Drone regulations in Thailand (2023)

If you want to fly a drone in Thailand, you will have to take some hurdles. In this article, I explain to you the conditions you have to fulfill.

In recent years, the rules for drone pilots in Thailand have changed quite often. This creates a lot of confusion and not all the information you can find on the internet is up to date. I am trying to give you a current and complete overview of the legal situation in the Kingdom.

First of all, if you are caught drone-flying without the necessary permits, you face high fines and even imprisonment. Thai prisons are not fun!

For most camera drones, you need two registrations: First, from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), which handles the frequencies used by the drone. Second, by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), which registers all drone pilots.

So far it is not possible to complete the registrations before going to Thailand. This means you will need some luck to get your documents in time. In the following I explain to you how the procedures at NBTC and CAAT work.

Overview: Drone rules in Thailand

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:90 Meter (295,3 Fuß) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

CAAT: 0066 (0) 2568 8815

[email protected]

Registration of drones in Thailand

In total, you need three documents to fly legally in Thailand: drone insurance, NBTC registration and CAAT registration. You should have these documents with you during all drone flights.

Get insurance

The insurance confirmation should be in English and contain the following data:

  • full name of the policyholder
  • brand, model, serial number and weight of the insured drone(s)
  • validity in Thailand must be clear
  • insurance coverage of at least THB 1 million (approx. EUR 30,000)

Register with the NBTC

Before the Corona pandemic, you had to go to one of the NBTC offices to register. Fortunately, this process has finally been digitized, so you can at least prepare this step before your trip to Thailand.

First you create an account here. After your email address has been confirmed, you can enter your contact details and your address in Thailand. However, the actual registration of your drone requires a photo of the entry stamp you receive in your passport upon arrival. Therefore, you can only complete the NBTC registration in the country.

The cost of drone registration with the NBTC is about 200 baht and must be deposited at a Thai bank. A good place to start is Krung Thai Bank. The deposit of the NBTC fee cannot be done at all Thai banks.

If you fail to register with the NBTC and are caught by the police, you could face up to five years in prison or a fine of 100,000 THB (approx. 3,000 euros).

Register with the CAAT

You have to register your drone with the CAAT if it has a camera/recording equipment or – if it does not have recording equipment – weighs more than 2 kg.

You can only register with the CAAT once you have the approval of the NBTC. Since summer 2018, registration has been possible via the online platform uav.caat.or.th.

The relevant fields have been translated into English so that you should be able to fill out the forms quite easily. You will have to provide a lot of personal information during the process. In addition, you have to upload a signed self-declaration, a picture of the drone with the serial number on it and proof of your drone insurance. In addition, the CAAT requires a copy of your passport with the entry stamp. Several of our readers received rejections due to the lack of proof of entry. This means that you can only register once you have already entered the country.

Update: Since February 2022, we have repeatedly received feedback that the CAAT has accepted the registration even before entry and without confirmation from the NBTC. Instead of the photo with the entry stamp, some applicants uploaded a photo of their passport again and this was accepted. However, there are still other experiences. We still encourage you to try the CAAT before your trip and keep us informed about your experiences. Thank you very much for doing so!

After you have submitted the complete documents, the CAAT will check your application and carry out a background check with several security authorities to ensure that you have not yet committed any legal violations in Thailand. Since this can be very time-consuming, you have to expect a long processing time. The CAAT writes on its website that you will receive a notification within 15 working days. In practice, it can be shorter, but it can also take much longer. The good news is that if your registration was successful, it is valid for two years.

If you are caught flying without CAAT registration, you face up to 1 year imprisonment and / or 40,000 THB penalty (approx. 1,200 euros).

Frequently asked questions about drone rules in Thailand

I would like to answer the questions most commonly asked in the comments here:

  1. Do I have to register my DJI Spark / DJI Mavic Pro / … for my Thailand vacation?
    Yes, because these drones have a camera. You can find more information above.
  2. I am only visiting Thailand in transit and do not want to start my drone in the country. Can I get in trouble if I have no registration?
    There should be no problems. Customs are not interested in drones, and the registrations are only required for the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles. However, there may be issues if the authorities get the impression that you want to resell the drone in Thailand (for example, if you import the drone in its original sealed packaging).
  3. I am flying to Thailand in a few weeks/days and would like to take my drone with me. Now I have read that I have to register. What can I do now?
    You should take out drone liability insurance and collect the above documents. At the moment you can only register if you are already in Thailand. But keep in mind that processing your application can take weeks and you may not receive your permits in time if you are in the country for only a short vacation.
  4. How long does it take to register with the CAAT?
    This varies and also seems to depend on the number of current applications. You can avoid a very long processing time by submitting all documents on time. Please keep in mind that processing at CAAT will only begin once you have approval from the NBTC.

Further regulations for operating multicopters in Thailand

After you have successfully registered yourself and your drone, there are of course other rules to follow

If you want to fly privately and no camera is mounted on your drone, the maximum take-off weight is 2 kg. With a higher weight you need approval from the CAAT. Drones weighing 25 kilograms or more need a separate permit from the Ministry of Transport.

