All drones must be registered by 9 January 2018 or you face up to 5 years in a Thai prison

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced yesterday that all drone owners must register their radio controlled device before the Tuesday 9th January 2018 deadline. Failure to do so could result in a maximum of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of 100,000 Baht according to Section 23 of the Radio Communications Act of 1955.

Source: Prachatai (Thai language)

See my blog post How to Register Your Drone for information on what to do.

Many people have asked me about bringing drones into Thailand. Up to this point in time, there have been no reports of people being arrested or drones being confiscated for not registering with NBTC. However, after the 9 January deadline, it will become illegal for you to own a non-registered drone. What we don’t know yet is whether they will ask to see your registration at the airport. Obviously I will update you as soon as I hear anything concrete.

There is some confusion about the two government bodies that are saying drone owners must register. Do we need to register with both?

NBTC is only interested in your radio controlled device. Maximum fine for failure is 5 years in prison.
CAAT is only interested in you having permission to fly. Maximum fine for failure is 1 year in prison.

From what I understand, you need to do both. But some people in the comments section of my previous blog post (see here) said that after they had registered with CAAT, they were told that their details would be passed on to NBTC. So, no need to do both. But, if you register with NBTC first, you still need to register with CAAT. And CAAT insists that you have insurance first before they will accept your registration.

It takes about five minutes to register with NBTC and it is free. It can take up to two months to register with CAAT and you have to buy insurance first. You cannot fly until you are registered.

I have disabled comments on this blog post. Instead, please go to the previous blog post How to Register Your Drone and read the information there. Don’t forget to check out the comments too. If you cannot find your question answered, then feel free to post it.