Motorcycle Travel

Can You Take an Indian-Registered or Foreign Vehicle to Pakistan?

I wanted to take my Indian-bought and registered Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle to Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border.

So I rode to the Attari-Wagah border Customs office to find out if it was possible because there was no information online!

Here is what I found out…

Can you take an Indian-bought vehicle to Pakistan?

Me in Royal Enfield Motorcycle Gear. Photo © Karl Rock.
My Royal Enfield Himalayan and I in the beautiful mountains of India.

The short answer is no. Indian-bought and registered vehicles cannot cross the border.

I asked both Indian and Pakistani Customs directly on both sides of the border. Neither could tell me exactly why I couldn’t. All they could say to me was that it’s not allowed.

However, you can take an Indian-made bike, like a Royal Enfield, across the border if it’s registered in another country where Carnet De Passages are available through your local automobile association.

If you want to rent a motorcycle in India, here’s my guide.

What vehicles can you take across the Attari-Wagah border?

However, you can take foreign-registered vehicles across the Attari-Wagah border as long as you have a carnet de passages.

You must have the carnet – I asked Indian Customs if there was any other way, and there’s not.

You definitely need a carnet to enter India or Pakistan with your foreign motorcycle.

The Indian Automobile Association won’t even issue carnets for Indian motorcycles going to Pakistan. They didn’t even have any carnet forms in stock when I enquired! 2 months later, they still hadn’t restocked (the forms come from France).

So, if you want to do a motorcycle tour through Pakistan, leave your Indian-registered bike at home, cross the border on foot, take the bus to Islamabad, and rent a motorcycle there (Lahore doesn’t have good rental options).

Karl Rock and Honda Cb150 in Pakistan
I ended up renting this Honda CB 150F in Islamabad. I’ve written a post on the costs, bike options, and process of renting a motorcycle in Pakistan.

Procedure to take a foreign motorcycle across the Attari-Wagah border

Karl Rock at the Atari-Wagah Border in India.
The entrance to enter the Passenger Terminal on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border.

At the Attari-Wagah border (Indian side), you take a left at the Passenger Terminal sign and enter with your motorcycle.

At the gate, they’ll log your motorcycle entrance as well at the entrance to the Passenger Terminal.

Park your bike outside the Passenger Terminal. Then go through Immigration.

After immigration, you’ll probably be forced to take the Polio vaccine. It’s a bitter-tasting drop they put on your tongue. They’ll then issue you a certificate so you can return to India via the border.

When you get to Customs, inform them you have a motorcycle, and they’ll send someone to fetch it for checking. That’s it!

This is the most common bike you’ll find in Pakistan. I suggest renting at least a Suzuki GS150, or, better yet, the more comfortable Honda CB150.

If you’re considering taking your motorcycle by train in India, I’ve written a complete guide on how to do it and the risks involved.

If this post helped, please leave a comment.

By Karl Rock

Karl Rock, is a Hindi speaking Kiwi ex-pat who take viewers behind the scenes of incredible India and its neighbours. He has visited every state and union territory in India, and its culturally similar neighbours – Pakistan and Bangladesh, and aims to make others fall in love with India and the subcontinent.

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