Iceland Vehicle Registration Process & Requirements
Iceland has a lot to offer as far as views and travel. The island, Nordic nation features glaciers and national parks that draw visitors from around the world. One of the best ways to experience that as a local is to get around by car.
So here are some quick tips on how to register your vehicle in Iceland.
The first-world nation has a number of processes in place for vehicles coming into the country. Namely, that all vehicles are pre-registered and assigned a specific number before they even enter the country.
After the vehicle makes it through customs, it undergoes an mandatory inspection at a facility. Unlike some other nations in Europe, there’s no skirting by or driving across the border.
Before the vehicle is even inspected, the vehicle tax among other registration fees must be paid or the vehicle will fail the exam.
In general, the inspection focuses on the vehicle’s road worthiness. If anything is noted that needs to be repaired, the vehicle fails the exam and the owner must repair the vehicle. The inspections are an annual mandatory thing that all vehicles must have completed.
Also, insurance is compulsory for the all vehicles in Iceland.
If you’re shipping a vehicle to Iceland (or considering it), you can find more information about the process by clicking here. Among topics covered are the requirements and costs of shipping to the country, as well as popular destinations in Iceland.
Foreign drivers are welcome to drive on the roads in Iceland with valid licenses, though if they stay longer, they’re required to swap their respective licenses for an Icelandic one. Foreign licenses can be exchanged for a local one at the office of the district commissioner or a chief of police. You can get applications at the district commissioner’s office or from the office of the chief of police.
Drivers from countries that are a part of the European Free Trade Association will have an easier time with the process. That is, you’ll usually get a license with little hassle. Those coming from countries not a part of the association will first need to provide a certificate of health from a doctor. They will also be subject to tests to check their ability to drive.
Driving Around Iceland
While there are paved roads in the country, there is also a large amount of roads that are made up of gravel. Loose rocks that have give and are generally a lot looser on the side of the road. Mountain roads that you’ll find yourself traveling on aren’t made for speeding and drifting, so use caution and low speeds navigating them.
The same goes for bridges, which generally allow for only one car lane to pass at a time.
All this makes for longer road trips and longer times should be factored into trip planning.
Icelandic Vehicle Resources
Driving In Iceland - A resource for travellers and visitors that has tips for driving in Iceland and an entertaining video on the subject.
Temporary Vehicle Import - If you’re brining a vehicle into Iceland on a temporary basis, this link has a good general rundown of the process and what’s involved.
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.