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Last updated: 30th March 2019

It is absolutely fine to enter Thailand with a drone. However in order to fly your drone, you must be registered with paperwork from two different corporations: CAAT (Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand) and NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission). We assume your drone is for non-commercial use, is under 2kg and has a camera.

Fines for not complying range from 40,000 baht to 100,000 baht and 1-5 years in prison.

For rules and advice flying your drone in Thailand, see our advice for flying your drone in Thailand.


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1. Purchase third-party liability insurance

You need third-party liability insurance with a minimum coverage of 1 million baht.

There are many options available both within Thailand and internationally. It will depend on your personal preference and the level of cover you want. It is important that your insurance paperwork is in English and states your name and drone serial number.

The point about the drone model and serial number on the paperwork is important, they will reject the application without it.

2. Register with NBTC (in person)

Documents for NBTC (printed copies):

  1. Photograph clearly showing drone serial number
  2. Photograph clearly showing remote/transmitter serial number
  3. Copy of passport, entry stamp, & departure card
  4. Photocopy of drone purchase receipt (not needed if registering as a tourist)
  5. Completed คท30 form – Download here
  6. Completed คท32 form – Download here

NBTC currently have 17 offices in Thailand.

Their locations are divided in to 4 sections on their website (PorPor 1-4), but to summarise:

  • Bangkok
  • Nonthaburi
  • Chanthaburi
  • Suphanburi
  • Prachin Buri
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Khon Kaen
  • Nakhon Rachasima
  • Udon Thani
  • Lampang
  • Chiang Mai
  • Phitsanulok
  • Chiang Rai
  • Hat Yai
  • Phuket
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Ranong
  • Chumphon

We used the office in Bangkok (Soi Phahonyothin 8), found here.

Telephone: 02 271 7600
Website: http://nbtc.go.th
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30PM

You do not need an appointment at the NBTC office. If you’re visiting the office in Bangkok, you can walk from Ari BTS station. Turn up with a pen and your paperwork. They’ll check the document and issue your certificate in 15 minutes.

Arriving at NBTC in Bangkok you’ll see this building:

NBTC Bangkok

Enter the gates and turn immediately right. The building to register your drone is this one:

NBTC Bangkok

Extra notes:

Edit: On our second visit to NBTC the officer told us the only problem is that our drone was bought outside of Thailand. To get anything other than a temporary certificate, we must import the drone and pay whatever taxes are due. Bottom line is, you’re better off buying your drone in Thailand even if it’s a little more expensive.

Update: A few of you messaged us to let us know it was not possible to register ahead of time as they require a copy of your latest visa and entry stamp. It’s something you may be able to get around if you have already visited Thailand. This was useful information so thank you for your comments.

3. Register with CAAT (online)

Registering with CAAT takes the most time. Their website states 15 days but from our experience you may be waiting many months – we waited almost 6 months whilst a friend only waited a few days – who knows.

We registered with CAAT first, however the officer at the NBTC office and other documents in Thai said that we should register with NBTC before CAAT. If you’re traveling for a short period of time this will not work as you need to register in person for NBTC.

CAAT registration form

Documents for CAAT (digital):

The CAAT website states that the application form only works in Google Chrome.

This is the link for their free online registration: https://www.caat.or.th/uav/index.php.

The website has some bugs and usability issues with a few broken features. We couldn’t make the save progress button work, sometimes the uploads would not work, and we were able to see other people’s applications alongside our own.

To start the process, access the menu and start an “Individual” application. Scroll down and look for the “Drone register” button where you’ll be guided through creating a new account. Read and accept the 3 tabs/pages of conditions and press continue. If you’re prompted with “กรุณากดยอมรับเงื่อนไขก่อนทำการบินก่อนค่ะ”, you forgot to click “accept” on one of the pages.

Continue the registration process but do not send the application until it is complete, it is not currently possible to change your form after submission.

After we submitted the application, the page stopped responding and we had to reload the website, visit our account and submit the documents separately from the main form. If this happens, don’t forget to go back to upload your supporting documents.

4. Know the drone rules and laws in Thailand

There have been many public cases of prosecution which ended in large fines being paid so familiarize yourself with the rules and laws for flying drones in Thailand. You can read our advice here and use the resources we have linked below.

CAAT stated rules (English):
https://www.caat.or.th/uav/Announcement-of-the-Ministry-of-Transport.pdf

CAAT stated rules (Thai):
https://www.caat.or.th/uav/Announcement-of-the-Ministry-of-Transport-thai.pdf

We recommend carrying a copy of your insurance, registration documents and rules from the CAAT and NBTC website with you when you are traveling with your drone. Don’t expect every guard, police officer or other person to know the rules.

23 Comments. Write your own below:

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  • Lenbert

    2 months ago

    Good afternoon!
    If I buy a drone in Thailans and doesnt need to enroll in liability insurance, can it be possible?

