The “Carnet de Passage”

November 6, 2013

What in the World is “Carnet de Passage”?!


If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and are planning to explore abroad, the experience can be an exhilarating one. You’ll have a variety of preparations to make to ensure that you yourself can travel overseas, but if you plan to take your own vehicle, or have it shipped over, there are a few more steps than just getting your personal passport. You’ll need a document for your car, called a Carnet de Passage. This customs document is essentially a passport for your vehicle and its use assures the country you’re taking your car to that you do plan to leave and take your vehicle with you.

The carnet de passage is not required in all countries. You’ll need a carnet in various parts of Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the Middle East, Finland, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Vanuatu and Denmark, to name a few. There are several South American countries that require the carnet de passage as well.


How do you get this oh-so-important document?

You make an application to the national automobile club in your country. In the United States and Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) issues carnets for overseas travel. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen and your vehicle is registered in the United Kingdom, Ireland or the Channel Islands, the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) issues carnets for travel.

To be sure that you’ll get your document in time for your trip, you’ll want to apply for the carnet (or vehicle passport) with a minimum of a month before your trip. You’ll have to submit an application for the carnet, with multiple photographs of the vehicle and two photographs of yourself (as the applicant).

You’ll also need to submit a copy of your driver’s license, vehicle registration and passport and pay an indemnity policy, deposits and a financial guarantee. If your application for a carnet is approved, it is valid for a year.


What does the carnet do for international travelers?

When you receive a carnet de passage, the document will save you from paying duties and taxes when your vehicle arrives, and in the various countries you may drive through. The carnet serves as a guarantee that the subject vehicle will be leaving the country you have imported it into. After you receive the carnet, you’ll be free to travel.

According to RAC, the document’s pages are made in three parts – when you enter a country, the customs agent will take the bottom third of the page; they’ll take the second portion when you leave the country and the final third is stamped when you enter and when you leave. You keep that last portion of the document.

When you return from your travel, you may have to return the carnet – with any unused pages or the stamped top portions of used pages – to the issuing automotive club. After the issuer gets those portions of the document back, they will refund your deposit and a portion of the insurance premium you paid with your application for the document.


Now that you have your car and carnet de passage ready to go, sign into Trekeffect, plan your trip and share it with your friends!

-April Bamburg

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

Book your accommodations

Let's face it.  Expedia, hotels.com (and all the other hotel booking engines) typically earn huge margins off of you.  You might think you're getting a deal, but you're not getting a deal.  Want the best deal when you book your hotels?   Of course you do! With Trekeffect you can get FREE access to discounted hotel prices and save a bunch of money.  


How does it work? Simple... 
1. Sign up for Trekeffect [FREE]
2. Click the hotels tab in the navigation
3. Search for the city you are visiting
4. Book a hotel and save a ton of money

Shop for Travel Essentials

Get all of your essential travel gear right from our store. We hand pick the best travel products. Get everything from luggage to camping gear and other travel accessories for your trip. 

Book your flight

Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world.  They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.  

Don't forget travel insurance

Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.

     - World Nomads (for everyone below 70)

     - Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)

Looking for the best companies to save money with?

Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!

Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported. 

Alternative Text
April Bamburg
April Bamburg is a freelance writer specializing in community news, travel writing, press releases and other blog posts. She dreams of traveling the world and getting lost in Italy, Turkey or even Scotland.
Trekeffect Hotel Booking Engine
Cheap & Luxurious Hotels From Around The World
Compare hotel prices in a fast & simple way. Book your ideal hotel. Get last minute deals and high-class service guaranteed.
>