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Registration of foreign cars: procedures, cost and deadlines


What is the registration of a foreign car?

Foreign car registration is the process of receiving the Italian license plate and registration book of a car originally registered in a foreign country. It is no coincidence that the registration of foreign cars is often referred to as car nationalization.

With the registration of a foreign car, the car becomes an Italian car to all intents and purposes and can therefore circulate freely on the national territory. One of the crucial steps for the registration of foreign cars is the registration in the PRA, the Public Registry of Motor Vehicles, which is, to all intents and purposes, the Italian vehicle registry.


How does the registration of foreign vehicles work?

The procedure for the registration of foreign vehicles is precisely regulated in article 132 of the Highway Code. Here it is established that all foreign cars circulating for more than 12 months on the national territory must be registered or nationalized compulsorily.

With the Security Decree passed in the Senate on 7 November 2018, the circulation of foreign cars has been banned for more than 60 days if the owner has moved his residence in Italy.

This measure is designed both to always have an updated register of foreign cars in Italy for security and fiscal reasons. The aim is to prevent foreign citizens residing in Italy from using their foreign-registered cars to engage in evasive behaviour to avoid fines, bans or payment of car tax.

Registering a foreign car at the Vehicle Registration Office?

Registering a foreign car at the Motor Vehicle Registration Office is the standard procedure for any foreign vehicle. In fact, it is possible to register vehicles from EU and non-EU countries at the DMV.


Let's see what steps are necessary to register a car at the vehicle registration authority:

  1. Preliminary verification: the suitability of the vehicle is assessed and all documents containing the technical characteristics and VAT requirements are examined.
  2. Issuance of the registration certificate - which takes place after the preliminary verification has been approved.
  3. Registration for the PRA - must be completed within 60 days of delivery of the Certificate of Registration.

To complete the registration of the foreign car it is necessary to register the car with the PRA. Here is the list of documents required to register the car with the PRA:

  • Photocopy of the buyer's identity card
  • Declaration of ownership of the vehicle with signature authenticated by a notary or other official in case the owner of the vehicle does not match the owner.
  • Deed ofsale with signatures authenticated by a notary public.
  • European certificate ofconformity with the Italian homologation (or European certificate of conformity with the declaration of registration provided by the vehicle manufacturer)
  • Certificate ofresidence of the purchaser or substitute certification statement (only necessary if the photocopied document does not already indicate the residence)
  • NP2D form has already been completed
  • Photocopy of the registration certificate (issued by the Motor Vehicle Registration Authority).
  • In case the buyer is a legal entity, certified by the Chamber of Commerce on the stamp duty or declaration in place of the legal representative of the company informing of the seat of the company

According to Italian law, all documents must be drawn up in Italian, unless there are different bilateral agreements between Italy and the country exporting the car.


Registration of foreign cars at the STA?

The registration of foreign cars at the STA (Sportello Telematico dell'Automobilista) is available only for cars from EU countries + cars registered in Liechtenstein, Norway andIceland. Cars from non-EU countries can only be naturalized with civil motorization.

To apply for registration of a foreign car at the STA you need the following documents:

  • Photocopy of your identity card
  • Certificate of substitutedeclaration of residence
  • Foreigner's RegistrationCertificate, in case of second-hand cars
  • Form NP2C in case the registration in the PRA takes place at the request of the buyer
  • Application on form TT2119 completed and signed by the purchaser
  • Declaration in lieu of the legal representative confirming the registered office of the legal entity if the buyer is a company, association or other entity.
  • Form NP2D in the case of the drawing up of the deed of sale (with the signature of the seller authenticated by the notary and stamped)
  • Declaration of Conformity or European certificate of conformity with Italian approval

What is the cost of registering a foreign car?

The cost of registering a foreign car can be very high, especially for large and large displacement cars. Like other taxes related to the automobile world, as well as the payment of the car vignette, also the cost of foreign car registration is composed of fixed and variable elements.


To determine the cost of foreign car registration just add the following cost elements:

  • Vignette tax for PRA registration - 32,00 Euro.
  • Stamp duty DDT - 32,00 Euro
  • TDT fees - 9,00 Euro
  • Cost of issuing the registration plate - variable according to vehicle and type of registration plate
  • Provincial Transcription Tax - 150,81 euros + a percentage surcharge according to the buyer's province of residence
  • ACI Fees - 27,00 euros

The cost of registration of a foreign car is proportional to the power of the vehicle, expressed in kW, and to its dimensions. The higher the power, the higher the provincial transcription tax, the higher the cost of registration of foreign cars.

What are the registration times for foreign cars?

The registration times for foreign cars vary greatly depending on where you decide to go and whether you choose to use a car registration agency.

Normally the time needed to register a foreign European car with the STA is 3 working days. Registering a foreign car from a non-EU country at the DMV or PRA is a notoriously longer procedure that can easily take several weeks.

To speed things up, we always recommend that you rely on someone who knows the procedure and knows how to behave in order not to waste your time. One mistake on the forms is enough to block the whole process and postpone the arrival of your new exotic car.

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