Carnet-De-Passage & International Driving License
Now comes the most important part of the whole trip i.e. getting the carnet sorted for our “Dhanno”. We had heard all kind of horror stories about the whole process, and were very skeptical about the outcome of our application.
Since we were approaching the flag off date, and knowing that carnet processing can take up to 6 weeks, we filled in the form and emailed it to RAC. Three days went by and we did not receive any response from them, leaving us with no other choice but to call them up.
To my surprise as I was greeted by a warm helpful voice, on posing the question that we have not heard back from RAC on our carnet application, it came to me as a surprise when the guy told me that they have not received any email. I immediately promised to cross check and send another copy.
Checked my “Sent” folder and did not see any issues there, emailed the application again but was updated by the RAC guy in few hours that he has still not received anything. RAC guy was really very helpful and assisted me in sorting this up. He gave me all possible information that he could and assured me that he was there to help me in each and every stage of the process.
After the initial processing was over, he called me and updated me that I cannot drive all the way back to India as one of RAC’s rule says that no one can drive into country of their citizenship if it was the last destination. However, I could accompany my wife for the whole trip as a co-passenger.
This information is not available online on their website or anywhere else. Only way I could drive was if I could get written permission from Carnet India. I wrote an email on the address provided by the RAC guy but I knew no one in India is going to respond in less than a week and that I might even have to call them up in order to reduce the turnaround time.
To my surprise, I saw a response the very next day granting me permission to drive into India provided I had an International Driving License. Phew, that was really a close call for me.
RAC guy also provided me with International License Forms, which me and my wife filled up and posted them to RAC. Each of these license cost us GBP 5.00.
After two more weeks, I got a call from the RAC guy saying that processing has been complete and a quote has been emailed to us. We were really skeptical about the Carnet fee as it can easily run into thousands, but to our surprise none of the horror stories that we had heard turned out to be true (in our experience) and we were asked to pay quite a reasonable amount.
Currently both the Carnet and the IDP’s are on their way and may reach us in a week’s time.
Update: We received the Carnet and the 2 IDP’s
We are really thankful to RAC for all guidance and help they offered us, and knowing that we are doing this Roadtrip to raise funds for two organization, they tried and made this whole experience as hassle-free as one can imagine… Cheers!
Carnet-De-Passage – GBP 1,362.00
2 x International Driving Permit – GBP 11.00