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the legality of mopeds

Travel Forums Asia the legality of mopeds

1. Posted by tortuga (Budding Member 20 posts) 9y

hey everyone, i'm in Chiang-mai right now and wanting to rent a motorbike. Before i left i figured i wouldnt be driving any so didnt bother getting and international drivers liscence. My insurance wont cover me if i get in an accident unless i have a licence, so what i'm wondering is if its possible to get an international license in thailand? or, how hard is it to get a motorcycle liscence and how does one go about it? thank youuu!

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Short answer is NO, you cannot get an IDL while you are in Thailand. You have to get it in your home country before you leave. They were phony IDL offered when I was on Khao San Road in BKK. They will not fool an insurance agent. You cannot get a Thai Drivers License (TDL) with a tourist visa. You have to prove to the Thais that you are living in Thailand. Kate, my best advice: stay off rental motorbikes. The downside is huge. If anything happens, you are at fault. You do not have a TDL. The insurance you buy from the rental agent is not valid w/o a TDL. You are liable for damage done to the bike if you fall or are hit. You are liable for replacement costs if stolen. You are going to jail and the police will sort out any accident you have with a Thai. No matter who is at fault, it is going to cost you serious baht. Unless you are an experienced rider, it is just foolish to rent a bike and bump around Thailand. Yes, they are fun, but the risks far outweigh the fun factor.

I owned a small motorbike rental busniess in Pattaya for a few years and know the pitfalls. Send me a PM if you have any questions.

3. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 420 posts) 9y

and if you do ignore Mike's advice do not under any circumstances leave your passport as a depost as many agents request.

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Quoting DocNY

and if you do ignore Mike's advice do not under any circumstances leave your passport as a depost as many agents request.

Reputable Thai motorbike rental agents, (an oxymoron) will photocopy your passport page and allow you to retain it. If you do rent a motorbike, use your own padlock to lock up your bike. Dishonest rental guys will 'steal' their own bike and you will be stuck paying the replacement costs. The police will become involved and you will pay the quoted price. It is a very stacked deck against you Kate.

Have a male friend rent the bike. Let him assume the responsibility and you go along for the ride. My best advice after: Don't rent a motorbike in the first place.

5. Posted by Adrock (Budding Member 55 posts) 9y

Yeah I would have to disagree with those guys. If you want to rent a bike do it at your own risk. Just know it is dangerous like anything else and your responsible for your own decisions. I road all over SE asia on motor bikes and yes I crashed and messed my self up pretty good. But the good thing about that is the hospitals in Thailand are a lot cheaper than here in the U.S. and plus my deductible was so high on my insurance and the cost was so low they wouldn't pay for it anyways. Health insurance is such a ripe off anyways your better off with the health care in Thailand, I would know, but be careful. I would suggest wearing a helmet and remember they drive on the left side of the road over there.

6. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Adam's post above proves the point. It is very risky riding bikes in SEA. Wearing a helmet is not an option anymore, it is the law. The Police in Pattaya love to see a farang w/o a helmet. A quick 300 baht addition to his wallet.

The other point is: do you really want to find out how cheap the Thai medical system is compared to the west? You don't want to ruin your holiday seeing first hand how nice the Thai hospitals can be. Kate, all decisions have consequences, don't let this one ruin your holiday in Thailand. My 2 cents.