Last Year (2020) I planned an overland Motorcycle Tour from Germany to Pakistan and India via Central Asia & Mongolia. This blog will help you prepare for all the documents that you should carry with you to have a hassle free border crossings. If anything is not clear let me know in the comment section and I will get back to you.
One of the most important documents for travelling is to hold a valid visa to enter any country legally. Every country has different rules and regulations for different passport holders therefore, it is very important to plan ahead to apply for visas in case you need it for a certain country you are going to visit. Some countries allow you to get it at the borders while others require you to have a valid visa before arriving.
While planning my tour I planned to ride for 9-10 months and hoping to visit countries like Iran, Russia, China and India which required to have a visa before arriving at the border for German Passport holders. So I applied for Iran visa online via their website and picked up in Frankfurt. Similarly, I applied for my visas of Russia, China and India by handing my documents and visa application in their respective visa handling agencies in Frankfurt.
Health Insurance is almost mandatory and you should get from a company of good repute to avoid any issues if God forbid you to have to get assistance in case of an accident or illness. Most of the insurance companies will pay the costs of transporting you back to your own country (country of residency).
In Germany with the regular health insurance, an additional International health insurance is valid for any international travel outside of EU up to 6 weeks and in case of longer travel plans, you need to get another insurance. I had one from Hanse Merkur. I had a good experience with them in the past so decided to buy it from them.
The Carnet de Passages is a customs document and guarantees the country you are visiting that your motor vehicle will be exported. It is accepted in several countries which requires you to either deposit on entering a country or show a valid carnet de passage for your vehicle. It is typically valid for one year but you can extend the duration before expiry by lodging a follow-up application.
I went through the website of ADAC Germany (Automobil Club) which issues the Carnet de Passage (CDP) and found the countries in each continent where you will need to have it to enter.
Needless to say, this is a very important document and you should get it in case you are planning a long overland tour to avoid any unnecessary problems at the border crossings.
The deposit depends on three main factors on the type of vehicle and its actual value at the time of obtaining a CDP.
I got my CDP from ADAC Germany prior to my Motorcycle tour. They typically check the value of the vehicle by looking at the online prices of a similar vehicle at different websites. I bought my bike (BMW G310GS) for 5500€ and up to 7,500€ deposit is 3000€ for countries like Iran, Pakistan and India that I intended to visit so I deposited 3000€ plus the fee which was 230€ as I'm a member of ADAC and my bike was registered in Germany. Looking at the ADAC website they do provide CDP to EU/EFTA countries registered vehicles also so if you are outside of Germany and want to get it from ADAC, just visit their website for further information (It is in English). I was told that I 'll get my depost back once I return from my journey and present the proof that my bike is out of the country legally, where CDP was used. I suggest you get in touch with ADAC by either calling them or sending them an email if you have further questions.
International insurance of the vehicle (Car/Motorcycle) is a must-have document and saves you a lot of money while crossing borders. When you buy insurance, ask them to give you an overview of the countries where it will be valid. Normally you will get a green card, that will have clearly marked names of the countries where the it will be valid. You must carry this green card to show at the borders.
Every insurance company provides a different list of countries where this card will be valid so you should closely pay attention if the country on your route is mentioned in it or not. I made a mistake as I thought all companies have the same list of countries and when I arrived at the Iran border I had to buy a new one which was quite expensive. And the whole procedure was very hectic due to language barrier so I highly recommend buying the one which has all the countries on your route. Some countries like Pakistan or Central Asia have no rules to have mandatory insurance and hence you cannot get the green card for these countries.
Although holding a valid driving license is a must, in some cases you might need an international driving license as well. None the less, it is good to have it with you, especially when your driving license is not in English. My driving license is in German so I decided to get an International driving license which costs only 20€ for a piece of paper where all the data is written in English. For driving license in English, it probably isn't necessary.
The only document that I was asked to provide is the vehicle registration certificate (knows as Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil 1 in Germany) which you must carry with you.
Too helpful thank you bro, we’re planning to visit Turkey on bike by road, is there any condition about the specification of bike??
Thank you Khurram bhai! No there is no such condition. Iran had it in 2018 and only allowed bikes under 250CC but not anymore.
How did you get a carnet de passage to enter Pakistan if the bike was in your name and you are a Pakistani citizen? Also the 3000 euro deposit you gave for Iran, did you have to pay it again for Pakistan? Or is it one deposit for the whole trip for multiple countries?
I clearly mentioned in the blog that I entered Pakistan on German Passport. I didn't deposit any amount in Iran. I deposit the 3000€ for Carnet de passage which is valid for all countries (Iran, Pakistan and India). With Carnet, you just have to show it at the borders of all countries where it is required and no need to pay the deposit. I hope your questions are cleared now.
Such a comprehensive information. It would be so kind if you can share the full expenses incurred in your entire journey.
Tons of love from India