Switzerland Vehicle Registration Process

🇨🇭 Switzerland, (CH)

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Registering An Imported Vehicle In Switzerland: Process & Requirements

This page will cover the basic steps involved in registering an imported vehicle in Switzerland. As with any country outside of the U.S., there is a process involved in getting your car, truck, or motorcycle in the system of legally operable vehicles. In Switzerland, the process is not as complicated as it is in come other foreign countries.

Switzerland Vehicle Registration Process

Two of the more important things to consider when importing and registering a car in Switzerland are that you will need to provide supporting documentation and have your vehicle inspected. (The technical inspection paperwork is one of the documents you’ll need to get Swiss registration.)

After you arrive in the country and establish local residency, you have one year to register your vehicle and get local license plates.

Required Documents For Swiss Vehicle Registration

The formal documents needed to register a car permanently in Switzerland:

  • S. vehicle registration paperwork
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of insurance
  • Customs form 13.20 (there are different versions for new & used cars)
  • Emissions test certificate
  • Certificate of conformity
  • Vehicle information & manual

To ensure that you have all the requirements covered, contact the local Road Traffic Office (see resources at the bottom of this page) in the Swiss canton you will be living and driving in.

If you need more information about shipping a vehicle to Switzerland, we have a web page that details the process, offers an expected price range, and explains some of the finer points of the vehicle transport process! Contact us for more information!

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Technical Inspection

The technical inspection is to make sure your vehicle is both safe and operable. It includes testing the basic functions of the vehicles, such as head lights, turn signals, windshield wipers, steering, suspension, and brakes.

If your vehicle does not pass the technical inspection, you will need to make necessary repairs or modifications to make it compliant. It’s generally a good idea to take your vehicle in for a preliminary test before the official inspection to see if there are any issues. The preliminary inspection will allow you to have any repairs made before the official inspection.

Switzerland Import Taxes, Duties & Vehicle Registration Resources

VAT and Vehicle Duty

The value added tax (VAT) in Switzerland is applied to any imported vehicle that is less than six months old. The VAT is currently around 8% and there is an additional vehicle duty of 4%. You can forego these taxes for vehicles more than six months old, provided you do not sell it for one year. You must also import your vehicle as part of your personal items to qualify for exemption from the VAT and duty.

Switzerland Vehicle Registration Resources

Swiss Driver’s License - Information about getting a Swiss driver’s license, including the timeframe, as well as the office location and contact information for the motor vehicle department office in Zurich.

Switzerland Road Traffic Offices - Locations and contact information for local road traffic offices in the different cantons of Switzerland. The web page for each individual office also has other helpful links associated with driving, licensing, and registration.

If you have further questions about shipping a car or other vehicle to Switzerland, give us a call today at the number at the top of this page! Our staff are ready to answer your questions or offer a FREE price estimate for any shipment! Call us any time, day or night!


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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.


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🇨🇭 Switzerland, (CH)

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