The establishment of the Nondhaburi Telecommunication Training Center on August 24, 1960 with academic cooperation from the Government of Japan marked the origination of KMITL. The training center became the Nodhaburi Institute of Telecommunications under the Columbo Plan, later in 1964.
As specified by the 1971 King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Act, KMITL was originated by an amalgamation of three technical colleges: Nondhaburi Institute of Telecommunications, North Bangkok Technical College and Thonburi Technical College. In the same year, the Nondhaburi Institute of Telecommunications, or known as King Mongkut's Institute of Technology at Nondhaburi Campus, was relocated to the district of Ladkrabang in Bangkok. The new campus was called ''Chao Khun Taharn Ladkrabang Campus''. The Nondhaburi Institute of Telecommunications became the Faculty of Engineering in 1972. In the same year, the College of Design and Construction located at the Bangplad district was transformed into the Faculty of Architecture affiliated with KMITL.
In 1986, KMITL became a legitimate public university under a legislation called ''King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang Act'', which regulates its governance, administration and operation. Like other public universities in Thailand, KMITL is a government agency under the supervision of the former Ministry of University Affairs, which was merged with the Ministry of Education on July 7, 2003. At present, KMITL, like other public or autonomous universities, is under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education affiliated with the Ministry of Education.
The name of the institute was derived from the name of King Rama IV. The royal grand crown seal has been graciously used as the emblem of the institute. The name "Chao Khun Taharn" has been used in honor of Chao Phya Surawong Waiyawat (Won Boonnak) of whom the heiress, Liam Prot Pitaya Payat, donated her own land to establish the institute. In 1977, the Faculty of Industrial Education and Science was established for offering fundamental courses for all faculties and for providing education and promoting research in science. In 1979, the Chao Khun Taharn Agricultural College, which was affiliated with the Department of Vocational Education, Ministry of Education, was transferred to KMITL, and became the Faculty of Agricultural Technology. The Computer Research and Service Center and the School of Graduate Studies were founded in 1981 and 1986, respectively. In 1988, the Faculty of Industrial Education and Science was separated into two faculties: the Faculty of Industrial Education and the Faculty of Science. In 1991, the Central Library was founded. In 1995, KMITL opened its first remote campus in Chumphon Province with 1,800 hectares of land in order to support the development of industry in the southern part of Thailand.
As information technology is of vital importance in our increasingly globalized and competitive world, in 1996, the Faculty of Information Technology was founded with the aim to provide higher education and research programs in information technology. In 2000, the department of Agricultural Industry within the Faculty of Agricultural Technology was endorsed to become the Faculty of Agroindustry.