Could tourists renting motorcycles in Thailand be a thing of the past?

There may soon be legislation forcing tourists to hold a valid motorcycle driving license in order to operate a motorbike on Thailand's roads.

A recent report has surfaced from the which hints that Thailand may crackdown on tourists renting motorcycles without a valid licence. 

Thailand’s Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and his deputy have begun discussing and reviewing motorcyclist safety on Thailand’s roads. If the new ruling - which requires tourists to hold a valid motorcycle driving licence to rent a motorcycle - comes into effect in January, this could spell the end for many tourists, who could previously rent a motorcycle under 200cc with little or no driving or riding documentation required.

The potential ruling comes after the passing of 17-year-old Anthony Ryan, from the UK, who lost his life after colliding with an oncoming vehicle on a rented moped in adverse weather conditions. Such a ruling could’ve saved the life of this young man if implemented earlier. Many other tourists are involved in accidents, with Thailand having the second highest road traffic fatality rate in the world, according to the WHO

Currently, all tourists must do to rent a motorcycle in Thailand is to provide a valid passport and travel insurance policy. And the use of a crash helmet seems somewhat ambiguous - even though it’s a requirement by Thai law. There are also claims that those without a driving licence could hire a bike in the country, so long as they were willing to pay a little more.

Even though the current Thai Transport Minister is renowned for making tough and unpopular decisions in favour of safety, we have some questions over the enforceability of this potential new law - and don’t get us wrong, we’re all for increased motorcycle safety.  

Currently, a UK driver's licence alone is not a valid driving document in Thailand. To be within the law, tourists require an international driving permit (IDP), as well as a valid licence to operate a vehicle in Thailand. However, It’s no secret that many motorcycle rental companies do not adhere to these rules, and we ask will it just be business as usual? 

This trip advisor guide (although not official) explains the current laws way better than I do.  

Under the new law

A CBT will not do, nor will a UK drivers licence. To be within the law and covered by your insurance company, you'll need a full bike licence and an IDP. And it’s always best to check with your travel insurance company to make sure what you can and can’t ride. You don’t want any surprises if the sh*t hits the fan. 

So, to all holiday goers and veteran global travellers. What do you think about this potentially tougher law in Thailand: 

Will it be effective at reducing motorcycle accidents involving tourists? Or will it not? 

Let us know in the comments below.


I started doing this way before reading this blog.

To go for a tour on a bike it's sound like scary and challenging because it needs an act of tremendous courage and confidence because when we going towards upwards so the surface is not so good means lots of rock and small dig their which may be harmful to a rider to save from all this circumstance they have to take some safety precaution.

Yes I do one time I get my biker one rent and start riding but cops caught me and give me penalty for having no license.

I rented a motorcycle when I was in Thailand but I ended up needing to get it towed so I'll never do it again, especially as I had to pay for it because the renters didn't believe me when i said "it just broke down." Then again, the same thing happened when i was visiting Hamilton Ontario, although fortunately for me the company at was nice enough to do it for free because they knew the renters and said they'd just get paid from them. Maybe I should just stop renting motorcycles altogether!

Very nicely written article loved it
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That's Good a many many Congrats to all citizens of thailand.

Persons who drive in the U.S. must have a valid motorist's license. Some states require an International Driving Permit (IDP) from foreign nationals, in adding to a valid license from your own country. I am a professional academic writer working with for last seven years.

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the surface is not so good means lots of rock and small dig their which may be harmful to a rider to save from all this circumstance they have to take some safety precaution


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