Registering your car

You bought a vehicle abroad and transported it to Belgium. Before you receive the number plates you must complete a number of steps:

Declaring your car to customs

When you arrive in Belgium with the vehicle you bought abroad, you must go to a customs office of your choice to declare that you are importing a vehicle into Belgium.

You must submit the following documents:

  • purchase invoice, with chassis number and the price (excl. VAT for new vehicles)
  • original certificate of registration if the vehicle has been previously registered
  • any document you consider relevant to produce if there is something wrong with the invoice (such as receipt or order form)

VAT or no VAT?

In Belgium you only pay VAT on a new car you declare to Belgian customs. Customs immediately attach a 705 sticker to the pink application form, indicating that it concerns an imported vehicle.

Technical vehicle inspection

If you buy a second-hand car abroad, or new vehicle that has been previously registered, the vehicle must undergo a technical inspection, in the same way as a car you buy in Belgium.

When your vehicle undergoes a technical inspection, you must always submit the following documents:

  • customs sticker 705 
  • foreign certificate of registration (‘grey card’)

Plates for technical vehicle inspection

To have your vehicle checked during a technical vehicle inspection, it must have valid plates:

  • valid foreign transit plates and the accompanying documents;
  • commercial number plates (the owner authorised the dealer to present the vehicle for the technical vehicle inspection.);
  • the old number plates with which the vehicle is still registered (by agreement with the seller and on the condition that the plates belong to the vehicle and not to the previous owner)

Exception: simplified technical vehicle inspection

Some vehicles need not undergo a comprehensive technical vehicle inspection but only a simplified technical vehicle inspection or ‘visual inspection’. It concerns vehicles that have undergone a complete technical vehicle inspection less than two months before the sale – either in Belgium or in another EU country.

Sometimes a technical vehicle inspection may still be required: if a problem comes to light during the visual inspection.

Civil liability insurance

You must also take out a civil liability insurance policy. You should do so after you have taken care of the import formalities with customs and before you register the vehicle with the Department for the Registration of Vehicles (DIV). The same rule applies as with the purchase of a car in Belgium.


After the formalities with customs and the technical vehicle inspection have been completed, you must register your car with the Department for the Registration of Vehicles (DIV).

To do so, you need the pink application form for registration which you receive from customs or from your Insurance company, as well as the original certificate of registration if your vehicle has already been registered.