Georgia border crossings and border permits

 A complete guide to crossing Georgian borders in 2024

Nestled in the heart of the Caucasus, Georgia is a stunningly beautiful country with so much to offer visitors. If your travel plans involve overland exploration, then understanding Georgia’s border crossings and border permits is essential. Learn more about the main border crossings open to foreigners in Georgia: Sadakhlo, Lagodekhi, Posof-Vale and Kazbegi among others. In addition, note that border permits are also required for certain areas that are considered sensitive or restricted regions. With these requirements in mind, visitors can navigate Georgia’s border crossings safely and easily while enjoying the beautiful scenery and warm Georgian hospitality. 

  • If you are planning a trip to Georgia by van, 4×4, motorbike or bicycle, our book EXPLORE GEORGIA will be of great help.
  • If you wish to rent a vehicle (4×4, van, motorbike or bicycle) in Georgia, you will find our recommendations here.

travel guide book georgia caucasus for 4x4, campervan, motorbike and cycling travellers

Map of Georgia border crossings

Below, you will find a map of the main border crossings in Georgia. This map is taken from the book EXPLORE GEORGIA. You can buy a printed version here.

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Entering Georgia overland : main requirements

There are very few requirements for entry into Georgia, especially for Europeans who (in theory) only need to present a valid ID. Corruption at border crossings are rare and customs protocol is usually quick and easy. The list of border crossings open to foreigners can be found below. Be aware that the list of open border crossings is liable to constant change depending on the geopolitical and sanitary situations.

You can enter the country with your vehicle without paying customs taxes for a total of three months. You do not require a Carnet de Passage en Douane (CPD). For a stay longer than three months in Georgian territory, a few options are available:

  • Exit and re-enter Georgian territory. If you do so, your countdown will be reset and you will have three additional tax-free months with your vehicle.
  • Temporarily import your vehicle. Customs authorities can swap your number plates with Georgian ones for a total of three years maximum. It is recommended that you seek assistance from a local during this procedure, because it can be long and laborious. You will need to go to the Rustavi customs office.

If you do not sort out your legal situation by the end of the three-month period, you will pay a fine upon exiting Georgian territory.

Main Georgia border crossing points

Last update February 2024

Georgia-Russia border crossing

Diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia have remained tense since the 2008 conflict and the war in Ukraine that started in February 2022 has not improved the situation. However, the security situation in Georgia remains unchanged and is no problem for tourists. However, it can change rapidly, particularly in the separatist provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We therefore recommend that you keep up to date with the latest news.

The only checkpoint open to foreign travellers is the Zemo Larsi-Verkhnij Lars post linking Kazbegi (Georgia) to Vladikavkaz (Russia). You will not be able to apply for a Russian Tourist visa at the consulate in Tbilisi. They only deliver 3 day Transit visas at the moment. If you need a tourist visa, you will need to apply in advance in your home country or go through a specialist agency. Note also that Western credit cards (VISA, MASTERCARD) no longer work in Russia, so you’ll need to bring enough cash for the duration of your trip. It is possible to get a Russian insurance for your vehicle immediately after crossing the border (in June 2023: 2300 rubles for 15 days for a 4×4). Travellers who have recently crossed into Russia say they were well received by the Russians and did not encounter any security problems. Join our facebook group Overland Georgia to follow other travellers’ feedback live.

Georgia-Azerbaijan border crossing

Since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan has maintained the closure of their land and sea borders for inbound traffic. However, there are no restrictions on flying into the country, and departing via land or sea is also permitted. Nevertheless, entering through a land or sea border is currently not allowed. It is unlikely this will change anytime soon.

Georgia-Armenia border crossing

Whether through the Bagratashen – Sadakhlo, Gogavan – Guguti or Bavra – Ninotsminda checkpoints, the border is open to international travellers and is not causing any particular difficulties.

