Changing ownership of a vehicle that was last registered in Luxembourg requires the seller (if they are a private individual) to carry out certain procedures, whether or not the purchaser is a Luxembourg resident.
This page specifically concerns private individuals selling a motor vehicle to another private individual or to a business (whether Luxembourg resident or non-resident).
Who is concernedEach owner selling a motor vehicle last registered in Luxembourg is subject to certain administrative formalities.
If the vehicle is sold to a non-resident person who intends to register the vehicle in their country of residence., the seller must have an export certificate.
The seller can obtain the certificate against payment of an EUR 19.84 fee and should then present the certificate to the buyer.
The non-resident buyer can also collect such a certificate by contacting the SNCA with the original bill of sale or a proof of ownership of the vehicle.
How to proceed
The transaction: the bill of sale (document-facture)
The bill of sale (or sales contract) is essential when selling a vehicle as it enables to identify the vehicle and to legitimise the owner.
A number of details must appear on the bill of sale in order to identify the vehicle, the seller and the buyer clearly and unambiguously.
A copy of each party's identification card (seller and buyer) must be attached.
In order to carry out the next steps, including registering the vehicle, the future owner will need to have the original bill of sale. It must mention the name of the last official owner.
If ownership of the vehicle changes through donation or transfer, the documents pertaining to that transaction are used instead of the bill of sale.
You can download models of sales contracts (in several languages) on the YoungACL website of the Automobile Club of Luxembourg (ACL). In addition, model used-car sales contracts are available on the website of the Luxembourg Consumer Association (Union Luxembourgeoise des consommateurs – ULC).
Deregistering the vehicle
At the time of the transaction, the seller is required to file a deregistration declaration for the vehicle.
This declaration may be made:
- either by registered letter sent to the SNCA – BP23 – L-5201 Sandweiler;
- or by making an appointment and going in person to the SNCA offices, with the required documents, an ID card and confirmation of the appointment.
The completed and signed form must be accompanied by Parts I and II of the registration certificate.
The declaration must be made to the SNCA within 5 business days of the sale of the vehicle.
The seller will be given an 'acknowledgement of deregistration' by the SNCA.
The seller may also obtain an export certificate if the vehicle is sold to a non-resident. The certificate is issued in exchange for payment of a EUR 19.84 tax. The certificate should be sent to the buyer in order to register the vehicle in the buyer's country of residence.
A non-resident buyer of a vehicle may also obtain such a certificate by writing to the SNCA and including the original invoice or proof of ownership of the vehicle, provided the vehicle has been properly deregistered by the former owner.
On receiving the deregistration, the SNCA severs the link between the individual and the vehicle. Thus, the seller:
- is no longer linked to the vehicle;
- may recover the costs relating to annual payment for the tax disc;
- may terminate the insurance policy covering the vehicle.
The registration certificate and conformity stickers expire automatically when the vehicle is sold or transferred to a new owner.
Once the vehicle has been deregistered, it may not be driven until it has been reregistered.
If the vehicle is not covered by valid registration – in other words if the initial registration procedure was not finalised and no registration certificate was prepared – then the seller's declaration of deregistration to the SNCA must specify that the seller does not have a registration certificate. The SNCA will send the seller a certificate authorising the sale and, where applicable, export of the vehicle.
Licence plate number
The licence plate number that is assigned to a vehicle remains assigned to that vehicle until it is definitively taken off the road.
If the vehicle is sold abroad, the standard-series licence plate number becomes invalid.
If the seller held a personalised registration number, that number automatically remains assigned to the seller for 36 months following deregistration, unless the seller expressly gives up the number.
Civil liability insurance
As soon as the vehicle is deregistered, the former owner must inform their insurance company that the vehicle has been sold by returning the 'green card' or insurance certificate as quickly as possible.
As a result, the insurance policy will be terminated, and the seller may request reimbursement of the remaining balance on the annual premium, or else transfer the car insurance to another vehicle. The details can be negotiated with the insurer.
When deregistering a vehicle temporarily or definitively, as well as in the case of the transcription of a vehicle subject to tax, the tax paid in excess may be refunded under the following conditions:
- the amount of the tax to reimburse is more than EUR 1;
- the tax sticker must be sent or handed in to the competent collector of the customs and excise duty at the latest 60 days after it is not valid anymore, with the indication of the IBAN number of a bank account of a Luxembourg institution.
The deregistration or transcription date of the vehicle as registered in the database of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure is taken into account to calculate the amount of the tax to be reimbursed.
The collector from the Customs and Excise Agency reimburses the amount of the tax paid in excess, at the pro rata of 1/365 per unamended day of the annual tax, to the bank account indicated by the debtor. The amount to be paid is rounded down to the next Euro.
Annual lump-sum taxes for classic vehicles are not reimbursed.
If the new owner resides in Luxembourg, they must register the vehicle with the SNCA before driving it.
Exception: the buyer may drive an unregistered vehicle from the place (domicile) where it is parked to the SNCA.
A non-resident buyer can not register the vehicle in their country of residence without the export certificate issued by the SNCA.
In order to import the vehicle into their country of residence, the new owner may:
- transport the vehicle by truck or trailer;
- request export plates from the SNCA;
- drive the vehicle using short-term licence plates (not all countries recognise such plates).
For procedures relating to registering the vehicle in their country of residence, non-residents must ask the competent authorities in that country.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
Assignment of vehicle registration numbers11, route de Luxembourg
Phone : (+352) 26626 - 400
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