Registering A Vehicle In Sri Lanka: Process & Requirements
Before we discuss the details of registering an imported vehicle in Sri Lanka, it should be noted that there are a number of limitations on what type of vehicles can be shipped to the island nation. For one, only vehicles that are right-hand drive can be used in Sri Lanka so if you’re brining a car from the U.S., you will need to have a conversion done before registration.
Additionally, most vehicles imported into the country must be no more than three years old (there are some exceptions). You should also keep the engine capacity of the vehicle in mind since you’ll pay more import taxes for cars with larger engines, especially larger vehicles like SUVs.
Sri Lanka Vehicle Registration Process
This is a simplified list of what you’ll need and there may be additional steps or paperwork need depending on the scenario. You should make sure that you bring any documents related to your vehicle that you think may be applicable. This includes information about your license and insurance in your home country, as well as any customs paperwork that is part of the transport process. Here are the steps to take once your vehicle arrives in Sri Lanka:
- Apply for registration & pay fee
- Pay road tax & obtain proof of insurance
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is issued
- License plates are issued
We have more information available on the topic of shipping a car to Sri Lanka on our international transport page. If you want an estimate of the shipping costs, or are curious about the limitations on vehicle imports, it’s a great resource to visit!
Driving In Sri Lanka & Motor Vehicle Resources
Driving in Sri Lanka is a topic you should know something about before trying it for the first time. In this section, we explain some of the reasons why and what to watch out for on the roads.
Driving In Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is not a dangerous country to drive in necessarily, but it does require some extra attention and erring on the side of caution. It is a much different experience that driving in the U.S. or more populated areas of Europe.
Motor vehicle drive on the left side of the road in Sri Lanka and they share the road with more than just other vehicles. You may encounter everything from bicycles to pedestrians to animals on the narrow roads in parts of Sri Lanka. Because this is the case, it’s very important to take things slow and cautiously, especially as you’re getting used to driving.
The buses in Sri Lanka are known to be a bit of a hectic experience, both for passengers as well as the pedestrians and drivers near them on the roads. Be very cautious driving around them.
Sri Lanka Registration Resources
Department of Motor Traffic - The site map for the Department of Motor Traffic has a host of links and resources that are helpful. Everything is covered here, from initial vehicle registration to getting a license and the forms you’ll need to do both.
Sri Lanka Vehicle Customs - The Motor Vehicle Unit of Sri Lanka Customs explains some of the important details, documents, and procedures you’ll want to be familiar with before importing a vehicle. A very good resource that answers many commonly asked questions.
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.