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Driving from Thailand to Malaysia

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Wow sounds like the bus or air might be less complicated...

but if I was on a moto I’d go for it.....

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This is why we always parked our cars at the Border Police Station, for 50 baht a day, and walked across.........hired taxi's or rented cars.........thanx for the post, I was thinking of crossing with a car, Naaah, think I'll park it at the police station lie the old days.

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I’d like to know the A to Z procedure for driving from Thailand to Malaysia - I might be dumb, but can’t find it here...


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

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There is a lot of information about this subject on Thaivisa. I've chosen to simply tell the story of my experience.
In Oct 2018 I went to Transport Office Phuket and obtained an English translation of my car registration. Must have.
On arrival Sadao I bought 3rd party insurance and the licence plate stickers.
Then I passed through Thai and Malaysian border control without a blink and drove to Kuala Perlis. I went to one of the car ferry company offices and was asked for the International Circulation Permit (ICP). I had no idea was that was and she advised me I needed it and that I should go back to the border to get it.
I went to the office of the other ferry company and they sold me a ticket to Langkawi and away we sailed. Haha, I'm so smart. Wrong.
A week later (in Langkawi) I did some research on internet and realised that an ICP was mandatory and that the agency that issues them is the JPJ (Malaysian Transport Office). I went to JPJ in Langkawi to be told that I must go to JPJ at the border to get ICP.
So, away I went with car to border (ferry 552 ringgit return). On approach to the border I was stopped by military who checked the car. I asked them where is the JPJ office and they told me it was up the road but was closed as it was Friday.
It was then that I decided to cross the border into Sadao and do it right the following morning. (I couldn't have caught the return ferry thay day anyhow). On arrival at Malaysia Immigration (northbound) he stamped me out of Malaysia and I asked "where is JPJ". He replies it's right there on the left. I thanked him and he said they are open now. Not closed as the boys back down the road advised me. I should have got my ICP then but stupidly did not.
At Thai Immigration drive thru I was asked for a document I didn't have so was directed to the Immigration office nearby. I drove into Sadao, parked and walked back and went thru Immigration as a walk thru.
The following morning I drove to Thai Immigration (southbound) and had passport stamped out and was asked for TM2 Information of Conveyance. I had no idea what that was so he gave me 2 copies of it. One to be completed and retained by him and the other which he stamped and advised me to produce to Thai Immigration on return. That was what was missing going in the previous day, I think.
Then thru Malaysia Immigration, then Customs check. By now I knew where JPJ was and asked the Customs Officer how to get there. He was very helpful and guided me (and my car) to the Immigration drive thru. What the hell! I told the Immigration Officer I just wanted to go to JPJ. He responded no problem, raised the boomgate and directed to park "over there".
So, into JPJ for ICP. It was issued for the maximum of 3 months (no money changed hands). He inspected the car from afar. Maybe looked at the tinting, I dunno, and bid me farewell. Now having passed northbound thru Immigration drive thru I was concerned about how to get back to head south. He advised to drive up to where there is a big duty free store short of Thai border and do a U-turn. So after doing so I was back at southbound Malaysian Immgration to try and explain that I was already checked into the country. He inspected my passport and proclaimed Salamat Jalan.
Down the road 1km I found a tent on the sideroad (you won't see from highway but it's on entrance to a shopping mall) selling the same brand (company) of insurance I had purchased 2 weeks earlier in Sadao. I asked if I could purchase comprehensive insurance as I only had 3rd party. She responded that I could not. She advised that foreign registered vehicles can only get third party.
That's my story. I'm now back in Langkawi driving my Lexus very carefully.



Hi - where? Where is “all the info on driving to Malaysia? Not here that I can find... All help appreciated...


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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 5:27 AM, Sydebolle said:

DNow how nice and easy under the umbrella of ASEAN and AEC2015. All this is a load of bull...

A Thai-plated car into Myanmar takes 3½ hours at Mae Sot/Myawaddy, given that all the paperwork has been pre-filed in Yangon, a licensed guide and pilot car is at the border to accompany you and the mandatory minder of the Myanmar Hotel & Tourism sits in as well. 

