The Ultimate Guide to Registering Your Drone as a Tourist in Thailand in 2023

Drone Photography Videography

Hey drone enthusiasts! Thailand's drone rules are like a rollercoaster lately, and not all online info is up-to-date. But fret not, I'm here to spill the beans on what's happening in the Land of Smiles.

Quick heads up – flying your drone without proper paperwork in Thailand can lead to serious trouble, think hefty fines and not-so-fun Thai prison stays. Now, for you camera drone fans, you need two registrations – one with the NBTC for frequencies and one with CAAT for pilot registration.

As the drone craze takes off, more tourists want to bring their flying buddies on holiday. But hold on – Thailand has rules for bringing and using drones (UAVs or RPAs).

NBTC's rule is crystal clear – all drones in Thailand need to be registered. Skip this, and you might face a not-so-cool five-year jail term or a wallet-busting fine of up to 100,000 THB (2850 USD). Tourists, you can bring your drones, but no flying until you've registered with NBTC or CAAT. This way, you can enjoy drone flights without legal drama. Happy droning, my friends!

Table of Contents

Now, let's dive into the step-by-step process.

Drone flying over mountains

Obtaining a Tourist Visa

Your journey to legally fly drones in Thailand kicks off with getting that all-important tourist visa. Here's the lowdown:

Visa Options

  • Visa on Arrival (VOA): If you're opting for VOA, be ready to tackle both CAAT and NTBC applications after touching down in Thailand. It's a two-step dance, folks.
  • E-Visa: Planning ahead? Great! You can apply for an e-visa online or in person. Check your eligibility at Thai e-Visa.
Obtaining a tourist visa in Thailand

CAAT Online Registration Process

The cool part? You can start the CAAT application from anywhere, even before landing in Thailand. Just have your visa handy and drone information for the online upload.

NTBC Online Process


Here's the catch – NTBC requires not only your visa but also the entry stamp. This means your NTBC application can only kick off once you're physically in the Land of Smiles. But hey, you can still prep all your docs in advance.

Pro Tips

  • For those flying in with VOA, buckle up for some post-arrival paperwork.
  • E-visa holders, ensure you check the eligibility and choose the right application method.
  • Have all your documents prepared in advance for a smooth online application process.

In the next steps, we'll dive into insuring your drone, the CAAT online application process, and the NTBC online application process. So, stay tuned for more drone registration wisdom!


Insuring Your Drone

Now, let's talk about safeguarding your drone with some insurance mojo before diving into the CAAT and NTBC applications. Here's the lowdown:

Drone Insurance Limit

CAAT requires an  insurance coverage of at least 1 million THB (approx. 28,500 USD), so make sure you select a suitable option.

Drone Insurance Options


You've got choices. You can either roll with a Thai company like FEIC (prices range from 1599 to 5999 THB per year, depending on coverage). They're cool, but you don't have to go this route.

Our Friendly Pick - Coverdrone

Coverdrone Drone Insurance

We found a gem named Coverdrone. Why? Well, they're super flexible. You can get insured for the exact number of days you need. Plus, they've got your back if you want to cover other equipment. Bonus: We snagged a month of coverage for around 6 USD. Affordable and friendly – our kind of insurance.

Drone Insurance Documents

Here's the secret sauce – save those insurance documents like they're treasure. You're going to need them for the upcoming CAAT and NTBC applications. Keep them handy, and your drone will thank you.

Pro Tips

  • Don't break the bank on insurance. Find a plan that suits your needs.
  • If you're all about options and flexibility, Coverdrone might be your new best friend.
  • Keep those insurance docs in a safe digital space. You'll be pulling them out for the next steps.

CAAT Registration

Alright, drone enthusiasts, time to buckle up for the CAAT registration rollercoaster! Follow these steps to get your drone officially on the map in Thailand.

