Question: I'm considering trying to enter without carnet. Can I be sure of entering with my car at any border? Has anyone ever been turned away?
I'll be entering either at Dogharoon (Islam Qala) or Pol (Gudurlom), neither of which see much tourist traffic, unlike the main borders at Bazargan and Zahedan.
Is the entry permit they give you in the absence of a carnet a real document, or just something made up for a big bribe? Is there a maximum period for which it may be used? Is it extendable?
Answer: The Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is a customs document that identifies a driver's motor vehicle. Many people drive to Iran via the borders. This requires a Carnet De Passage unless you wish to pay import tax. A Carnet can be acquired from your local drivers association. An international driver's license with translation into Farsi is highly recommended. Don’t count on chance and unreliable sources.
Petrol stations can be found on the outskirts of all cities and towns and in car-filled Iran, a mechanic is never far away. The often ignored road rules state that you must drive on the right.
Islam Qala, the only legal border crossing into Afghanistan from Iran, is a border town in the west of Afghanistan. It is the official port of entry from neighboring Taybad, Iran.
Herat town itself is relatively safe by Afghanistan's standards but the surrounding countryside is extremely dangerous.
The highway between Herat and the border crossing at Islam Qala (Taybad in Iran) has recently been upgraded, allowing a quick transit.