A Thai-plated car into Laos needs an International Transport Permit (violet booklet) issued by the Department of Land Transport and valid for one year. This, together with TM2 (in duplicate), TM3 and TM4 (being Information of Conveyance in duplicate, passenger list and crew list) needs to presented to immigration; then the Thai customs will do a „temporary import permit (for export that is, but it is the import form) which states with a red rubber stamp on the lower left corner, that if you do not return with your Thai-plated car within one month, then you will be fined THB 1‘000/day but not more than THB 10‘000). Upon all this you are leaving Thailand; the Lao side will issue a Laissez-Passer in green in duplicate stating the point of entry and exit - valid for as long as your visa is valid. Beware here, as if you leave Laos through a different border post than the entry point then you either state that upon arrival in Laos or go for „leave through any point“. Failure to do so results in you going back to the point of entry. Enter opposite Ubol Ratchathanee and leaving back into Chiang Rai province can go sour and you do the entire 2‘500kms trip back just to please the bureaucrats. 

A Thai-plated car into Cambodia is doing that, legally speaking, illegally as you would have to pre-apply for a permit from the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Finance (subdivision customs for tax exemption) and Ministry of Highways. Bottomline is that the Thai-plated cars remove their Thai plates and keep them inside the vehicle and depending on the border post you cross into Cambodia, you will be asked to leave the original blue car registration with the border officials.

A Thai-plated car into Vietnam - see Myanmar with the difference that you hardly get a permit for right hand driven cars and, technically speaking, you would have to pass for a Vietnamese driving license first (although a license issued by an ASEAN country is supposed to be valid in all other ASEAN countries; except Vietnam that is apparently).  

All this is more than proof, oncemore again, that there are by far much too many clowns and not enough circuses. The bureaucracy to cross into all four countries legally (as I did) outweighs the endeavours of the Transamericana by far and has absolutely nothing to do with Europe, where you get your car into 5th gear in Hammersmith (Northkap) and drive through 12 European nations to Capo Sao Vicence in the Southwestern most point of Europe - in Portugal that is! 

My goodness.  thanks for the post and the information. 

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So - great; can someone please give me the protocol and route from Thailand to Malaysia by SUV, on an A/Z basis. It’s stated it’s on this site, but I’m too thick to find it..

 

All help gratefully received...

 

in extremis

 

BB

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Hi! Thanks for your info. For the ICP, is it compulsory? Do you get it when you are processed into Malaysia? I plan to drive to into Malaysia via Sadao border, and am doing some research now. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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 Hi - I am currently in Malaysia now, having crossed the border a week ago. It really is a mission and you have to have your wits about you!

 

Firstly, you require a few documents before you leave Thailand, namely the translation of your blue car registration book into English which gets done at your local land transport office - takes a couple of days -  plus some copies of the TM2 and TM3 which are available on the Internet. These forms are pretty weird and appear at first sight to apply to ships crews etc but it is necessary to fill a set out for inbound and outbound journey. 

 

 The border at Sadao is big and fairly new although confusing as the signposting is extremely bad once you enter the complex. Firstly, we parked up and walked into the Thai immigration departure area which apparently wasn’t necessary as there is a drive-through booth for cars (although not immediately apparent) which we ended up going through on the way out. Make sure you have your reentry permits already, although you can buy them there if necessary, I believe. 

 

 The main problem arises when you try to find a place that issues Malaysian car insurance and the temporary number plates. We drove through the Malaysian customs and immigration points and were not asked for anything to do with these documents, and it was only when we were outside the area and formally in Malaysia that we realised there was nowhere to purchase them. ( there has been previous comments about tents on the side of the road, but there are absolutely none, believe me). We then drove back through Malaysian immigration and eventually got directed to the JPJ office  which wasn’t really easy to find. A friendly official there told us we needed the insurance certificate and number plate details before he could issue the ICP.  I asked him where we could get that, and he pointed to a bloke hanging around outside who it transpired was some type of messenger for an insurance company; we followed this guy on his motorbike - again out through immigration into Malaysia! - to a shop just down the road on the left hand side where a lady issued the insurance certificate and stick-on numberplates and also completed a rather detailed Malaysian form that is required by JPJ to issue the ICP.

