&A in English everyone else in Thia.

    The 4 hours of videos are in Thai with English subtitles. So you have to focus and stay attentive and retain what you learn.

    I tried to take notes – and managed a few pages – but the movies were moving on two fast.

    Make sure you understand the priorities at junctions. I couldn’t understand the test questions and there were three of these.

    Quite a large part of the test questions are road signs. I was given a book of road signs in multiple langauges (including English) and memorised it.

    Hope that helps but If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World


  • roy:

    Hi Alan and well done for passing your test i havent had the privilege yet but intend to do it this year just a quick question did you take the test in your own vehicle or one owned by the test centre ? oh and from what i can gather the insurance for vehicles here seems to be based on the car and not the driver hence one policy covers the car and who ever is in it 


    admin Reply:

    Hi Roy and thank you for your questions about taking the Thai driving test in Thailand.

    Good luck when you take your test.

    More than luck you’ll need:-

    To know the format of the test and what the requirements are and plenty of practice.

    Format of the test is:-

    Part 1
    Traffic light test (shout out the colours)
    Reaction test. Press the brake pedal when the red light comes on.
    Depth of vision test – align the two rods using the remote control.
    Peripheral vision test – shout out the colours as they come into view on both sides.

    If you already have a driving license from another country that’s all you need to do. Otherwise you have to do Parts 2 and 3.

    Part 2

    Watch the movies (2 x 2 hours) and pass the multi-choice examination. Pass marks are 23 out of 30 questions.

    Seems to me that the 30 questions are always the same throughout Thailand!

    Part 3

    The practical driving test which has three components:-

    Reversing down a long narrow lane of poles.
    Parallel parking in and out of the box using not more than 7 gear changes.
    Stopping on the white and yellow lines.

    Which Car To Use

    I have read where one guy hired a car on the day from someone at the Test Center.

    I asked about this at Pakchong (Pak Chong) because I had the idea of using a small car instead of our Toyota pickup which is big.

    The answer was no so I used our own car, the Toyota pickup.

    I did thing about renting a smaller one but for the reasons I gave somewhere else didn’t do that.

    Car Insurance

    I think you re right in that the insurance is for the car and not for the driver. I say that because Kanyah lets anyone drive our car and when I told her I wanted my name put on the insurance she flatly refused.

    I’m sure another of our readers will comment on this.

    Hope that helps but If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Once again good luck with your test. Best to expect to fail at least twice so you won’t get upset and disheartened as I did.

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World


  • Peter S.:

    Congratulations to you for passing your driving test. About the watercolors: I hope you will get over this experience. Such a thing can and does happen in Europe too. But I must say, Thailand has, like the rest of the world, changed for the worse. 15, 20 years back, crime was practically unheard of in Los. It was a very safe place to travel around. No longer, unfortunately. So best do not keep any valuables in the house, keep always a very low profile. And maybe a sharp dog to watch over your property in your absence might be a good idea. And relax, Pakchong is still a much better place to live than Pat and Phu.  Chok Dee. Peter 


    admin Reply:

    Peter many thanks for the comment.

    I first came to Thailand over 30 years ago and it certainly is different today – some for the better some for the worse.

    It’s much more developed and westernised. English is more widely spoken and communication is far better – but that’s a world-wide phenomenon, not just a Thailand development.

    The stories coming out of Phuket and Pattayah about farangs getting ripped-off, scammed and killed are horrific and seem to be a daily thing.

    Up here in Pak Chong we are well out of the way. We have burglar bars on the windows and would like to get a complete CCTV system – on that can be connected to the Internet so we can see what’s going on from anywhere.

    Problem with that is you need a permanent Internet connection and up here that’s expensive.

    As to dogs I’m certainly not going to add to the dog population. Seems like every house here has at least one dog, some as many as half a dozen. Shout at them, wave a stick at them, throw a stone at them and they run away!

    Anyway I hate dogs and getting one is just another commitment and restriction.

    You can get a security guard to patrol even here in Pak Chong, but again it’s an extra expense.

    I don’t worry so much about security here in the house while we are living here. It’s if we go away for a few weeks or months that would concern me.

    Petty thieving is a problem, but we are sure to lock everything up now and not let people (neighbours) in.

    Someone stole Kanyah’s CDs from her car and another person her wellington boots from the workshop. We know who these people were and Kanyah got her stuff back after a lot of argument.

    Another person stole 4 limes form her lime tree. We know who that is also but they have been eaten!

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World


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