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  • Writer's pictureRick

SG-JB Crossing: It’s a Breeze to use Auto-Gates at Malaysia Immigrations

Updated: Mar 6

Singapore citizens with valid electronic passports will be able to use the auto-gates (or electronic gates) at Malaysia checkpoints, the same way that Malaysia passport holders do, under the MACS 2.0 programme. The good news was announced just couple of days before Chinese New Year 2023.

However, there are some false information being circulated online that misled me to avoid using the new scheme on my first trip to Johor Bahru after CNY. After observing how some Singapore passport holders had made use of the auto-gates to clear immigration easily, I decided to go through the process of registering for MACS 2.0 and experience it for myself on my second trip there.

Note that there is no need to apply and pay RM30 for MACS (which is the original MACS 1.0) for Singapore citizens to use the auto-gates under the new scheme.

And it is really a breeze to use the auto-gates! The equipment used at the gates are very similar to those use in Singapore customs, except that Malaysia uses facial recognition whereas Singapore uses iris scanner. The fallback when facial scanning failed is the fingerprint scanner.

When returning from Johor Bahru on the same day that I registered for auto-clearance, I was through Malaysia immigration in less than 10 minutes (at around 2:30pm on a Sunday). Those not using the auto-gates need to queue for over an hour as the queue had reached the far end of the departure hall.

Singapore citizens can use MACS 2.0 auto-gates at the following checkpoints:

  • Sultan Iskandar CIQ (JB) - via Woodlands

  • Sultan Abu Bakar ICQS (Johor) - via Tuas

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (during peak hours only)

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (during peak hours only)

To use the auto-gates, a one-time enrolment is required. Follow these steps to enrol:

  1. Plan a day to go over to Johor. Within 3 days before the planned date of arrival, fill up and submit the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) registration form online.

  2. Bookmark the MDAC website. You will need to use it again.

  3. On arriving at Malaysia Immigrations at any of the above checkpoints, proceed to the manual counter for clearance and enrolling for MACS 2.0 at the same time. The officer-on-duty will be able to retrieve your MDAC from their computer system and automatically enrol for you.

  4. After your trip, you will be able to use the auto-gates to depart from Malaysia.

Important: On every subsequent trips, fill up and submit the MDAC within 3 days of arriving in Malaysia to use the auto-gates. Otherwise, you will need to queue at the manual counters.

Another thing to note is that minimum validity period for Singapore passport to enter Malaysia is now 3 months instead of 6 months. However, it is unclear if this new rule is across the board or for using the MACS 2.0 only.

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