CAAT Drone Registration Process Requirements Thailand

The registration process with CAAT, as mentioned on the website, should take around 15 working days. However, we received the CAAT approval in only 7 working days. The process is valid for two years.

  • Step 1: Get your paperwork ready

 You'll need a self-declaration form, and you can find the template here.

  • Step 2: Go to the Online Application Portal

Head over to the CAAT online application portal at https://uav.caat.or.th/index.php.

  • Step 3: Registration Form

Once you're on the CAAT website, register and fill out the online form. Here's the info you'll need:

    • Personal Details: Name, passport number, email, phone number, date of birth, age, nationality, and home address.

CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Step 1
CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Step 2
    • Drone Details: Brand, model, weight in kg, equipment list, and the all-important serial number (check your drone for this).

CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Step 3
    • Purpose: I chose "recreation and sports," and if you do the same, they'll likely throw in "Photography, filming, or TV program" automatically.

CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Step 4
    • Pilot Information: Add your details and, if applicable, the details of any other pilots. Specify if they're foreigners or locals.

CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Step 5
    • Insurance Info: Type of insurance (e.g., unidentified controller), policy number, insurance company, coverage limit in THB, insurance period (start and end date), and again, the drone's serial number.

CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Step 6
  • Step 4: Submission

    • Click 'Next,' and prepare a single PDF file with all your documents in order:
      • Self-declaration form (filled and signed)
      • Passport photo
      • National ID photo
      • Visa confirmation
      • Drone insurance policy
      • Photos of the drone and equipment, serial number visible.
CAAT Drone Registration Thailand Process Submission

Pro Tips

  • Stay organized – your paperwork is your golden ticket.
  • Double-check your details before hitting submit.
  • Be patient; it's a process, but we're one step closer to legal drone adventures in Thailand!

NTBC Registration

Welcome to the final stretch of our drone registration saga – NTBC! This step involves a bit more on-the-ground action. Find below how to tackle the online NTBC registration process.

If you're not in Thailand yet, no worries – you can still prep your documents. The catch? You'll need to wait until you arrive to upload that entry passport stamp and make the payment in person. Here's where you apply online: NTBC Online Application

The registration process with NTBC, as mentioned on the website, should take 5-7 working days. We received our approval in 7 working days (but that is also due to having to re-check the application twice, first time because I didn’t write the address in the correct format, and the second time because I had to remove the Legal documents from the application). This registration is only valid until your visa end date.

Step 1: Online Application Form

  • Create an Account

  • Fill in the online form with the following details:

    • User Information: Details filled for CAAT plus your occupation.

NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 1
    • Contact Address: Thailand address, province, district, sub-district, postal code.
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 2
    • Date of Possession of a Radio Communications Device: I selected "temporarily imported into the country" and input my visa and arrival details.
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 3
  • Information on External Flight Control Aircraft: 
    • Details about the drone: drone serial number, brand, model, installed accessories.
    • Frequency and transmission power (I selected both 2400-2500 and 5725-5850 for my DJI MINI 3 PRO).
    • Remote controller brand and serial number.
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 4
    • Purpose of Using the Aircraft: I selected "Hobby, Entertainment, or Sport".
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 5
    • Upload the necessary documents:

      • Passport copy
      • Visa copy
      • Filled and Signed Form
      • Drone photo
      • Drone Serial number Photo
      • Remote controller serial number photo
      • Arrival immigration stamp (this is where you need that passport stamp photo upload)
      • Points 3.1, 3.3 and 4 should not be completed
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 6
    • Agree to terms and conditions.

    • Choose the NTBC office where you want to submit your application (pick the one with the shortest queue).

    • Hit that 'Apply' button.

NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 7

Step 2: Pay the NTBC Registration fee

  • Once they approve your documents, you will receive an e-mail with a similar information to this:

Your UAV'S RADIO EQUIPMENT REGISTRATION request is "passed" in the data validation process and Document successfully
Remark:
The next step is to download the Bill Payment Pay-IN Slip from this link (and they'll attach a link for the slip).
For applying to pay the fee Payment can be made at Kasikorn Bank PCL or cross-bank bill payment via electronic channels.

