Car registration


If you have purchased or imported a car, you now need to:

  • Complete the registration of the car with the Swiss authorities
  • Obtain Swiss license plates

It is only possible to register a car in Switzerland once you are in possession of an insurance policy.

  • Prepare the necessary paperwork
  • Obtain an insurance policy
  • Arrange to present your car to the cantonal vehicle authorities for a technical check
  • Submit all documents to the cantonal vehicle licensing authority to register your vehicle
  • File a COPY of the vehicle registration paperwork
  • Store the vehicle registration paperwork in your car

Need to know

  • If you imported a car, you must register it in Switzerland within one year of you taking residency in Switzerland
  • Registration takes place at the cantonal vehicle licensing authority. In addition to the paperwork, the car needs to be presented to mechanics at the cantonal vehicle licensing authority for a technical check
  • Vehicles from certain countries (such as the USA) may not be able to be registered in Switzerland without expensive modifications. It is highly recommended to check in advance before deciding to import your vehicle

How to proceed

  • Ensure you have the following standard list of required documents for registration:
    - Residence permit of the car owner
    - Registration form provided by the cantonal licensing authority
    - Proof of third-party liability insurance provided by Swiss insurance
    - Form 13.20 A stamped by customs on entry of the vehicle into Switzerland (only if car is imported)
    - Emissions certificate, provided by a local dealership (only if car is imported)
    - Original registration documents issued by the country of origin (only if car is imported)
    - Vehicle technical data, e.g., maintenance manual
    - European Certificate of Conformity provided by the car manufacturer (only if car is imported)
  • Remember to pay the annual motorway toll by buying a motorway toll-paid sticker from any garage or post office before you drive on the motorway


Complete support with insurance needs

Daniel Ahmeti and his team of professional insurance advisers at Helvetia are here to offer comprehensive insurance advice tailored to the needs of international people living in Switzerland.


Where to find help

  • To obtain an insurance policy contact an insurance company (see previous Step)
  • A car dealership or a vehicle relocation specialist will support you in procuring all the required documentation

For professional advice and guidance, and to avoid potentially costly mistakes, it is worth contacting a car specialist who has experience in these issues and who is aware of the legal framework relating to internationally mobile persons.


Let the experts handle it for you

Markus Häfeli founded Autociel in 2002.

Markus and his team of auto experts is here to advise you on all matters related to renting, leasing, purchasing or selling cars.


How much does it cost

  • Basic car registration fee, license plates and technical check generally cost around CHF 300
  • Road tax is charged according to the weight and power of the vehicle. It is an extra charge (or rebate) depending on the environmental friendliness of the vehicle

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