 

All this took about half an hour, whereupon we then drove back - again! - through  Malaysian immigration to get to the JPJ office, after which the ICP was issued quite quickly. We were the only people in attendance both at the insurance office and JPJ, but I would hate to think how long it would take if there were a few people in front of you… 

 

 The backwards and forwards movements through Malaysian immigration barriers was easy enough when you explained to the person on duty what your problem was, and in the end - after about the fourth time! - they smiled and said they hoped we were now finished and could get on our way! One thing to remember though; make sure at JPJ you tell them how far into Malaysia you are travelling. If you don’t, you are given an ICP that only covers you for the border states. We are going as far south as Malacca and he therefore issued one to cover us for that distance. Luckily there is no charge for the ICP. The Malaysian third party insurance - valid for 30 days - and the number plates cost 140 RM.

 

 Just a point on the TM2 and TM3; when we drove from the Thailand immigration area we were stopped by a guy who asked for copies of these documents. I pulled them out of my file and he told me they should have been stamped at immigration. I told him that nobody asked for them there, and he just shrugged, smiled and waved us on. No doubt I will have some drama trying to get back in but I’ll deal with that then!

 

 Another point to bear in mind; as soon as you are in Malaysia, you must call in at the nearest garage to purchase a toll road swipe card called ‘Touch and Go’.  They do not take money on the toll roads, and  unless you are immediately going to start taking side roads, you will be at the first tollgate approximately 10 km from the border, so beware! The speed limit on the toll road is 110 km and on the normal dual carriageway it is 90 km. Absolutely no roadsigns, exit signs, etc are in English so It’s best to purchase a data card from a 7/11 for your phone/iPad as soon as possible.

 

 Petrol and diesel are far cheaper in Malaysia so try to cross with an almost empty tank and your pocket will feel the benefit - around 14 baht a liter.  The roads are excellent and the drivers slightly less crazy than in Thailand, although they do have a habit of driving right up behind you and sitting on your tail until you pull over to let them pass. 

 

 Just one last point,  although it is an important one; before I left Thailand I was extremely worried about the tint on my car windows. Malaysian law allows for 25% on the windscreen and 50% on the side windows,  and I couldn’t find anyone in Phuket - either a garage or an individual - who could give me any advice as to the current state of my car. Luckily, the JPJ guy didn’t come out to look at the car so I didn’t have a problem, and, having compared it with vehicles in this country, I think it is legal, but if you have dark tint you might well have a problem if you meet an uncooperative official. 

 

 So; best of luck! Malaysia is a brilliant country and driving around it a real pleasure - although at the moment it is suffering from a lot of forest fire haze - and we are thoroughly enjoying our grand tour around the country. 10 days down and about another 20 to go! 

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9 hours ago, Bogbrush said:

 

Firstly, you require a few documents before you leave Thailand, namely the translation of your blue car registration book into English which gets done at your local land transport office - takes a couple of days -  plus some copies of the TM2 and TM3 which are available on the Internet. These forms are pretty weird and appear at first sight to apply to ships crews etc but it is necessary to fill a set out for inbound and outbound journey. 

 

 The border at Sadao is big and fairly new although confusing as the signposting is extremely bad once you enter the complex. Firstly, we parked up and walked into the Thai immigration departure area which apparently wasn’t necessary as there is a drive-through booth for cars (although not immediately apparent) which we ended up going through on the way out. Make sure you have your reentry permits already, although you can buy them there if necessary, I believe. 

 

 The main problem arises when you try to find a place that issues Malaysian car insurance and the temporary number plates. We drove through the Malaysian customs and immigration points and were not asked for anything to do with these documents, and it was only when we were outside the area and formally in Malaysia that we realised there was nowhere to purchase them. ( there has been previous comments about tents on the side of the road, but there are absolutely none, believe me). We then drove back through Malaysian immigration and eventually got directed to the JPJ office  which wasn’t really easy to find. A friendly official there told us we needed the insurance certificate and number plate details before he could issue the ICP.  I asked him where we could get that, and he pointed to a bloke hanging around outside who it transpired was some type of messenger for an insurance company; we followed this guy on his motorbike - again out through immigration into Malaysia! - to a shop just down the road on the left hand side where a lady issued the insurance certificate and stick-on numberplates and also completed a rather detailed Malaysian form that is required by JPJ to issue the ICP.

