It has been two years since I wrote my initial blog series about tackling the Sadao border crossing from Malaysia into Thailand. My goodness, so much has changed this year, and how different things are. Please take note of the new procedure which I will detail in this blog post.
Crucial Documents Needed for Thai Border:
- Driving License
- Car log card printed out from onemotoring (This is crucial, you are not getting into Thailand without this!)
- Thailand 3rd party vehicle insurance. Best place to purchase these are at Changlun town, just before the Malaysia Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration complex.
- Thailand immigration cards, which you can get also for RM2 apiece at Changlun (you can get these free of charge at the Sadao immigration complex, but it is very troublesome now, much more convenient just to get these settled at Changlun so that you don’t have to leave your car at the Sadao immigration complex)
- TWO copies of the TM 2/3 conveyance forms for the temporary import of your vehicle into Thailand which you can download from this LINK. Best to print out and fill in these forms beforehand to save time.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have ALL the documents ready before approaching the border. It will save you a lot of hassle and trouble. Changlun town is really a convenient haven to settle all the documentation and to compose yourself before the big crossing. Just choose from one of the many one stop shops that line the left of the road.
Once you are ready, drive on and approach the spanking new Malaysian immigration complex at Bukit Kayu Hitam which is pretty much like the Causeway or Second Link. Your experience here should be smooth, just smile at the police officers on duty and pray that they don’t give you any trouble. They might ask you a few questions in Malay, but you can just act like a blur tourist that doesn’t understand the language and they will probably take pity on you and let you pass. (On this trip, the officer asked me where I came from, and I said Phuket, because I thought he had asked where I was going… hahaha)
After clearing the Malaysian side, you will head into no-man’s land. That duty free complex is still open to the left, but I would advise avoiding that place unless you really have a dying itch to buy stuff.
You will then pass by more police officers and then approach the ALSO spanking new Thai immigration complex at Sadao.
Now very convenient, you no longer need to park your vehicle and have figure out where to go like a “blur sotong”, you now just drive on and follow the cars in front… easy enough!
At this first building, when it is your turn, you will need to present the following items:
- Passports (all passengers have to get out of the car, even children). Make sure the immigration officer stamps the correct date and returns each passport with the stamped departure card inside)
- TWO copies of the TM2/3 conveyance form which will be stamped by them (one you keep, one they keep)
- THB25 for driver and THB5 for EACH passenger, to be paid as “overtime tax” to the immigration officer
After settling the immigration, please don’t happily drive off yet. You still need to stop at the Customs House to settle the temporary import of your vehicle. Please queue up outside the building at the metal railings on the left side of the picture below:
The things you will need at the Customs House are:
- Your Passport
- Your Vehicle Log Card
- TM2/3 conveyance forms
They might ask you a few random questions like “how many passengers do you have in the car?” or “what colour is your car?” so please be prepared to answer accurately.
After ascertaining that you are the rightful owner of the car, they will pass you a customs form which you will have to proceed to the next counter to sign and get it stamped. At the second counter, make sure they hand you a stamped copy of the customs form which you will have to keep safely and to return it to Booth 8 when you leave Thailand back into Malaysia.
After all this, we are done! There is no need to go into the Customs Building unless you have other important items you need to declare. You can get back into the car and drive off into the Thailand sunset!
This is part 4 of my 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand Blog Series, click HERE for part 5!
- Part 1 – 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand
- Part 2 – Getting a Grip
- Part 3 – Taiping Tyrannosaurus
- Part 4 – A Completely New Border Crossing
- Part 5 – First time in Hatyai
- Part 6 – Cantering Towards Chumphon
- Part 7 – Passport Panic
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