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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29 thoughts on “Register a Drone in Thailand [Step-by-Step Guide]”
Made it today all the way to NBTC office just to be told they no longer do on-site registration, only online. They handed me a paper with a QR code leading to https://anyregis.nbtc.go.th So anyone reading this article be aware the information is outdated here.
Hi Taras, thanks for comment. I will review the latest process required and update this article. Hopefully you got your drone registration sorted out nonetheless.
im leaving in 1 week. could I take my drone to bangkok even without registration? i wont be flying it anyway. will be travelling to cambodia and vietnam afterwards. anyone please answer
Hi Joe, I have taken my drone into Thailand plenty of times with no prior registration. Never been asked any questions. Just make sure the total battery quantity you carry is within the airline limits and packed properly.
Thank you Josh as this info was very helpful. I will add to this though. I was just there today and they would only take printed copies of the following:
– Hotel docs for all stays in Thailand
– Printed copy of passport, both of picture and Visa stamp
– Serial numbers and pics of both drone and controller
– Proof of leaving country (flight out)
This is certainly overkill to say the least. And of course they would not let me print anything there. So I’m at the point now where I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I did take a couple forms with me in case. Have to basically plan the rest of my Thailand trip with hotels and so on, although I guess you can always book, print and then cancel. Anyways hope this info is useful for others.
Hi Chad, thanks for sharing your experience with them. That’s interesting they’ve asked for your hotel bookings, I only stated where my first hotel was. Yes, I’d suggest bringing all printed copies of your documents with you. You may be able to print and use wifi at the office, it varies from person to person, that’s Thailand for you.
Hi there, so if I visit the NBTC office when I get there (without CAAT registration or anything) I will be ok to have temporary registration while I am there? Is this info updated? Thanks!
Really informative and helpful. I will be flying in 2 weeks, stay for about 1 week in thailand, 3 days in Bangkok and 3 Days in Pattaya.
Just to Plan my flights and shots, Could you advise on some timings and places where I can get some videos with my Mavic Air? Where all did you get the chance to fly?
Will surely share my videos and experience when I get back.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Hi Josh, thank you for information. May be some one know, is there NBTC on Samui?
Hi guys. Josh, thank you vary much for info. Can some one answer one question please, I just can’t understand one thing and can’t find 100% info. Can I enter Thailand with my drone with out registations and all of that stuff? I’ve readed a lot of Russian topics and publics that tourists are not allowed to enter Thailand with drone with out registrating it in the first place and that there is possibility that airport control will take the drone from you. Is it true?
is it possible to do the refistration at btnc from abroad?
I am currently in Germany and would like to apply for it befor my vacation is that possible ?
Hi Suwanan, not that I am aware. It is quick to complete in Thailand through at either Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
I can also confirm that your proposed process works as stated. I also walked into the NBTC office in Chiang Mai and after 15min the registration was completed and I got a permit. In my opinion this should be sufficient enough in case any police officer or security asks for the registration papers.
Hi Michael, great news, thanks for confirming it is possible in Chiang Mai too!
I just walked into NBTC in Chiang Mai near the Airport and within 15minutes walked out with my drone registration completed and a flying permit. It was 100% free and took literally only 15 minutes.
Thanks for the post, it saved me.
Great to hear there is an NBTC in Chiang Mai following this process too. I’ll add it to this guide. If you put together a drone video please share the link with me!
when was this?
Did anyone asked anything about the drone when you arrived to Thailand at the airport?
Hi Josh, Did you need any proof for the address? I will be there for a month or so but plan to hop around hotels / hostels.
Hi Rich, I just provided the address I was staying at the time. You could just show your hotel/hostel booking confirmation.
Thanks for this informative post, Josh!
1. Do you know if there is an NBTC office in Chiang Mai and if they follow the same process?
2. How long is the temporary drone registration valid for?
Hi David, another reader has just confirmed there is an NBTC office in Chiang Mai too. The temporary permit is valid until the date you leave Thailand.
In top of that, you don’t tell fly zone restrictions (AIP)
Please see below :
All tourist areas are prohibited (about 70% of the territory).
Impossible to fly in national parks, southern islands.
Even the surroundings of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are forbidden.
And you have 0 problem with your drone only with NBTC registration ? You are a lucky guy !
I still think that by showing the registration to the NBTC there should be no problem if we respect the prohibited areas.
I contacted dronethaiinsurance and they offer to do it for me for 1500 bath, which would save me time.
Thanks a lot Josh. Yes, I know or DJI Thailand. I asked them too. But DJI Thailand is not CAAT regulator…
Here as the official law from CAAT and there is no difference between toursist or Thai people.
I asked CAAT but no answer for this moment…
I’m in stress to bring my mavic pro so…
Hi Seb, you can bring your drone into Thailand no worries, even without CAAT registration. Just don’t go flying over a crowded market in Bangkok or something!
Yes of course. In France, I’m a professional pilot licensed… That’s why I be careful with laws.
You don’t speak abournt CAAT registration.
I see on CAAT website that all drones with camera have to be register (for hobby too).
I have not good understand ?
Hi Seb, I was advised by DJI Thailand that I only needed the temporary NBTC license. I did not have any problems flying a drone in Thailand with this. However, I have made an update to the guide as some state this is required.
I am going to visit thailand in 2 weeks.
And read somewhere on internet that I need importing permit (license) for taking my drone to thailand.
So can you please tell me in which month did you actually do the registration for your drone in thailand with the mentioned procedure in your post.
And I don’t have any insurance and not having any other paperwork so should I be worried to take my drone to thailand?
I took my drone to Thailand in October 2018 and did not need any papers to import. I was able to get all drone registration papers at the NBTC in Bangkok.