06 Aug, 2009
Ukrainian Border Ordeal: Part Two
Posted by: Scott In: The Rally
Why couldn’t our car accompany us in? Why, we didn’t have a passport for the car of course! It turns out that all cars registered in this section of the world receive a card that allows them to drive through other countries. As the car is a US car and also registered in the US, and because this ‘car passport’ doesn’t exist in the US, we didn’t possess one.
The border control officer called me into his office. “This is problem.” he stated. “You cannot take care into Ukraine.” I spent a long bit of time explaining how in the US your original car title and registration accomplishes the same thing. He looked at them and didn’t believe me. “Is this constant? How can I tell this not copy?”. He had a point. It looks like anyone could have printed either the title or the registration on a home computer. I reiterated that it was real and that in the US this was as valid as the car passport is in the EU. He called other officers over and asked their opinions. Some were incredulous that this alone could suffice in the US, some thought there was no problem.
Onto the next problem: there’s no front license plate on the car. Everyone has a front plate over here. Why were we driving without a front license plate? I had to explain that every state in the US is different and that Michigan doesn’t issue front plates. “In Ukraine only gangsters have no front plate.” they stated. Duly noted guys, thanks.
“Do you have your bill of sale?” he asked. “Yes.” “The original?” “No, but I have a copy…” “Show me” he commanded. “Do you have the shipping papers with you?” he asks again. “Yes.” “Show me.” “What are you doing with the car?” “Well, we are driving through your country and then going to Mongolia. Once we’re there we are donating the car to charity.” we reply. “So you’re dropping it off in Mongolia?” “Yes.” we reiterate. “That’s not possible.” he stated matter-of-factly.