Before driving a second-hand motor vehicle on public highways for the first time, buyers must register the vehicle in their own name and obtain a registration certificate from the National Society of Automotive Traffic (Société nationale de circulation automobile – SNCA).
There are a number of administrative procedures to be carried out with various organisations. These must take place in a specific order:
- applying for a registration number (if necessary);
- applying for a registration certificate for a road vehicle;
- taking out a civil liability insurance policy;
- customs clearance of the vehicle;
- paying the tax stamp;
- filing the administrative record with the SNCA.
Who is concerned
Anyone who buys a vehicle already registered in a country other than Luxembourg and wishes to register it in their name must follow these procedures.
The vehicles to which this procedure relates are cars, motorbikes, mopeds, tricycles, quad bikes, motor homes, vans, tractors and machinery (with a maximum design speed of 6 kmph and weighing over 600 kg), trailers (including farm trailers pulled at a speed of over 40 kmph), buses, lorries and semi-trailers.
Buyers must be listed in the National Register of Natural Persons with a Luxembourg address and a valid identity document.
A bill of sale acts as the purchaser's proof of ownership and identifies the vehicle and its legal owner.
If the seller is a legal person, the document must be a sales invoice on headed paper, with the business' intra-community VAT number shown on the bill of sale; The buyer's signature is not required on a sales invoice.
If the seller is a natural person, the document must be a sales contract. This document must be signed by both parties. If the vehicle has been sold several times without being registered, the sales contracts must be traceable back to the person registered on the most recent registration certificate.
A number of details must appear on a bill of sale:
- date of transaction;
- details of the vehicle; the chassis number, the make (manufacturer) and model (commercial name);
- information about the seller and buyer:
- for natural persons: surname, first name, address, signature;
- for legal persons: company name, address, VAT number;
- the sale price, including whether or not VAT is included;
- VAT details: the VAT on a vehicle must always be paid in the destination country – i.e. the country where the vehicle is registered.
Foreign registration documents
A foreign registration document is required to register a vehicle in Luxembourg. Buyers must make sure to obtain all parts of the registration document from the seller.
In Europe, many countries issue a two-part registration certificate for registered vehicles. The document should state how many parts there are.
Before starting the process, future owners must apply for a registration number for the vehicle that they wish to purchase.
Applicants can choose either a number from the current series or a personalised number.
Once confirmation has been received that a registration number has been reserved, the licence plate must be printed by a licence plate manufacturer.
Vehicles purchased abroad can be moved to Luxembourg on a trailer or semi-trailer. This avoids temporary registration procedures which, depending on the country, may be rather complicated, to varying degrees. In fact, no registration at all is required for a vehicle that is being transported on a trailer. In addition, each country has its own laws and procedures that may be more or less costly and complex for temporary registration for sale of vehicles abroad.
Road vehicles that need to be registered and are covered by insurance can be driven on a public highway in Luxembourg without being registered if they have red plates or licence plates that bear the number that will be used when the vehicle is registered. This applies to the direct journey between the point of sale and the place of registration, as well as for direct transfer to a garage or repair shop for repair, modification, technical transformation or inspection.
Driving a road vehicle on a public highway requires a civil liability insurance policy (RC Autos) to be taken out with an approved insurance company in Luxembourg.
As soon as future owners are able to inform their insurers of the vehicle chassis number and Luxembourg registration number, they can ask them to issue a green card and proof of insurance (in the form of a sticker) signifying that the owner has an insurance policy that covers motor vehicle civil liability.
Proof of a valid insurance policy is required in order to register the vehicle in the future owner's name.
When someone buys a vehicle registered outside Luxembourg, they have to pay customs duty on the vehicle in Luxembourg so that they can be issued with the road tax disc (vignette 705) needed for final registration in Luxembourg.
For a vehicle to be registered, the future owner must buy a tax stamp (droit de chancellerie or timbre de chancellerie) of EUR 50.
When a vehicle is registered with a personalised registration number, an additional EUR 50 is payable on top of the standard tax stamp. In the event of the transfer of a personalised number from one vehicle to another vehicle that is to be registered, the duty payable is EUR 24.
The stamp can be purchased from one of the relevant offices of the Indirect Tax Authority (Administration de l'enregistrement et des domaines – AED) or the tax can be paid by bank transfer to the following bank account number: LU09 1111 7026 5281 0000.
If paying by bank transfer, the future owner must submit proof of transfer (debit notice) at the time of registration. The following information must be shown on the proof of payment:
- surname, first name;
- specific reason for the transfer;
- vehicle registration and chassis numbers.
Tax stamps are also available from the SNCA Registration department. An additional EUR 3 is payable on top of the standard tax stamp.