Commercial pilots need permission for their flight maneuvers.

Safety distances and flight bans

You have to keep a distance of 9 kilometers (= 5 miles) to airports.

You can’t get closer than 50 meters to people, vehicles and buildings.

You must not fly near crowds of people. Flying over cities and villages is not allowed. Also avoid government buildings and hospitals.

You must always obtain permission from the property owner to take off and land. In practice, we usually solve this by asking the guards for permission or by asking at the information desk.

Your drone must always be kept within visual line of sight.

Drone flights are only allowed in daylight in Thailand, i.e. between sunrise and sunset.

The Thai rules also stipulate that you have an emergency plan. This includes having to carry a fire extinguisher with you. We have not yet found out whether this rule is enforced.

Good to know: Flights in Chiang Mai must be generally approved by air traffic control because the airport is so close to the city. We have obtained the appropriate permission. But you should call a few days before so that the people in the tower can coordinate with their bosses. Also, for flights over the historic park of Ayutthaya, approval is necessary. The Historical Park Office grants the permission, which is open daily from 8:30 to 16:30. According to the tourist information, the permit costs 5,000 baht.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Thailand to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the Thai aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the Thai embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Thailand!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


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  • danai | 25.11.2021

    i live in Thailand and i want to fly my drone but I’m not sure if i need to sign documents. please help me

    • Drone Traveller Team | 05.12.2021

      Hi Danai,
      We have explained the procedure mostly for tourists who come to Thailand. There is more information on the website of the Aviation Authority. You might find details for residents there.

  • Lars | 29.01.2022

    Registration with the NBTC AND CAAT can be done online

  • Chris | 15.02.2022

    I have registered tor the CAAT first and had my approval through in just a few days. NBTC doesn’t have to be done first.

    • Francis Markert | 02.03.2022

      Hi Chris,
      Good to hear. Hopefully, other pilots can confirm that as well.
      Have a nice trip!

  • Hichol cyin | 17.02.2022

    I will visit Thailand for short time may be couple weeks, it seems my stay will be not long enough for registration, is there place may be I can rent drone? I could fly and take some pictures of my vacationing in Thailand. Or I still need to register as drone pilot anyway?

  • Sarah | 07.04.2022

    Hello, anyone can recomand an insurance company please ? A not expensive one? Just for the holodays. Thanks

  • jason | 30.04.2022

    I tried to register and it seemed quite complicated with the dual forms and all sorts of strange questions, then there is the matter of requiring multiple photos of the drone and serial number, but only allowing one 5mb image to be uploaded, they also rejected my application because I only had 1 months insurance plan, they seemed to think I needed a yearly one, even though I only spent 29 days in the country, I applied a month before I went and on departure day it still hadn’t been resolved, would be helpful if they simplified the process to a single streamlined online application, not really sure why it takes a month to apply when in reality it should be an instant approval like almost all other countries, but I know that its Thailand and even in 2022 bureaucracy is still holding them back

  • Marco | 13.05.2022

    How can I upload the NBTC “Arrival immigration stamp” if I’m doing it online, before traveling to Thailand?
    Is it something that I can avoid uploading and finalizing while I’ll be in the NBTC Office in Bangkok?

  • Charles | 02.06.2022

    Hello Chris,

    Did you need to hav your stamps of entry on the territory to register.
    It seems impossible to register only for holidays (3weeks) due to this step.


  • Dino | 12.07.2022

    Hi, do I need to register my drone below 300g? DJI mini 3 Pro with camera and battery plus.

    • Francis Markert | 13.07.2022


  • geoffrey | 26.07.2022

    hello, are you sure with this? because on dji site it says that under 250g it’s not necessary

    • Francis Markert | 26.07.2022

      Hi Geoffrey,
      Yes, I am 100% sure. DJI site is not reliable in this case.

  • Leloup jean pierre | 16.08.2022

    dji mini 3 pro have camera. all drone with camera must register

  • Kostas | 21.08.2022

    I own a DJI Mini 2. I went on vacation to Thailand for 5 days. Prior to arrival I followed all the procedures, got my travel insurance, prepared all documents and photos for Drone registration. Upon arrival I immediately submitted the forms and on my second day I received an email reply from NBTC stating that my “UAV’S RADIO EQUIPMENT REGISTRATION request is “passed” in the data validation process and Document successfully” and that I can proceed to the next step which is the payment of 214 Bhat (USD 6).Unfortunately the payment were pretty limited, it could only be done at a local bank office because as a tourist I don’t have a Thai bank account (in that case I could have done it online). That was a waste of time for me. I prefer to spend my time in photography than waiting at a bank to pay 6 dollars! The registration was a stressful very lengthy procedure with too many details. If your stay is short consider this payment delay for your Drone registration.

  • Enes | 22.08.2022


    Is there anyone who applied before going to Thailand?

    When I try to register my drone on the NBTC website it asks for an entry stamp which you only get by entering Thailand.

