Before departing for the border, make sure you have a ‘car passport’. This is a yellow or pink book available at the Ministry of Roads and Transport, for the yellow book located on Setthathirath Street between the French Embassy and the Honda Dealership, for the pink book at their offices near Patuxay.
The border crossing is usually fairly free of cars early in the morning and late in the evening. When you arrive at the border, park your car in the middle area where the other cars are parked. It is necessary to exit from your vehicle and take your documents to the relevant booth.
If your car has a yellow ‘car passport’, and this is your first time at the border, you will need to take it to the ‘barcode’ booth. Here they will stick a barcode in your book. Then you are ready to go to the next section. You will see a row of official booths in front of you. This is where you must hand over your passport, work permit, Lao residence card and ‘car passport’. Your passport and “car passport” will be stamped. Then move on to the customs booth, where an “exit” fee is due. Your ‘car passport’ will be stamped one more time.
Proceed to the customs officer standing behind a wooden desk and show him your ‘car passport’. He will also sign your book. Last but not least, a police officer may check your passport to see if it has been stamped correctly.
If your car has a pink ‘car passport’, this means you have official plates. All steps are the same as for the yellow books, the difference is that you don’t have to pay any fees.
The Thai side of the border is similar to Laos. First you need to line up at the “registration booth” at which no fees are due. Then proceed to the immigration booth. Citizens of most countries should be able to enter Thailand for up to 15 days without a visa. Simply complete your entrance card and then produce your passport and ‘car passport’. An entrance stamp will be stamped into your passport. The Thai officials do not need to see your Lao resident card or work permit.
At the “customs booth” inform the person about your destination in Thailand and the intended duration of your stay. The Last step is to get your ‘car passport’ signed by the customs official.
Please be reminded that
– In Thailand cars drive on the left
– You need Thai car insurance (you may purchase it at the border or with J&C Expat Services)
– It’s compulsory to fasten your belts in Thailand.