Georgia-Turkey border crossing

The Hopa-Sarpi checkpoint is the busiest, but also the easiest. The road runs alongside the Black Sea and the border crossing is not difficult. The other two border crossings (Posof-vale and Cildir-Aktas) are less well known but are open to international travellers.

 Georgia – Abkhazia border crossing

The two Georgian separatist provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared themselves independent after the fall of the USSR in 1992. After years of tension and recurrent conflict between the separatist groups and the Georgian authorities, the separation finally became irreversible after the war in 2008 which led to Russia’s permanent military occupation of both territories. We do not recommend tourists travel to Abkhazia via Georgian territory, even though, officially, nothing prevents you from doing so. The area around the occupation line is dangerous. If you then travel to Russia from Abkhazia, you will not be allowed to return to Georgia with the same passport. Beware also that if you return to Georgia after having entered Russia through Abkhazian territory, you will risk a costly fine and a prison sentence for you will have entered Georgian territory illegally.

Georgia – South Ossetia border crossing

The border crossings between South Ossetia and Georgia are closed to foreign visitors. Access to the border areas with South Ossetia is regulated, so a border permit is required to travel on Routes 23, 24 and part of Route 1.

BorderBorder postCommentary
Türkiye-GeorgiaPosof-ValeOpen for foreign visitors. The crossing is open 24/7 for transport lorries and from 08:00 to 19:00 for passenger vehicles. Numerous renovation works are underway and, whilst there is no ATM, there are exchange offices.
Cildir - AktasThis crossing is open 24/7 for foreign visitors. There are no ATMs, but exchange offices are available.
Hopa - SarpiOpen to foreign visitors and allowing pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes and cars alike. This is the busiest border crossing, so there may be a wait. There is an ATM on the Georgian side as well as currency exchange offices.
Armenia-GeorgiaBagratashen - Sadakhlo
Open to foreign visitors.
Gogavan - GugutiOpen to foreign visitors.
Bavra - NinotsmindaOpen to foreign visitors.
Azerbaijan-GeorgiaLagodekhi - BalakanLand borders are closed to foreign visitors since 2020. You can only leave Azerbaijan but not cross in.
Tsiteli/Red Bridge - Shikhli/SixliLand borders are closed to foreign visitors since 2020. You can only leave Azerbaijan but not cross in.
Gardabani - Boyuk KasikThis border checkpoint can only be crossed by train. But land borders are closed to foreign visitors since 2020. You can only leave Azerbaijan but not cross in.
Russia-GeorgiaZemo Larsi - Verkhnij LarsAfter being shut for a long time after the 2008 war, this border crossing is now open to foreign visitors. Motorised vehicles and bikes are allowed, but not pedestrians. If you are a pedestrian, you will have to hitchhike or travel by bus/taxi. Allow time because there is often a wait due to the many lorries which cross this border. Attention : western credit cards do not work in Russia at the moment, so carry enough Russian rubles in cash for your journey. You can buy a car insurance immediately after the border: 2300 rubles for 15 days.
South Ossetia-GeorgiaAll border crossings between Georgia and South Ossetia are closed to international visitors. South Ossetia can only be accessed through Russian territory.
Abkhazia-GeorgiaInguriA visa is required to enter Abkhazia through Georgian territory. Beware, only pedestrians are permitted to pass through this border crossing. It is forbidden to enter Abkhazia through Georgian territory in a vehicle. Here is the procedure you will need to follow to obtain a visa:
1- Apply for an e-visa:
2- Print 3 copies of the confirmation letter.
3- In the 3 days following your entry in Abkhazian territory, you will be required to go to the consular service where you will be provided with a visa.

Are the borders with Azerbaijan open? How do I get a Russian visa? How do I get into Central Asia? We answer all your questions in the Overland Georgia Facebook group. Come and chat with other Overlanders!

