Car rental in Phuket must verify tourist driving licenses

Phuket’s car rental companies received a first-hand reminder of the importance of verifying tourists’ driver’s licenses. The Commander of the National Tourist Police, Lieutenant General Saksira Phueakam, visited them on Saturday, April 20. This personal visit was part of an initiative to regulate the growing car rental sector in the popular tourist destination of Phuket.

Lt Gen Saksira embarked on a tour of Patong at 11am the day after the visit to Phuket by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Royal Thai Police Acting Commissioner Gen Kitirath Panphet. Accompanying Lt. Gen. Saksira were top officials from the Tourist Police Region 3 Command, including Col. Yutthaphum Panlainak, Col. Phisit Sawatthaworn, Lt. Col. Wachirapisak Na Songkhla and Lt. Col. Channarong Rodthongdee.

The purpose of these visits was to remind car and motorcycle rental companies that they can be fined if their customers are caught driving without a valid driver’s license. It was also an opportunity to strengthen public relations and share information on rules and regulations regarding renting vehicles to foreigners.

Rental agency operators in Patong were informed of the laws and ordered to comply with them for the safety of tourists. The Phuket Tourist Police released a statement saying that Lt. Gen. Saksira and fellow officers went out to inspect car rental companies, hand out stickers with regulatory information and build public relations.

During the inspection, some rental shop operators were seen placing tourist police stickers on their premises under the watchful eye of Lt. Gen. Saksira and his team. These stickers serve as a reminder of fines for driving a vehicle without a license and allowing someone else to drive your vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Another sticker explained the types of driving licenses recognized in Thailand, in addition to the Thai driving license issued by the Department of Land Transport (DLT). Possession of any other document, such as a US, UK, Russian or Australian driver’s license, without an accompanying International Driving Permit (IDP) effectively means that you do not have a valid driver’s license in Thailand.

The IDP is only valid if it is accompanied by an original foreign driver’s license, The Phuket News reported.

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