When registering a vehicle that is already registered, the inspection documents for the vehicle must be current.
The roadworthiness inspection certificate for a vehicle previously registered in another EEA Member State or in Switzerland that has been issued by the competent authorities of that State shall be considered valid if the vehicle is registered in Luxembourg. However, this certificate shall not be valid for longer than the period allowed under Luxembourg law.
The vehicle may also be presented to an approved technical inspection body in Luxembourg.
In addition to the cost of the vehicle itself and the insurance fees, the following, in particular, are payable:
- VAT in Luxembourg for any vehicle considered new that was purchased abroad or originated outside the EU;
- EUR 50 tax stamps in order to register the vehicle, as well as:
- EUR 50 for a personalised number;
- or EUR 24 if the personalised number is being transferred;
- licence plates;
- additional registration and acceptance testing fees for any vehicles purchased outside the EU or for vehicles that have been converted/modified;
- if any, the fees for technical inspection or a registration conformity sticker for vehicles not subject to periodic roadworthiness inspections.
How to proceed
In Luxembourg, notice of registration of a vehicle that has been purchased must be given to the SNCA using the following documents:
- an application for a registration certificate, completed and signed;
- Droit de Chancellerie stamp(s);
- bill of sale;
- proof of valid insurance;
- customs document;
- foreign registration documents;
- a valid technical inspection certificate for vehicles subject to regular technical inspection;
- the European certificate of conformity for vehicles registered for the first time after 1 February 2016;
- a photo of the manufacturer's plate for vehicles registered for the first time after 1 February 2016;
- a copy of the identity document, if the seller and/or buyer is a natural person.
The customer can choose to take this step at any one of 3 SNCA sites:
- in northern Luxembourg (Wilwerwiltz);
- in central Luxembourg (Sandweiler);
- or in southern Luxembourg (Esch-sur-Alzette).
The Sandweiler, Esch-sur-Alzette and Wilwerwiltz sites invite applicants to make an appointment to submit the administrative documents, either online or by phone on (+352) 26626 - 400.
An original copy of all the documents that have to be produced must be submitted.
By submitting the administrative documents, owners can register vehicles with the Luxembourg authorities and obtain a vehicle registration certificate in their own name.
Vehicle owners must inform the SNCA of any change of home address within one month.
When registering the vehicle at the SNCA, the owner is issued with a temporary road tax disc which is valid for 30 days.
Apart from some exceptions, all vehicles registered in Luxembourg, and used on the public highway, are subject to road tax.
The Customs and Excise Agency determines the tax due on the basis of the data registered by the registration authorities and according to the rates in force. The decision of the final tax is sent to the debtor of the tax.
If the road tax for the vehicle in question remains unpaid for more than 60 days, the Grand-Ducal Police and customs and excise officers may issue a EUR 74 fine.
If the road tax for the vehicle in question remains unpaid for more than 60 days, the Grand-Ducal Police and customs and excise officers may immobilise the vehicle on public roads.
Many communes now require motor vehicle owners to obtain a permit to park in the neighbourhood where they live. Residents' parking permits are distributed by the commune in question upon submission of a registration certificate.
Forms / Online services
Mandat pour toute démarche nécessaire auprès de la Société nationale de circulation automobile
Who to contact
Assignment of vehicle registration numbers11, route de Luxembourg
Phone : (+352) 26626 - 400
Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority1-3, Avenue Guillaume
B.P. 31 L-2010
Phone : (+352) 247 80800Fax : (+352) 247 90400
Customs Office – East, Grevenmacher6, rue de la Moselle
Phone : (+352) 2818 - 3000Fax : (+352) 2818 - 3290Mon.-Fri. from 8.00 to 17.00
Customs Office – Diekirch North2, rue Clairefontaine
Phone : (+352) 81 70 45-1Fax : (+352) 81 70 45-71
Customs office – Luxembourg-Howald Customs CentreCroix de Gasperich
Phone : (+352) 28 18-1Fax : (+352) 28 18 41 00Mon.-Fri. from 8.00 to 17.00
Customs Agency – Disputes and Cooperation Department22, rue de Bitbourg
Phone : (+352) 28 18 28 18Fax : (+352) 28 18 92 00
The eDouane (eCustoms) Helpdesk
Phone : (+352) 28 18 20 00Fax : (+352) 28 18 92 01
Alcohol licence – Customs and Excise AgencyCentre douanier Luxembourg-Howald Croix de Gasperich - rue in Bouler
Phone : (+352) 28 18 - 1Fax : (+352) 2818 - 4150
Diekirch Agency of the Automobile Club20-22, rue de Stavelot
Phone : (+352) 26 80 04 68