The Motorist Guide to using QR code on your smartphone to clear immigration from your car at Singapore land checkpoints

Published by on . Updated on 20 Mar 2024

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Since 19 March 2024, travellers entering or departing Singapore by car via the ICA checkpoints at Woodlands and Tuas can use QR codes in lieu of passports for faster and easier immigration clearance.  

The Woodlands Causeway, which continues to be more heavily used than the Second Link in the west, is one of the busiest inter-country land crossings in the world. The average daily volume of travellers who cross the Singapore-Malaysia border at Woodlands is 300,000, with an estimated 150,000 vehicles (including cars and motorbikes) also making the journey each day.

The QR code initiative by Singapore’s ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) aims to help travellers save precious time while driving/riding across to Malaysia (and back) and also reduce gridlock frustration for drivers. 

ICA estimates that using QR codes instead of scanning passports could save around 20 seconds for a car with four travellers at the checkpoint booth, and reduce the overall waiting time by more than 30 percent if most car travellers use QR codes for clearance.  

This contactless method also helps to maintain good hygiene for travellers and ICA officers alike during the clearance process, which would otherwise involve the passing of passports between vehicle and booth. Let us all never forget the scourge of Covid-19. 

Let us all also remember these tips when using QR codes in lieu of passports to clear immigration when entering/departing Singapore by car via Woodlands Checkpoint and Tuas Checkpoint.

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1. Brought your smartphone, but left your passport at home!

You must bring your Singapore passport along in your vehicle even if you have the QR code ready for ICA, because you will need to present your passport to the Malaysian CIQ (customs, immigration & quarantine) authorities on the Johor side of the border crossing.

2. Forgot to install the MyICA app beforehand!

Reduce potential stress en route by installing the app and generating the QR code before driving to Woodlands or Tuas for your road trip into our friendly northern neighbour.  

3. Didn’t check that your smartphone is working normally!

ICA’s digital initiative to make our cross-border journeys more comfortable and convenient needs a smartphone, of course. Therefore, you should ensure that your device has enough battery power, a fully-functional touchscreen and adequate connectivity (telcos’ 4G/5G coverage may vary at the far north and far west of Singapore). 

4. Wasn’t kiasu enough with the QR code generated by MyICA!

Don’t just rely on the app to display the all-important QR code to be scanned by the reader at the ICA booth. Take a screenshot as a backup before reaching the checkpoint and also share the image with your fellow travellers in the car, just in case. In fact, you can simply use the QR code screenshot to clear Singapore immigration - no need to worry about mobile network reception/reliability, app loading speed, and other possible glitches which tend to happen at an inconvenient juncture.

5. Tried to use the QR code for travel at Changi Airport!

The QR code function is currently only valid for car travel via ICA’s Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints. It cannot be used at the authority’s air checkpoints (including Changi Airport and Seletar Airport) and sea checkpoints (including Marina Bay Cruise Centre and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal). 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1710903400225 Combined[Photo credit: Facebook - ICA Singapore]

Read More: Travellers in cars can use QR codes instead of passports for immigration clearance from 19 March

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