You'll need a tour guide anywhere in Libya away from the transit route to Egypt.
The guide will meet you at the border and you'll follow in your car/bike. If you're going to the desert, then the first guide will hand you over to the desert guide at the start of your first piste - eg in Ghadames. The desert guide will be in a Land Cruiser. Desert guides are more expensive than "city" guides.
The desert guide then takes you round the desert and hands you back to the first guide when he's done with you.
If you're on your own on a bike the cost may be prohibitive. If you're a group of more than four then I think a tourist Policeman must accompany the group at all times (usually in the guides vehicle). You'll have to pay extra for this.
You get your insurance and arabic number plates at the border. You will have paid for all of this in advance to your tour company. You then change money at a booth on the right 100m inside the border. However, your guide handles everything for you.
We went as a group of seven people in four vehicles. This really made it affordable.
You have to really want to go to Libya to go through all the routines regarding Arabic translations of your passport, thumb prints, visas, organising guides etc.....
....but it is an amazingly beautiful country and the people there are warm and friendly. We loved it and would go back in a minute.
Last edited by reggwensie; 14 Jan 2010 at 18:02.