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I would like to rent a motorbike (scooter) from a private person in Indonesia.

What are the things I should watch out for regarding paperwork?

For instance, I have been told the scooter must be registered but I have no idea how to check that.

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Suggestion

If you cannot speak Indonesian, it is better for you to be always accompanied with an Indonesian you trust when making any contract. The hotel staffs might be the best choice because they can speak both Indonesian and English.

As giving tips is common in Indonesia, just give them about 25,000 rupiahs for a 30 minute task. It should be enough to make them happy. :-)

It is also better to mention the tips in advance so they get excited.

Main answer

Every motorcycle in Indonesia has both STNK (Surat Tanda Nomor Kendaraan) and BPKB (Buku Pemilik Kendaraan Bermotor) documents.

When riding motorcycle, we need to bring the original STNK and driving licence. Keep the BPKB at home.

As a result, when you rent a motorcycle, you must get the original STNK. You cannot get the BPKB because it must be kept by the owner. The STNK looks like the following figure.

enter image description here

How can you determine whether it is original or counterfeit? It is a bit difficult. Even though registered number written in STNK agrees to the number plate, the STNK might not be original. So what can we do?

The most important thing you have to remember is the person from who you rent the motorcycle. Just take a picture with him/her. Cheese...

Making a copy of his/her ID card is common procedure. Please check the photograph. Unfortunately, the ID card might also be counterfeited.

  • "Cheeeeese" very cheeky, I love it! Haha. – Adrien Be Jun 21 '15 at 7:03
  • @AdrienBe: Be careful when riding from Denpasar (South) to Singaraja (North) via Bedugul. The road is slippy (especially in rainy days), winding, narrow, up-down, and cold. – Friendly Ghost Jun 21 '15 at 7:39
  • and remember, never pay everything in advance... – Nean Der Thal Jun 21 '15 at 10:48
  • Do you have any information on who is legally required to pay for any potential damage to the motorbike from some accident, in case this topic has not been discussed/formalized between the parties? – Sebastiaan van den Broek Jan 15 '16 at 6:07

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