How to Register a Drone in Thailand
There is a lot of conflicting information online regarding the registration of drones in Thailand. Insurance requirements, 6 months processing times, and long forms all in Thai are some of the information I’ve seen around. There is some truth to all of this, so to avoid the confusion, I’m going to give you an easy step by step guide on how to register a drone in Thailand.
If your drone has a camera, which most do, you will need to register at 2 separate offices in Thailand; the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
What you will need to bring to register your drone:
- Your Drone and the Controller
- Your original Passport (not just a copy)
- A Phone with a camera and an internet connection (important)
Where can you register a done in Thailand?
Drone registrations are managed by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Department (NBTC). Though it seems like a difficult and formal department to deal with, it is actually surprisingly simple.
The NBTC in Bangkok is located on Samsen Nai Soi 8 in Ari.
The easiest way to get to the NBTC in Bangkok is by BTS Skytrain.
- Take the BTS Skytrain to Ari station
- Take the northeast exit (Exit no.4)
- Walk approximately 350 meters to Samsen Nai Soi 8.
- Either walk or hop on a motorbike taxi at the corner of Samsen No Soi 8, direct to the NBTC. A motorbike costs 20 THB (USD 0.80) one way.
When you enter the NBTC complex you will need to turn right and walk across the grass. There is a small two-story white building in the corner along the road. Ask the staff for the drone registration forms and they will help you out.
The Drone Registration Process
Ask the staff for the papers to register your drone in Thailand. They will hand you two sets of papers, which seem similar but not identical. Both forms will have an English translation next to the Thai writing.
The forms ask for the following details:
- Entry and exit date from Thailand
- Drone serial number, make and model
- Controller serial number, make and model
- Passport details
- The intended use of the drone (just write hobby, it makes life easier)
In addition to the two forms, you will also have to email the staff a photo of the drone and controller, and a close-up photo of the serial number of each.
Important: you will need to have a sim card with 3G / 4G internet connection to email the photos to the staff. They will not let you use their WiFi which is a bit annoying. Also, note that the TRUE Move “Tourist Sim” from 7/11 will not give you proper 4G internet. I recommend getting a 30-day tourist sim from the AIS store in CentralWorld for about 1,500 THB (USD 50).
After submitting all form and photos you will be printed off a Permit to Fly a Drone in Thailand with NBTC watermark.
If you come prepared, the entire drone registration process takes just half an hour.
CAAT registration is also required for all drones fitted with a camera, whether they are above or below 2kg. CAAT registration can now be completed online with this form. There are both Thai and English versions on the same page, so though it may look confusing it is still quite simple to complete.
Before you can access the drone registration forms, you will have to review and agree to the laws. Once you’ve created an account you will have to supply details of your drone, your passport (for foreigners) or national ID card (for Thais), insurance policy, and your purpose of using the drone in Thailand.
The CAAT drone registration process officially takes up to 15 Business Days, though most people report longer wait times. I suggest applying up to 3 months prior to your trip to Thailand.
Do You Need Insurance to Fly a Drone in Thailand?
The NBTC registration process does not require any insurance. However, the CAAT registration process DOES require insurance. The standard requirements are a Third Party Liability Policy (i.e. Drone Insurance) with coverage of up to 1,000,000 THB (approx. USD 35,000). The CAAT registration form will ask you for your insurance policy number before you can complete the application.
Thinking of Getting a Drone for Thailand?
I use the DJI Mavic Air Pro. It is super lightweight and packs up tiny. I seriously wouldn’t suggest any other drone. Compared to the DJI Phantom it packs up to be one-tenth the size. Compared to the DJI Spark it is a much more stable drone.
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