The Vehicle Registration Process In Bhutan
When you go to register a vehicle in the Bhutan, you think about the Himalayas nearby and the potential sightseeing that can be done. When you go to register a car in Bhutan, keep in mind that drivers are required to drive on the left-hand side of the road.
There are a few other things to keep in mind but here the first tips you need to register your car.
Registering Your Vehicle
It’s important to note that only new cars can be registered with the government of Bhutan. Used or any other vehicle considered second-hand cannot be registered in the country. Vehicles imported into the country must also be registered within 15 days of clearing customs for the country. Vehicles exceeding that limit will be subject to fines.
New vehicles to be registered in the country should be brought in for a physical inspection first before moving on to an inspection for road fitness. The minimum age to drive is 18 in Bhutan.
Here’s a list of other things to keep in mind:
- An application form completed in its fullest
- A passport sized photo
- A copy of an identification card
- An import license for your vehicle since it was brought from outside the nation
- An emissions certificate
- An invoice or certificate of ownership
Applications can be obtained at and submitted to the Road Safety and Transportation Authority. There is also a nominal fee of 145 Bhutanese Ngultrum for the registration fee. Bhutanese licenses are also good for driving in India.
If shipping a car to Bhutan is on your radar and you need some insight or have questions, we have more information available on our overseas shipping page. As always, we offer FREE cost estimates to all interested parties and for any type of vehicle.
Traffic Tips & Road Conditions | Driving In Bhutan
Road conditions in the country are poor at best. Roads range from mountainous terrain to dirt rubble, with little to no maintenance. Mountainside roads are feature steep drop offs and blind curves that prevent you from seeing any incoming vehicles.
Inclement weather can bring down boulders and landslides that can block the road with no warning. Urban areas of the country feature better roads than the rural parts of the nation. Tourists are not generally allowed to drive in the country and are required to book vacations through tour guides and drivers. While it’s possible, tourists can find it difficult to rent a car.
Insurance isn’t a mandate in the country. Accidents that occur often take hours to clear up as police need to decide who is at fault before any debris or damaged vehicles can be move. That results in lanes being blocked while everyone waits for authorities to arrive.
Because of the road conditions, speeds rarely go faster than 40 kph, or 24 mph. Vehicles driving uphill have the right of way and vehicles driving downhill must yield to them. Pedestrians have the right of way to any vehicle.
Resources For Bhutan Vehicles & Drivers
Road and Safety Transportation Authority - The government portal for Bhutan that has a wealth of information, including the steps and processes for registering a vehicle.
Rules Of The Road - A short rundown of the driving rules of Bhutan, including laws, precautions, and best practices.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.