 

All this took about half an hour, whereupon we then drove back - again! - through  Malaysian immigration to get to the JPJ office, after which the ICP was issued quite quickly. We were the only people in attendance both at the insurance office and JPJ, but I would hate to think how long it would take if there were a few people in front of you… 

 

 The backwards and forwards movements through Malaysian immigration barriers was easy enough when you explained to the person on duty what your problem was, and in the end - after about the fourth time! - they smiled and said they hoped we were now finished and could get on our way! One thing to remember though; make sure at JPJ you tell them how far into Malaysia you are travelling. If you don’t, you are given an ICP that only covers you for the border states. We are going as far south as Malacca and he therefore issued one to cover us for that distance. Luckily there is no charge for the ICP. The Malaysian third party insurance - valid for 30 days - and the number plates cost 140 RM.

 

 Just a point on the TM2 and TM3; when we drove from the Thailand immigration area we were stopped by a guy who asked for copies of these documents. I pulled them out of my file and he told me they should have been stamped at immigration. I told him that nobody asked for them there, and he just shrugged, smiled and waved us on. No doubt I will have some drama trying to get back in but I’ll deal with that then!

 

Hello Bogbrush! Thanks so much for sharing your experience in detail! I have a feeling that crossing the TH-MY border these days is not as easy as it was 2 years ago. Definitely not from what i have read so far! I got a lot of info from this post by Isaanman and also the current post which seems to be the most updated so far, until your version came out. haha! You should copy that and make a new post so others could search for it. 😉 

 

First of all i didn't know that translating the Car Registration Blue Book took a few days!! 😞 So thank you for this piece of info! 

 

My husband is Thai, so we will be driving a car registered under HIS name to Malaysia with our children. Do you have to leave your car a lot to process the insurance and permits? I am worried about this because we have small children with us. 

 

May I know how many hours it took you to finish with all the documentations at the border (including going back and forth to get the ICP and insurance)?

 

And to confirm, you do not need to get this thing called Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and Road Charge (RC)? It says at the website (https://vep.jpj.gov.my) that it is required for all foreign cars entering Malaysia but their offices are located at the South Malaysia which makes me think it applies only to Singaporean cars.... 😅

 

So in brief conclusion once you arrive at the TH-MY border:

(1) Drive through lane to be stamped out of Thailand, show TM2 & TM3 forms.

 

(2) Process into Malaysia via drive through lane?

 

(3) Find the insurance company to buy insurance & temporary car number plates (~ RM 150). 

 

(4) Go back to JPJ Office at MY Immigration to get the ICP (RM 150), specifying how far we want to travel in MY.

 

(5) Buy Tonch-n-Go card with top ups as soon as possible.

 

Do these steps sound about right?

 

Finally, I wish you and your family a happy holidays in Malaysia. Driving in Malaysia is much less stressful. I am a Malaysian. Whenever I go back and drive around the city, it always feel like really like driving in big lanes. HAHAHAHAHA 

Edited by Shu Ting

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Hi - glad to have been of help!  To answer your points:

 

A.   I would say the total time was an hour - 30 mins for the insurance and number plates, and 30 mins (maybe less) at JPJ. As I said, it really depends  if there are people in front of you, which could mean a longer delay. Before you go through MY immigration, stop and have a look at the duty free area in ‘no mans land’ - it could be that an insurance shop is there, which would save the in/out drama.

 

B.   You won’t have a problem with the kids in the car; at both places your vehicle is no more than a few metres from the offices.

 

C.   The ICP is free - in fact, there’s a big sign telling you that in the office: next to an anti corruption poster! The insurance/number plate - correct, about RM 140.

 

D.   The translation took 3 or so working days, in that we went on a Thursday and paid etc, and were told to come back on the Monday. That was Phuket, however - maybe your LTO is a bit more jacked up!

 

E.   Yes, Malaysia entry is totally drive through, although I recall you had to hop out of the car to put your fingers on the pad thing..

 

F.   I wouldn’t worry about the VEP/RC issue - maybe as you say, for Spore vehicles. The web site you quote is a JPJ site, so the guys should know what’s necessary and it certainly seemed just to be the ICP which was issued against the Blue Book translation/3rd party MY insurance/MY Govt Form completed by the insurance lady.

 

Thanks for your good wishes; we leave Kuantan tomorrow early, to get to Mersing for the ferry to Tioman for 3 nights, then across to Malacca for a few days, then Ipoh for an overnighter to break the drive to Kuala Perlis to catch the ferry to Langkawi, then.....Krabi for a rest before we get back home in Phuket, hopefully on 9th October. 

 

Drive safely!

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