Search form

menu menu

Importing a car from abroad


I have a question about using foreign licence plates in Belgium after the six-month period expires. I've checked back through the old posts and not found an answer.

We arrived from another EU country (not UK) at the end of October. We have valid insurance cover for Belgium from an insurer in the other country. My wife will go back to work in July in the other country for three days a week and take the car. The vehicle is kept on a private road off the public highway.

Any advice as to whether we are required to get Belgian plates?


The easy way of conforming to the law would be to make a return trip to the other country before the six-months is up in April, and obviously it still has to be taxed and, if appropriate, submitted to a control technique in that country.
If you can't do a return trip before April and the car is always kept off the public road network, you would only be breaking the law when the car was driven back in July but that would only become a potential issue if you came to the attention of the authorities while you were driving back through Belgium - an accident, for example, because I suspect that technically you would be uninsured despite having paid for it. It is probably worth the risk. If the car can be seen from the public road I would recommend removing the numberplates until you make the return trip in July. As you may have noticed unplated cars parked semi-permanently on private land are a fairly common sight in Belgium.

Jan 22, 2020 21:22

The most important part is not the registration but the insurance.
If you are found to be unregistered you may face a fine; if you are found to be uninsured the potential problems are far more serious.
'We have valid insurance cover for Belgium from an insurer in the other country.' What exactly do you mean by that? Cover which you have obtained without giving the insurers full details of where you intend to drive and keep the car might be worthless and the fact that you have a 'green card' can be irrelevant.
Talk the whole situation over with an insurance broker and be sure that the company providing cover knows exactly what they are insuring.

Jan 23, 2020 08:53

Yes you must have Belgian plates.
You risk a rather large fine and you may receive charges.

Jan 23, 2020 09:35
Oppressed in Oppem

Thanks for the replies. The situation is a bit of a nightmare.

It took six months to get the Belgian ID card, although luckily I didn't bring the car over until near the end. Without the card, I couldn't get the appointment for the contrôle technique. Without Belgian plates, I couldn't get insurance here so had to extend cover in the old country with the explanation that we were going abroad.

Now I have gone through the formalities and have the pink form to submit. Everything fine but the insurer needs to sign it. And if cover is not valid in Belgium, there is a risk it may well not and I will be alerting them to our situation. All this and my wife is going back to work in the old country for 3 days a week from July and we will all go back next autumn permanently.

Jan 23, 2020 20:19

Maybe get your car back to original country and keep it there. Buy a cheap second hand car here if you need one or rent when you need to.

Jan 23, 2020 23:43

What nationality are you? No Belgian id card takes 6 months.

You don't need any residence permit or card to get an appointment for a controls technique, only an annex.

You have 6 months? from registration day to replate a foreign car, if caught driving a car after that not plated Belgian, you'll be in line for a fine.

Jan 24, 2020 22:59
Oppressed in Oppem

I'm British and It takes more than 6 months if you live in Brussels City (1000). I went directly to the commune after 4 months and was told that they was a nine month backlog. Luckily I moved to Oppem not long after and got the id card much more quickly.

Jan 25, 2020 23:59

You do not have a Belgian ID card then, it's very important to know your residential status and know the legal name of the card in your hand.

You need to replate asap.

Jan 26, 2020 14:46

Hi guys.

I have a question about a similar situation. I am moving to Belgium from Portugal, and I wanted to travel in my car. However, I didn't want to register in Belgium. Am I allowed to stay for up to 6 months, as long as I am insured? In that case, would it be acceptable to make a trip back to Portugal every 6 months, and that wouldn't be an issue? I can make the trip back to Belgium, and the 6-month timer would reset?

Jun 24, 2021 17:01