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Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

Los Angeles...
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Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

I am from the USA, have a drivers license but not licensed to drive any scooters/motorbikes here in the US.

I know how to ride a scooter pretty well and would love to rent one to ride in Chiang Mai/other more rural areas. No way in hell I would even attempt it in Bangkok.

Is it legal for me to ride? And if not, what are the chances of getting pulled over/paying a bribe?

Thanks!

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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1. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

You will be rented a scooter whether you are qualified to dive one or not. Insurance for the bike or you is not included.You are required to have an International Driving Permit that reflects your qualification to drive one in your own country in order to drive one legally in Thailand. Unlikely that will be checked. The onus to conform to legal requirements is with you. So you will be driving illegally and even if you have your own insurance you will be doing so without insurance. In the event of an accident, assuming you survive it, paying a bribe (have you been reading at all about the military junta cleaning up corruption?) is the least of your worries. You would have to pay all the costs involved, both yours and 3rd parties and the hirers. If you haven't already, please read this tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-c133830/Thail…

Motor cycle accidents are the most frequent cause of fatalities in Thailand.

Phuket Town...
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2. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

What a charming tourist. You want to visit Thailand, and don't care about the law?

Drive without license, and then bribe. I hope you get caught.

London, United...
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3. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

Michael L,

Of course its not legal to drive without the proper licence don't do in Thailand what you wouldn't do in the USA.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

Michael L,

some countries allow those with a car licence to ride a scooter up to a 60cc without the need to get a motorcycle licence. If that is the case in California USA then ask about that being stamped into your international driving permit. Then you should be able to ride a scooter legally in Thailand.

If so, take out travel insurance which covers scooter travel.

Ensure you wear a helmet at all times riding and carry the papers with you.

Enjoy your trip.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Thailand
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5. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

If you are not licenced and have an international driving permit then it will be illegal and maybe even more importantly any insurance you have (including your travel insurance) will then be invalid if you should be unfortunate enough to have an accident. This could be a very costly experience.

I have a motorcycle licence and appropriate international permit and have rented bikes out in Sukhothai Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I have been stopped by the police and asked to provide the papers several times (I believe mostly in an attempt to raise money).

Bear in mind that you may be a fairly competent rider but Thai roads with bikes often being ridden by young and inexperienced riders can be a dangerous place and I would not reccomend it to anyone not very experienced at driving a bike and driving it very defensively.

It is also a sad fact of life that if you are involved in an accident involving a Thai driver it is quite likely you will be judged to have been at fault no matter what the circumstances.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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6. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

Onmymark's advice ignores the fact that most if not all scooters for hire in Thailand are above 60cc. That is one of the major problems. Tourists hire these bikes "for fun" thinking they are just like a pedal bike with an engine. They are not! They are fast bikes, often overtaking cars (on both sides) and are lethal machines in the hands of inexperienced and unqualified drivers. They are no fun in an accident nor are the devastating consequences they can have. Having travel insurance that covers scooter hire will only apply in the event of a claim if driving the machine is legal in the first place.

Pattaya, Thailand
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7. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

Just look at all of the thai people with motorbike scars that is good enough reason to not ride one.

8. Re: Driving a scooter in Thailand without a license?

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