2019 Drive to Thailand – Crossing the Sadao Border

Bukit Kayu Hitam / Sadao Border

Here are the latest updates on the Bukit Kayu Hitam / Sadao Border Crossing.

Crucial Documents Needed for Thai Border:

  • Passports
  • Driving License
  • Car log card printed out from onemotoring (This is crucial, you are not getting into Thailand without this!)
  • Print out of your car vehicle insurance, just in case. (I have never been asked for this, but others have had to furnish this)
  • Thailand 3rd party vehicle insurance. Best place to purchase this is 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.

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Look out for these shops at Changlun
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One stop shop
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Indicative pricing of documents at Changlun

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. This year, when we passed through, they seemed to be still working on some expansion plans. 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.

At the vehicular immigration counter, adults will have to scan both the left and right index fingers on the fingerprint machine so all your adult passengers will have to be prepared to get out of the car, or to be able to stretch their arms to the drivers seat to reach the machine. The machine is on a cable which you can pull into your car, but the cable isn’t very long!

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.

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Here there are some minor changes to the administrative procedure from our trip last year.

Before you drive towards the vehicular checkpoint, you will be stopped and your passengers will be asked to disembark and proceed to the main building to process their immigration on foot. Only drivers will be allowed to remain in the car as it proceeds to the vehicular immigration checkpoint. My guess is that they do this to speed up the rate of clearance for the vehicles.

At this first building, when it is your turn, you will need to present the following items:

  • Passports. 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 (The sign for this is still displayed at the booth, but the immigration officer did not ask for this payment when we crossed)

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:

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Queue up on the left side to process the import of your vehicle

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! You look for your passengers in the main building, get back into the car and drive off into the Thailand sunset!

Part 3 – Attempting to predict the best day to avoid the Holiday Jam


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Blog Menu

  1. 2019 Drive from Singapore to Thailand
  2. Crossing the Sadao Border
  3. Selamat Hari Raya
  4. Day of Rest
  5. Expectation Vs. Reality
  6. Krabi Krazy
  7. A Scenic Leisurely Drive
  8. Home Away From Home
  9. Sunsets, Beaches and Takeaways
  10. Off to Phuket Town
  11. Phuket Trickeye Museum
  12. Phuket Aquarium
  13. Naka Night Market Hit and Run
  14. Time to Head Home
  15. Hey Hat Yai!
  16. Last Stop Kuala Lumpur
  17. Brake Pads, Movie and Humpty Dumpty
  18. Flaming Lorries and Happy Memories
  19. Route Summary
  20. Concluding Thoughts

Blog Series

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