    Anyone with some experience with this?

  • Gabriel Miranda | 23.08.2022

    Hello, i need to pay the fee for NBTC 214 baths, there is someway via web where i can do that? I am currently in Koh Phangan and the only physical option is at Kasikorn Bank PCL. Do you guys know if exist something simple like paypal or web purchase system?

  • Steffen | 25.08.2022


    I applied for CAAT from home and it seems it worked, even though the status is still „new application“ I was able to download a document which is about approval for 2 years if Google translated it correctly…

    The NBTC however; yes you have to have the immigration stamp in your passport. Note that you can change the responsible NBTC office from a dropdown at the bottom of the application. Choose one with less waiting applicants.
    Got my NBTC approval after 1 day. For payment I asked hotel staff to pay the 214 baht for me – worked perfectly.

  • Gareth | 08.09.2022

    Please can you advise me what the CAAT mean by Registration of Home document that needs to be uploaded. Will they accept a utility bill or does it mean proof of stay in Thailand.

    Please can anyone help urgently as I have the rest of requirements ready to send.

  • Stephen | 14.10.2022

    Will they accept a English UK insurance company? – Or does it have to be a thai company?

    • Francis Markert | 17.10.2022

      UK insurance should be okay, as long as the contract inculdes Thailand.

  • Jenni | 22.10.2022

    Cost of CAAT? How much cost CAAT application/permit? What is your experience how much time approval takes?

  • Steve Perry | 28.10.2022

    I have applied for NBTC and CAAT, I have the NBTC approval already -job done.
    I see uou say CAAT application doesn’t start until NBTC approval is granted, do I need to send approval copy to CAAT or do they get it automatically..thanks

  • Dominique | 02.11.2022


    I’ve just got a “low cost” drone (ZLL SG908 Max) from Shopee and despite i checked deeply, i couldn’t find any serial number on it.

    How can I go forward in the registration process without the required number ?

    Thanks for your answer.

  • Sandro | 28.11.2022

    The hardest thing to do in this process is to pay the bill from NBTC, because we Farangs don’t have the bank connection in Thailand. If you have a Thai friend or even Hotel staff, they can help you.

  • Jason | 11.01.2023

    so my entire thing got approved just as i was leaving Thailand.
    I am re-visiting Thailand soon, and I am wondering if I need to restart over this entire process.
    Because, Insurance is valid for a year, CAAT certificate says valid for 2 years.
    NBTC is the only thing that seem to be expired, which was aligned with my visa-exempt stay duration

  • Harris | 12.02.2023

    Hey Steffen

    I am trying to apply for my CAAT application before I travel to Thailand. What did you do for section 4 and 4.1 where it requires your Arrival Visa information?


  • Jazz | 30.04.2023

    Am I missing something or does the CAAT site only allow a single doc to be uploaded per application? Or do you go back and upload again?

    Also, the docs can only be PDFs… how can I upload images?

  • Valentin | 09.05.2023

    i , I’ve been travelling all over Southeast Asia and I never had any issues with flying my drone, after I’ve booked my 2 weeks trip to Thailand I’ve found out about this complicated procedure for getting permits to fly my drone
    Done some research and this is my experience with CAAT , NBTC and insurance

    First you can find some Thai insurance companies online that will do your insurance and also they claim that they can do your registration for CAAT and NBTC on your behalf ( of course you have to send them all the paperwork for the registrations etc )
    I decided to not use those agencies because the prices are not that cheap around 150-190 US $ for everything
    So I’ve done the process myself
    I’ve purchased an worldwide 1 month insurance that cover the required liabilities ( it cost me 17$ for one month)

    For CAAT application it’s really a big pain as the English translation on the website it’s terrible, not much information on what paperwork you have to upload and there is only one Slot for only 1 PDF file up to maximum 30MB ,so I’ve completed the form and managed to put all the paperwork in one PDF file and upload it
    From what I understood You will need the following paperwork; photo of the drone , photo of the serial number, copy of passport, copy of visa , declaration form , copy of insurance certificate that covers all the required specifications all in one PDF file

    For NBTC the website is more English friendly and more straightforward as well you have different upload slots for each requested paperwork
    You will need the following;
    Photos of drone , controller, serial numbers, visa , passport etc I’ve submitted all the required documents but there is a slot for photo of the entry stamp which I don’t have it as I’m not in Thailand yet so I’ve put my visa ( that I’ve obtained it in advance) next day I’ve got an email saying that all the paperwork it’s ok but I need to do the application again and upload a photo of the entry stamp , so basically you can’t complete this application til you are in Thailand.

    So at the moment I’m waiting for an answer from CAAT hopefully I’ll get the certificate ( I’m a bit worried that might be an issue because my insurance is valid only for 1 month but I’m staying in Thailand only for 2 weeks)

    Regarding the NBTC I will do the application first thing when I arrive at my hotel in Thailand, they say it takes only 2-3 working days to release your certificate

    Hope this information will help others as this whole process it’s a big pain especially if your visiting Thailand just for a short period

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