    • Henry

      2 months ago

      Registering a drone purchased in Thailand is easier, but it still has to be registered the same way.

  • Danielle

    2 months ago

    Hi Long,
    I have the same issue with CAAT, how did you get on in the end? My plan is to go to the offices in Bangkok to see whether or not they will process the application.

    • Henry

      2 months ago

      Hi Danielle, I think the best thing to do is apply online and then chase them up by telephone if they take a long time.

  • Long

    2 months ago

    Hello,
    I was just reading your website regarding “How to register a drone in Thailand.” I’m already planning to register in person with NBTC when I arrive. However, I’m running into ongoing and delayed issues with CAAT. I’ve submitted everything but now they say I need to submit a VISA or immigration stamp. I leave in 2 days and it’s now impossible for me to get either one to submit before I arrive! I’ve emailed them multiple times if I could go register in person at their CAAT office in Bangkok as well when I arrive but they’ve stopped responding. Do you have any idea if I can possibly go register in person as well at the CAAT office? Would greatly appreciate your assistance please.

    Thank you,
    Long

    • Henry

      2 months ago

      Hi Long, you can’t register in person for CAAT, their only process is via their website. Thank you for updating me on the issue regarding a visa or stamp though – seems to be almost impossible for tourists on holiday to register in time at the moment. I recommend just resubmitting your application when you arrive and have a copy of your entry stamp.

      • Long

        2 months ago

        Oh my, such a hectic and complicating process!!! It’s literally impossible to get registered and everything then!!! Wow. Such a long and frustrating process. If I resubmit my application with my entry stamp upon arrival, how am I supposed to get approved if it takes more than 15 working days to get approved? Do I just start flying without an approved CAAT and hope they eventually approve?

      • Henry

        2 months ago

        Yes it does seem to be impossible for anyone on a short stay… At the moment I don’t have any recommendations. If they absolutely require a visa or an entry stamp and you are entering on a 30 day exemption, it seems unlikely you’ll get registered within 15 days.

        Hopefully they change the process as they’re making a lot of work for themselves processing applications that will never get used.

  • Pierre-Louis Bourbon

    2 months ago

    Hello
    If i have go to Thailand but i don’t use my drone during my journey, it’s ok ? After i go to Bali and here i want use my drone. So, in Thailand my drone stay in my luggage, you think is a problem ?

    • Henry

      2 months ago

      No problem if it is in your hand luggage.

      • Pierre-Louis Bourbon

        2 months ago

        But at the take off, i need to put my drone in checked baggage ?

      • Henry

        2 months ago

        Any batteries must be in your hand luggage (bag you take in to the cabin) – not checked baggage (stowed under the plane).

      • Pierre-Louis Bourbon

        2 months ago

        Yes i know, but my drone need to be in hand luggage or checked baggage ? At my arrival in Thailand, customs don’t do problem ? (sorry for my english, i’m French)

      • Henry

        2 months ago

        I think either would be fine. The only problem is if it looks like you are trying to sell the drone (maybe if it is in new packaging).
        I recommend you keep the drone in your hand luggage – it is more likely to be broken in checked baggage and hand luggage is less likely to be scanned when you leave through customs.

    • Pierre-Louis Bourbon

      2 months ago

      Can i contact you on Messenger or WhatApps if its possible ?
      Thank a lot

  • Antonio

    3 months ago

    Hi, I am just writing with a query about traveling to Thailand with a drone. I have contacted CAAT and they have asked for insurance that show my devices serial number and the date of my travel.hower my insurance from “Drone cover club” doesn’t show this information.I m happy to do another insurance for my trip in Thailand if it can satisfy this request. Thank you.
    Best regards Antonio

    • Henry

      3 months ago

      Hi Antonio, have you asked your insurance provider to add the serial number to the notes on your insurance? Can you add the serial number by yourself?

  • Melissa

    3 months ago

    Hello,
    So , If I come for 3 weeks and that I want to use my drone. It’s impossible Due to the delay of CAAT ?
    Or he give us a temporary doc?

    • Henry

      3 months ago

      You should be able to apply ahead of time for CAAT but the wait time seems unpredictable at the moment. You could then register with NBTC when you arrive.

  • Steve

    3 months ago

    Hi :),
    Is it possible for the person from Serbia (as myself) purchase third-party liability insurance from BMFA? It would be really helpful and it would save me a from lot of hassle. The information you provided above is highly appreciated. Thank you and have a great one!

    • Henry Brown

      3 months ago

      Hey Steve, I’m not totally sure but their staff were really helpful when I spoke to them – I’d recommend just getting in contact and asking: [email protected]

  • Henry & Ben

    Hi, if you think something is wrong, missing or if you have any questions just comment here :)