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Vehicle insurance in Georgia

Since 2018, the Georgian government has required car insurance to enter the country. This measure is called “Compulsory Civil Liability Insurance of Foreign-Registered Motor Vehicle Holders”. You can buy this insurance upon your arrival at the border or do it in advance on the Compulsory Insurance Centre’s official website: www.tpl.ge/en

As an example, 30 days’ worth of insurance for a car costs 50 GEL and for a motorbike it costs 35 GEL.

Georgia border permits

Some border areas are subject to strict regulations regarding the circulation of people, especially foreigners. In these areas, a border permit is required. All the route  numbers below refer to the 24 off-road routes in the Explore Georgia guidebook.

 

Truso Valley

📍 Route 1 of the guide Explore Georgia

A border permit is required to go beyond the Zakagori military post in the Truso Valley. Please note that this section of the track, bordering South Ossetia, is level 5 due to a dangerous ford crossing (route prohibited for rental vehicles). To obtain this border permit, you will have to explain to the military that you want to visit the area as a tourist, and how long you plan to stay there. Present your passport and you will receive the border permit 30 minutes later (if the authorities are cooperative). The permit is free. You can find out more about the Truso Valley in this article on the Georgian Military Highway.

Vashlovani to Udabno

📍 Routes 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the guide Explore Georgia

This border area with Azerbaijan is very controlled. A border permit is required for Routes 7, 8 and 9. An authorization for the Vashlovani National Park is required for Routes 6 and 7. Finally, an authorization for the Chachuna reserve is required for Route 8. The procedure for obtaining these permits and authorisations is detailed below. You can find out more about Vashlovani National Park in this article: 4×4 itinerary from Vashlovani to David Gareja.

The authorisations for Vashlovani National Park and Chachuna Reserve are issued at the Vashlovani Visitor Centre in Dedoplistskaro. You must present your passport and vehicle papers. If you are renting a vehicle, check that the rental agency has provided you with these documents.

      • Admission: 5 GEL per person
      • Vehicle: 5 GEL per vehicle
      • Night wild camping: 5 GEL per person per night
      • Night in a bungalow: double room 40 GEL per night, triple room 50 GEL per night

For Route 7 (Vashlovani National Park), Route 8 (Chachuna Managed Reserve) and Route 9 (Iori Steppes), you can get your border permit issued by the border police in Dedoplistskaro after having obtained the authorisations at the Vashlovani Visitor Centre or at the Tbilisi border police, 12 Simon Kandelaki Street. You can laso order your border permit directly on their website by filling in a form and detailing your itinerary.

Please note that at every checkpoint, the guards will check your border permit, your authorisation, the papers for your car, and your passport. If any of these documents is missing, you will not be able to enter the park.

Mamisoni and Notsara pass

📍 Routes 23 and 24 of the guide Explore Georgia

these two routes border South Ossetia and require a border permit which will be issued to you in Oni. The Border Police is located on Baazovi Street  42.59144, 43.45217. If you’re doing both routes, make that clear, as the permissions are different for each. The permit is free.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to join our facebook discussion group dedicated to exploring Georgia. You will also be able to share your experience of the country and/or discover the photos of other travellers.

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4 Comments
  1. Hi 🙂

    Do I need a permission of Georgia if I cross the enguri border from
    Abkhazia back to Georgia again with a German citizenship?

    Reply
    • Hello, I invite you to ask to the Abkhazian consulate when you apply for the visa. Best regards, Olivia

      Reply
  2. Not strictly a Georgia question, but this spring I will be travelling to Georgia via Turkey on motorbike. I have checked with my insurer and they do not provide a green card or similar cover for Turkey. Mt arrival in Turkey will be via ferry from a Greek island and I’m not sure if I can buy insurance at the port. Do you know if it’s possible for a foreigner to buy Turkish road insurance online? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hello, you can normally buy insurance at any bordercrossing outside Europe. So I guess it’s possible. If you wanna be sure, you can ask your question in our facebook group Overland Georgia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/overland.georgia
      Best regards

      Reply
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