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Editorial Legal Advice

Motorcycle Madness

Ticket Please

A Type B driver’s license in Thailand is required before a person can drive a car on any road in the Kingdom. A Type F license is required for anybody driving a motorcycle. Given their affordability, there are far more motorcycles per person in Thailand than in the United States. There are actually far fewer licensed motorcyclists in Thailand than in the United States. Many motorcycle riders just ignore the licensing requirement, and if they are caught riding without a license, they can buy their way out of a ticket on the street.

Motorcycle License Reciprocity

In the United States, all 50 states require a special motorcycle license for anybody who operates a motorcycle. The laws of the various states might be different, but the one common requirement is a motorcycle license. If a person is traveling from one state to another on a motorcycle, the license from the rider’s home state is good in any other state.

A Thai Type B License Will Not Work

A person from Thailand with a Type B driver’s license cannot legally operate a motorcycle anywhere in the United States. Police will issue the operator a ticket, and in some places, the motorcycle might be taken and impounded. It is also highly unlikely that a Thai rider would be able to buy their way out of a ticket on the street like in Thailand. That would likely end up as an arrest with an accompanying criminal charge.

Take note that it is not against the law for a citizen of Thailand to operate a motorcycle in the USA. That rider must have a proper motorcycle license though. If you are planning on riding a motorcycle in the United States, check on the requirements for a motorcycle license before riding. Then, get that license.

Be careful riding

Not all drivers in the USA pay close attention to motorcycles. Left hand turn accidents are all too common, and distracted drivers playing on their phone may hit the back of you. Dooring is another common crash scenario, when someone flings their door open into your path. Stay alert and enjoy your ride, and be sure to read about the laws for the state you are visiting by looking up their motorcycle rider’s handbook from that state’s DMV – for example, here’s the California motorcycle handbook.





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