Do I need a license in Thailand for rent and drive a scooter
The question of what are the rights for management of transport in Thailand and some of the intricacies of transport rental services we have already examined in detail in the article "rent a motorcycle and a car in Thailand". In short, you can easily manage transport in Thailand if you have national rights, i.e. the rights of ordinary plastic new model. Even if you have the old paper laminated right, they are also valid if issued before 28 March 2011. To obtain an international driving permit (in the form of a special book) to travel to Thailand do not need.
But often tourists, the question arises, whether the right to control low-powered motorcycle or scooter in Thailand. After all got used that at home (at least in Russia) for moped or scooter with an engine displacement less than 50 cubic centimetres and the maximum constructive speed no more 50 km/h don't need any rights. At least, it was until recently, while in 2014 there was introduced the category of "M".
So do I need a license to drive a scooter in Thailand?
Despite the well-established view that the right to drive a scooter in Thailand is not necessary, in fact there has long been the law, according to which control of any mechanical vehicle, which are equal and low powered mopeds and scooters on public roads in Thailand you must have a driver's license. This follows from the 1979 act "Motor Vehicle Act", article 42:
Anyone who wishes to drive a motor vehicle on public roads must possess an appropriate driver's license. The driver must carry the driver's license and a photocopy of the registration book and show them to competent officers upon request. This does not apply for those who are learning to drive a motor vehicle according to the provision of Section 57.
If the driver is an alien who doesn't have an immigrant visa, he may drive a motor vehicle with a driver's license specified in the Section 42-2. In such a case, he must carry documents specified by the treaty between the Thai government and the government which issued such driver's license, and show them to competent officers upon request.
Now as to what's the category for a motorcycle. Here all not so is simple, as in all the laws, but try to understand. The above Thai law sets out to control the motorcycle, regardless of engine size and speed. And no "l" category for mopeds of less than 50 cubic centimeters Thais don't know. But police know very well categories established in the Vienna Convention on road traffic, and that categories A and A1 (for A1 motorcycles with an engine capacity less than 125cc). And we have a valid order, when you can drive a low powered mopeds fall under the category of "M", if there is any open category "A", "b", "C", etc. is also not working.
Summary: in order to operate in Thailand, a motorcycle, a moped or scooter of any size motor on the public roads is fully legal, you need to have a license with an open category "A".
In practice, when taking a rental motorcycle or scooter you almost never one right way. But sometimes police raids and mass check in of tourists, especially on the popular Thai resorts. Also if you break the rules and get stopped out, you throw another fine for driving without a license.
Of course, you can almost always pay off, and it all depends on the ability to bargain. As seasoned travelers tell us, for driving without a license they would only bribe from 300 to 1000 baht (see currency of Thailand and the exchange rate). But still we recommend you to open house category "A" and recover in Thailand, not for problems on the roads, and for other adventures.