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-   -   Vehicle documents and border crossings - your experience (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-travel/vehicle-documents-border-crossings-your-66410)

viewsfromtheroad 24 Sep 2012 15:37

Vehicle documents and border crossings - your experience
Hi all

We are currently in Greece at the start of our 1 year trip to South Africa. In a couple of weeks time we are planning to take the ferry from Mersin in Turkey to Port Said in Egypt.

We recently rechecked all our documents and have realised that our V5 and international V5 state that we have 4 seats while our Carnet states that we have 2. Our vehicle has 2 seats (and had 2 seats when we bought it). We are concerned that the discrepancy between documents may be a problem and/or the fact that our V5 says we have 4 seats when we only have 2 may cause problems at borders.

We would really like to hear from people with experience of arriving into Egypt by ferry and crossing borders between African countries - what paperwork do officials want to see? How closely are the documents checked and cross-referenced? Do you think our situation will give rise to problems?

On a separate note, our engine number is not visible on our vehicle. Is this likely to cause a problem based on others' experience?

Many thanks in advance for your feedback.

Chris Scott 24 Sep 2012 16:25

I can't think the seat number will be a problem - just say you took two out to make room for stuff. You CdP maches your vehicle.

The VIN number is more important - that is the stamped metal plate at the back of the engine bay on the bulkhead - or on the front above the rad.

Some borders may want to see that and compare it to your V5/CdP

Your V5 may show an engine number as well, but I believe it's the VIN that counts though others who've done Egypt recently may know better. I would have thought it's somewhere on the engine block but mat be impossible to see.


Trumpton 24 Sep 2012 20:03

Certainly in Egypt they want to see the engine number (which is stamped on the engine block), they will stand on their heads in the engine bay to get a 'rubbing' of it, AND the chassis number as well.

To make life easier at the border I would suggest locating both numbers & cleaning off the grease, underseal & general crud beforehand!

Every time I have entered Egypt (whether Alex or Sollum) they have not been interested in the VIN


McCrankpin 24 Sep 2012 21:17


Originally Posted by Trumpton (Post 393760)
Certainly in Egypt they want to see the engine number (which is stamped on the engine block), they will stand on their heads in the engine bay to get a 'rubbing' of it, AND the chassis number as well.

Yes, I'd agree with that.
My motorbike experience is that the engine No. on my Yamaha is very difficult to see, hidden by stuff in the way, and needs a torch.
It's even more difficult to get a piece of paper on it to take a rubbing, but the customs man was absolutely determined to do so. He made about 3 attempts from different angles, getting a bit angrier each time, particularly as his hands were getting pretty dirty.
In the end he got half the number on a rubbing from one angle and the other half from a different angle.

So I'd certainly advise to clean the area up, and arrange some way by which the engine number can be reached with fingers.
Maybe stamp a copy of it somewhere accessible, specially if the number really is not visible from any angle or position. I'm not too sure they take a lot of notice about the genuineness of the marking so this might be worth doing.

At all the other borders down the east side only the registration number was checked, and then not at every border.

Peter Girling 24 Sep 2012 21:21

Bums on seats
As Chris says the number of seats shouldn't be an issue if the CdP matches the car. The only time it's been a problem for us is been getting insurance for Land Rover hard tops when border officials have insisted that because they had no side windows they were a "fourgonette" ie a van and so a commercial vehicle so more costly. A stern chat at the back of the portakabin usually sorted thing out!

What's your vehicle? The VIN and engine number shouldn't be sonars to see.

Happy trails,


Surfy 25 Sep 2012 09:30

My Toyota mechanic says, that on a landcurier 200 there is no way to see the engine number - without taking the car appart :rolleyes2:

They know my engine number only, because they could query them by toyota online system.

My carnet is without engine number - because i cant show them a number :(

cruiser guy 27 Sep 2012 08:31

What if the VIN and chassis number do not match as the case would be for someone who has done some restoration work that required a new chassis?

Should that person go and insist that the VIN and chassis number be recorded separately to avoid problems?

Surfy 1 Oct 2012 11:57

I will try to ask my mechanic - if they are able to set a number.

When not, where i could get em? Any ideas?

The bad thing is, that i have to remove much plastic each time - in a LC 200 there is no engine visible...


viewsfromtheroad 4 Oct 2012 07:28

Hi Peter

Thanks for your message. We have an Iveco Daily 4x4. We've tried on numerous occasions to find the number on the engine but can't. We had the front wheels and sump guard off the other day to fix a problem and still could not find it. The only person who's seen it is the mechanic who took out the whole engine (not an easy job) and annoyingly we did not photograph it at the time.


Surfy 7 Oct 2012 02:57


Originally Posted by viewsfromtheroad (Post 394955)
(...)and annoyingly we did not photograph it at

What do you want with a number, which you are not able to show somebody, without tooking out the engine?

Looks like we are in the same boat...

I still don`t found someone who want to "make" a number in my motor.. And i don't want to remove so much plastik on each border too (my engine is pretty hidden) :nono:

Honybadger 7 Oct 2012 17:40

Just an idea, but if you heated the number "sets" you could probably melt it into the plastic casings.
A lot of the time it's a case of showing the officals what they want to see rather than trying to create problems.
As far as restorations are concerned you can inform the DVLA or whichever body licenses your vehicles and have the documentation changed.

mustaphapint 8 Oct 2012 14:28


Originally Posted by Honybadger (Post 395377)
As far as restorations are concerned you can inform the DVLA or whichever body licenses your vehicles and have the documentation changed.

I would be very careful not to involve the DVLA in any questions, especially regarding a change of chassis number. I would always find a way of making the number on the chassis and the vin matches the documentation.
Go down the DVLA route and they might want to do a vehicle inspection and find all manner of things they are not happy with.

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