Sunday, June 27, 2010


All of the major modifications to the bikes have been completed and now only require an oil change each and a new set of tires on my bike which I plan on changing after attending the Horizons Unlimited meeting mid August. So June was allocated to getting our paperwork in order.

Angela’s Canadian passport was due for renewal and I had just over a year left on my Canadian passport; however decided to renew it as well so that there was no chance of it expiring on the road. We paid the extra $ to get the 48 page passports, which will come in handy having the extra pages for all those entry and exit stamps as well as adding an Arabic stamp so that we can have the important information translated especially for Libya.
Angela also had her Dutch passport renewed a few months ago, so as an emergency can find some work in Europe if needed. My South African passport expired in 2008 and I never got around to renew it; however it isn’t going to be much good anyway.

Carnet de Passages en Douane:
Or Carnet for short can be thought of as a passport for your vehicle. It offers a guarantee to foreign governments that the vehicle identified in the Carnet, if granted temporary importation status, will be removed from the country within the time limit imposed. In the event that the vehicle is not removed within the time frame, the country may claim from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) all duties and taxes that would be required to permanently import the vehicle to that country. Using the Carnet is an alternative to leaving a cash security deposit with the foreign government. It allows free movement and unencumbered access between foreign countries.

The catch is that the countries that do require a Carnet for entry could require up to 300-500% the value of the  motorcycle. Yes, this gets super expensive quickly regardless of the type of bike you want to travel with. In the last year, the CAA have come up with a few more options than having to leave the required $ amount with them, which does get returned without any interest to you when the bikes are brought back to Canada. We decided to do the Bank Guarantee option and had our bikes appraised at $4,500 for mine and $4,000 for Angela’s bike; however the minimum value that is used by the CAA is $5,000.

As the Carnet is only valid for 12 months, and is not needed for Central and South America, we have arranged to have our documents shipped to an address in Buenos Aires, where we will pick it up before shipping the bikes to Africa where the Carnet will be needed.

Health Insurance:
After several hours of research and talking to several other travelers, we decided to do the following:-
• Try and pay for our Provincial Medical Savings Plan for 12 months.
• Purchase a 6 month health travel insurance policy with BCAA & renew it on the road before it expires.  This policy also takes care of medical evacuation to our home country if needed.

Drivers License and Vehicle Registration:
We had several copies of our drivers license made in color and laminated and can use these instead of our originals if we were to be stopped by a police officer wanting to extract a bribe for the return of our documents. We also got an International Driving Permit, though only valid for 12 months.
We had a few copies of our vehicle registration made and laminated as well.

Scanned Documents:
We also scanned and saved the following documents:-
• Drivers License
• Bike Registration and Insurance
• Passports
• Marriage Certificate
• Provincial Health Care Cards
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