  • Now, even if they say in the e-mail that the Payment can be made at Kasikorn Bank PCL, you actually have to go to Krung Thai Bank and pay the fee. After waiting for 30 minutes in the line at Kasikorn Bank PLC, they told me I have to pay at Krung Thai Bank.

  • For the fee payment we needed:

    • Cash: 214 THB (200 is the fee, 14 Tax)

    • Passport

    • The Pay-IN Slip (I had it on my phone and showed it to the cashier), which looks similar to the one below:

NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 8

Step 3: Get your approval documents

  • It took us around 2-3 hours from the moment we made the payment until we obtained our approval.
  • You will receive an e-mail with the resolution and steps to download your registration certificate.
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 9
NTBC Drone Thailand Registration Process Step 10

Pro Tips

  • Keep your cool; you're almost there!
  • Make sure your document uploads are clear and readable.
  • Choose your NTBC office strategically for a smoother process.
  • Pay only at a Krung Thai Bank branch.

The NTBC process can also be done physically at one of the NTBC offices. For this you will need to have copies of all the above-stated information, the proof of accommodation and to fill in these two forms: คท.30 and คท.32.

dji mavic mini drone

Flying Regulations: Responsible Skies

Even after successfully registering your drone in Thailand, it's crucial to remember that responsible flying is the key to a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some important regulations that every drone pilot must adhere to:

  • Registration Requirement:
    • Drones weighing more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) must be registered with the Minister of Transport.
  • Visual Line of Sight:
    • Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drone at all times.
  • Distance from Manned Aircraft:
    • Drones must not be flown close to manned aircraft.
  • Safe Distances:
    • Drones must not be flown close to any person, vehicle, construction, or buildings at a distance less than 30 meters (98 feet) horizontally.
    • A minimum distance of 50 meters is required from people, vehicles, and buildings.
    • Avoid flying over cities and villages. Stay clear of government buildings and hospitals.
    • Never fly near crowds of people.
  • Restricted Areas:
    • Drones must not be flown in restricted areas without authorization.
  • Airport Regulations:
    • Drones must not be flown within 9 kilometers (5 miles) from an airport or temporary airfield except with special authorization.
    • Maintain a distance of 9 kilometers (= 5 miles) from airports.
  • Altitude Restrictions:
    • Drones must not be flown higher than 90 meters (295 feet).
  • Permission for Takeoff and Landing:
    • Always obtain permission from the property owner to take off and land. Typically, this can be resolved by asking guards for permission or inquiring at the information desk.
  • Daylight Flight Only:
    • Drone flights are only allowed in daylight in Thailand, between sunrise and sunset.

These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and privacy of individuals and property. By following these guidelines, you contribute to a positive drone community and a secure flying environment. Happy and responsible droning!

Drone flying over landscape

Conclusion: Soaring Above Legal Hurdles

Congratulations, fellow drone enthusiasts! You've navigated the twists and turns of Thailand's drone registration like a pro. Now, armed with legal clearance and all the paperwork in order, your drone is ready to take flight and capture the breathtaking beauty of the Land of Smiles.

Remember, the key to hassle-free drone adventures in Thailand lies in meticulous planning and adherence to regulations. Obtaining a tourist visa, insuring your drone wisely, and successfully completing the CAAT and NTBC online registrations are crucial steps that ensure you not only comply with the rules but also experience the joy of flying your drone legally in this stunning country.

As the drone craze continues to elevate, Thailand's evolving regulations may present new challenges. Stay informed, keep your documentation up-to-date, and always prioritize safety and responsibility in the skies.

So, here's to smooth takeoffs, stunning aerial shots, and a drone adventure in Thailand that's as legal as it is exhilarating. Happy droning, my friends, and may your flights be filled with wonder and awe!

 

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