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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawID for Foreigners in Thailand: Pink ID Card vs Driving License

ID for Foreigners in Thailand: Pink ID Card vs Driving License

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the pink ID card versus the Thai Driving License.

Why am I making this video? Well ID, getting an ID card in Thailand can be a real, I find a lot of clients, a lot of folks that deal with us they have a real concern. They want to get an ID card, a state issued ID card in Thailand that they can use. I think a lot of folks want it so they don't have to be carrying their passport or copy of their passport everywhere or have it in their phone or whatever, they have just got an ID. If they get in an issue where somebody needs to see their ID, they have got it. They just pull it right out. 

The question becomes, in my mind as a foreign national looking at it, basically your choice is between a pink ID card and a driving license. In my opinion and I will get to my analysis on this in a minute, I think actually a driving license all things considered for the vast majority of folks here in Thailand, is probably better in the sense that it is probably going to be easier to get, more straightforward to obtain. It actually does confer the privilege of driving here in Thailand, you can legally drive in Thailand, as opposed to the pink ID which is based on first getting a Yellow House Book and then going through the process of getting a pink ID. It can be pretty convoluted; it can be a pretty cumbersome process to get the Yellow House Book. I have done multiple other videos on Yellow House Books including one as to whether or not it is worth the "hassle".

In my mind, yeah there are benefits to it. It is going to be specific to your situation whether or not that Yellow House book is worth it but it does take a lot of doing and it is not quite so Byzantine a process to just get a Thai driving license oftentimes. Yeah, I am not saying it is the easiest thing in the world. The DMV no place is great to deal with but the Land Transport Office, especially in Bangkok can be obtuse at an exponential level, I'll leave it at that. However, it can be done and foreign nationals get driving licenses here in Thailand all the time. Some offices are easier to deal with than others but once that ID is issued, it is a state issued ID and it provides just as much use just simply as an ID as a pink ID does in my mind. Now I know that there are some that kind of operate under the notion that yeah but the pink ID is issued by the Amphur; it is better in the sense that it is I don't even know what the thinking is on that. In '91 they amended the Act regarding Tabian Baan, the House Book and they basically said yes foreigners can go on the House Book but it is only that. It is an ID; it is registration on an address and then it has just got your documentation and information on it. It can provide some benefits on the road. I think for younger folks that are coming out here to Thailand for the first time, a pink ID long term might depending on your circumstances provide some real benefits but short-term they are not so great. It is not a lot of benefit on its face compared to a driving license. On top of everything else, with a driving license you can actually drive with that license.