Going to Johor, whether it’s for a day trip or a longer weekend getaway, is among the top few choices for many Singaporeans. And why not? It offers a change of scenery, different variations of our local cuisine, and, more importantly, allows us to take advantage of the lower cost of living.
However, as the world’s busiest land border, with over 400,000 people crossing daily, travel between Singapore and Johor may not be all that quick and easy. As documented here, it can easily take a couple of hours (or more) to cross the roughly 1 km-long Causeway, especially on weekends or during public holidays.
Thankfully, that journey can now be faster—even before the completion of the Johor–Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS)—with the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS 2.0). From January 20, 2023, Singaporeans can also use the electronic gate (e-gate) facilities, which were previously limited to only Malaysian passport holders, at Johor’s two land entry points at the Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) – via Woodlands Checkpoint and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) – via Tuas Checkpoint.
Here’s how you can apply for the MACS 2.0 pass and clear customs (hopefully) in double quick time.
What Is the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS 2.0)
The Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS 2.0) is simply a form of fast-track facilitation for Singapore citizens who travel frequently between Malaysia and Singapore. This means Singapore passport holders with the MACS pass will not need Malaysian immigration stamps on entry and exit.
According to Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the opening of the e-gate facilities would benefit up to 50,000 Singaporean visitors who visit Johor for social purposes.
The e-gate facility will also be opened to visitors from countries categorised as low-risk, such as Brunei, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.
Who Is Eligible For MACS Pass
Visitors holding a Singapore biometric passport (e-passport) with a minimum validity of not less than three months or Malaysia long-term pass are eligible to apply for the MACS 2.0. Applicants must also be above the minimum height of 120 cm.
How You Can Apply For MACS Pass
Previously, all visitors were required to fill and submit the MACS Application form, which requires applicants to have the following items:
- Furnish one Passport sized photograph (a recent photo with light coloured background)
- Photocopy of supporting documents (e.g. Work Permit, Singapore NRIC, Form 7)
- MACS fee of RM30 (E-Payment only)
- Applicant must be present during application process
Before heading down to the MACS Counter at the IRDA office (as stated below), applicants are required to make an online appointment. A completed MACS application will be processed on the same working day.
However, for visitors holding a Singapore biometric passport, this is no longer required. Instead, visitors can enrol for the MACS 2.0 pass for free directly at the Malaysian immigration counter.
Singaporeans, like all travellers, are required to submit their Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) online within 3 days prior to the date of arrival in CIQ BSI and CIQ KSAB. To enrol, applicants must verify their particulars one time at the manual immigration counter before they can use the Malaysia automated facilities on their subsequent visits.
What To Do After Registration
Even after signing up, visitors from Singapore still have to fill and submit the MDAC online within 3 days prior to arrival for every visit. However, this time you can skip the manual immigration counters and breeze through using the e-gate facilities.
Here’s an infographic that summarises the steps to apply for the MACS 2.0 Pass:
This article was originally published on 17 March 2023 and updated with new information.
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