Registering your vehicle

Are you bringing your vehicle with you into Switzerland? First of all, you need to declare it to customs when entering the country. If you've been using it for more than six months, it can be imported without paying tax or duties as part of your personal effects (see the section entitled "Customs formalities"). The customs officers will then notify your vehicle to the vehicle licensing agency (SAN) of the canton of Vaud, which is responsible for registering and inspecting vehicles.

A car or motor bike registered outside Switzerland may be driven freely in Switzerland for a period of no more than one year, provided that your foreign insurance covers accidents in Switzerland. Vehicles considered new when imported must be registered within a period of one month. In addition, foreign driving licences are valid in Switzerland for one year. You must register your vehicle in Switzerland and request a Swiss driving licence within those twelve months.

Licences issued in Europe and North America (USA, Canada) may be exchanged for Swiss licences without you having to sit an exam, provided they are still valid. Contact the Vehicle Licensing Agency (SAN) for more information.

Registration procedure
  • Submit a registration request to the vehicle licensing agency.
  • Take out motor vehicle liability insurance (see the section entitled "Compulsory insurance").
  • Take your vehicle for an official inspection. The licensing agency carries out the inspection and will arrange an appointment for you once you have submitted your complete registration file.
Documents to be provided
  • Form 13.20 A (Rapport d'expertise), provided by customs
  • Personal liability insurance certificate, provided by an approved insurer in Switzerland
  • Anti-pollution certificate, obtained from a tied dealership for your vehicle
  • Proof of registration abroad, original document, e.g. carte grise (France), Fahrzeugbrief and Fahrzeugschein (Germany)
  • The form "renseignements indispensables pour l'immatriculation d'un véhicule non homologué", obtained from the your canton's licensing agency
  • Proof of customs clearance (receipt), provided by customs
  • Vehicle technical data, e.g. maintenance manual
  • Residence permit (original)
  • European Certificate of Conformity, or exhaust emission certificate and noise emission certificate
  • The original postal receipt (confirming payment of the registration request charge), payment slip provided by the automobile service

Contact

Service des automobiles et de la navigation (SAN)
Avenue du Grey 110
1014 Lausanne
Switzerland

Tel : ++41 21 316 82 10
Fax : ++41 21 316 82 11
E-mail : immatriculations.vehicules(at)vd.ch

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