Crossing From Cambodia to Thailand

Discussion in 'Cambodia Road Trip Reports' started by simonm, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. simonm

    simonm Member


    I am in Cambodia and own a Cambodian registered bike. I'd like to take it on a trip to Thailand and am looking for advice from anyone who has crossed the border recently. I would probably be crossing at Koh Kong or Poipet but could use another crossing if some are easier than others.

    I have the ownership card for my bike but it is in the name of the original owner.
    I also have a receipt of sale from the guy I bought the bike from, plus his receipt from when he bought it from a dealer. This trail does not however go right back to the original owner whose name is on the registration card.

    Can anyone advise me on what the requirements are for taking a Cambodian bike into Thailand? I imagine the official rules and what actually happens at the border might not be the same so info on either/both would be welcome.

    I have been told locally I can transfer the registration card into my name for around $75 but this will take a month. I don't know how concerned the border officials are about whether the bike is in your own name.

    Also, I have a UK motorcycle license but not a Cambodian one or and International one. Again, do the border officials check your license when entering or leaving Thailand?

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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Technically the name on the vehicle registration should match the name in your passport but in practice this is haphazardly enforced. You might get lucky, you might not. Good luck!!
  4. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Get a copy card made with all the correct details as on the original, but your own name. Don't show the copy card anywhere except at Thai customs. They don't know it is a copy, Cambodian police and customs will know. You will get by with any valid licence as a short term tourist in Thailand. Remember the Thai side may ask you to buy local insurance for the bike at the border, if not available say you will buy it at the next town.
  5. simonm

    simonm Member

    Harry and Tony, thanks both for your advice.

    I've made enquiries about getting the card changed to my name and the prices quoted have been $200-250. I've seen earlier threads on this forum suggesting the price was more like $50 (plus a $20 or so extra in "unofficial fees" to get the job done). Maybe prices have changed or maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

    At $200+ I'd be better off leaving my bike in Cambodia and renting one in Thailand for short trips. It wouldn't be worthwhile paying to change the reg card so Tony's comment is very handy. Next time I'm close to a border crossing I could try my luck and maybe get through if they're not too strict.

    Harry, your suggestion is also interesting. Do you know of where this could be done and approx. cost? (I can message you privately if you prefer)
  6. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Try any of the bike rental shops, Lucky Lucky eg. They all do it as it allows you to cross borders while you wait for the real transfer to go through. They also make it clear it won't work in Cambodia, just tell them you want to go to Thailand, they understand the situation. I have done it myself while waiting for my KTM525 real card. It may seem fraudulent to some , but none of the details are wrong, you use all the correct details, it just saves the hassle of a long wait for the "real" paperwork. If required to show documents in Cambo , you have the old owners card and the paper trail to prove you are the new owner. Also if it is a real deal your number plate will be rivetted on to the bike and the rivets have a stamp on them. It used to be about USD$25 for the copy card, one or two days. Now, if you decided to take a non registered bike with a "fake" card , fake number plate, across the border it is up to you. The real transfer fee seems to vary with how good a customer of the shop doing it for you , you are. Costs more to get it done quick, the shop only makes the "unofficial " fees.
  7. simonm

    simonm Member

    Thanks Harry I really appreciate your advice. You've got me thinking about this. I am no wiser than a Thai customs guy when it comes to checking a Cambodian reg card is real so I could never be 100% sure a card is genuine.

    If I paid $200-250 to get a fixer/rental company to update the card properly they could still give me a copy card without me even knowing it. I know it's not strictly the correct thing to do but I think it might make more sense to go for copy card with my name on to use for occasional border crossings while keeping the existing card (which I believe is genuine) for normal use in Cambodia. Either that or just try to cross the border with my existing docs and hope to get lucky with Thai customs that day.
  8. simonm

    simonm Member

    PS - From your message below, do I take it that if I get the card updated officially my number plate will also have to be updated and therefore from the new plate having genuine rivets I will know that the ownership change has been officially registered and the new card is legitimate?
  9. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    The plate stays the same only a new card is issued. If the registration now is legit the plate will be riveted on. On the copy cards the bar code on the bottom is nonsense and a local can see it.
  10. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Also if you do the legit change you need to attend the office to get your photo taken for the card. The fee is usually to jump the que and get your photo taken, there are literally thousands of people there all trying to push in. There are many barangs have done it in PP , ask around so you can get it done right.

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