Thailand is surely a nation bursting with beautiful smiles, mouth-watering cuisine, lush green beauty and above all, roads that are fun-filled, scenic and refreshing to cruise on.
Thailand is connected to north Malaysia by land, and with Singapore by sea (south of Malaysia). This makes Thailand the gate-way and get-away for bikers from these two countries. Bikers are always geared up for the months of March and April, when the weather is just kind and right, to ride into Thailand.
Getting into Thailand is never really a hassle if one possesses the required and right documents. This ‘Kingdom’ is known for its ‘tourist attraction’ for the longest of time. In general, most riders into Thailand are Malaysians and Singaporeans; for reference sake, let us just refer to them as Malaysians. The requirements are similar across the board in terms of documentation:
1. Malaysian International Passport. Remember, the expiry date should be more than 6 months. Visa application is not required for Malaysians and other ASEAN nationalities. For other nationalities, you can check on the Visa requirement here: http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/thailand-tourist-visa.php
2. Valid Driving License. The Thai authorities might not check your license, but it’s a good biker’s habit to have a valid license, always. It is also good to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the Malaysian Road Transport Department or Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), for a cost of MYR150, and it is valid for 12 months. You can even plan your second or third ride into Thailand, during the 12 months duration.
3. Valid motorcycle’s Road Tax. A photocopy of it is acceptable.
4. Vehicle Ownership Certificate. When you are riding your own, fully-paid for bike – please carry with you the Vehicle Ownership Certificate, issued by Malaysian Road Transportation Department, verifying that the vehicle is officially registered under your name.
However, if you are still repaying the loan with a financial institution or motorcycle shop, the temporary ownership will be kept by them. You can get a copy of the VOC with two other documents:
a) A letter authorizing you to ride into Thailand – with your details – full name, Identity Card/Passport number, position, contact details and the signature of the person who is authorizing you.
b) A Form 49 – details of the financial institution/motorcycle shop with the company’s registered directors, managers and secretaries. Companies might be reluctant to give this to you, but it is still needed (unfortunately). Unless you obtain this form, you will not be able to purchase a third-party insurance coverage for your trip.
If you are riding a bike owned by someone else, then he should prepare a letter authorizing you to use his bike. The letter should include both your names, your Identity Card/Passport number, contact number and his signature. Also required is a copy of your buddy’s Identity Card/Passport. There is no need for Form 49 if your buddy isn’t serving a hire purchase loan.
5. Third Party Insurance. When you have all these documents, find the ‘INSURANCE THAILAND’ outlet. To the cashier, show all your documents for verification, and to facilitate in the purchasing of the third-party insurance cover (for less than MYR20)
With all these sorted out smoothly and correctly, the Thai authorities will require you to fill-in these forms, in addition:
a) TM.2 Information of Conveyance. Two copies of this with the details of your bike, with the dates and places of stay.
b) TM.3 Passenger List. Applicable ‘only’ if you have a pillion rider. You would need two copies, with information of yourself and your passenger.
c) TM.6 Arrival/Departure Card. Requesting the details of where you would be staying in Thailand. Do ensure that both the arrival and departure sections are filled-in.
It isn’t all that draggy and tedious as it sounds. If you have all the needed documents with the valid details and dates; the whole process might take less than 30 mins.
Head next to the Malaysian border checkpoint counter and hand over your passport. Upon checking and validating, the officer will give you the clearance.
Next, at the Thai border checkpoint, head for the Immigration checkpoint to have your passport and TM.6 card stamped (Free of Charge during office hours). Upon verifying, you will get back your passport and Departure section of the TM.6 card.
Your final pit-stop will be the Customs Declaration Counter, where you will handover all the documents to obtain the Simplified Customs Declaration Form (for less than MYR20).
Keep all your documents safely, for the TM.2, TM.3 (if applicable), TM.6 and the Customs Declaration need to be returned to Thai authorities during your departure. A steep fine of minimum THB 1,000 to maximum THB 10,000 can be slapped at you for failure to return the Customs Declaration form.
With all the documentation processes and procedures completed, you are now ready to cruise the Kingdom of Thai in your machine, care freely and blissfully.