Driving with foreign number plates


In every EU country, proof of car liability insurance must be provided when registering a car. This mandatory insurance is valid in all EU countries.

Main residence outside Austria

Individuals whose main residence is outside of Austria may use a vehicle or trailer with foreign number plates in Austria for a maximum of one year. The one-year period begins when the vehicle is first brought into Austria.

If, as a result of a longer stay in the country, Austria becomes an individual's centre of vital interests, the foreign vehicle must be re-registered.

Main residence in Austria

Individuals whose main residence is in Austria may use a trailer or trailer with foreign number plates in Austria for one month. The one‑month period begins when the vehicle is first brought into Austria. Temporarily moving the vehicle outside Austria does not suspend this period.

It is possible to extend this period by a further month if convincing arguments are provided as to why it was not possible to have the vehicle registered in Austria. No further extension is possible.

Once these time limits have expired, the vehicle registration certificate and foreign number plates must be handed in to the competent Federal Police head office (Landespolizeidirektion)) or district authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft). From then on, Austrian number plates must be used; registration in Austria is required for this. In order to apply for registration, evidence of third-party vehicle insurance that is valid in Austria must be provided. The insurance policy must be taken out with an insurance provider that is entitled to provide third-party liability insurance services in Austria.

For the purpose of registration, vehicles without EU type-approval require a single approval, and vehicles with EU type-approval must have their data entered in the approval database. The competent body for this is the relevant government office of the Bundesland in question (technical testing centre) bzw. the general importer of the vehicle.


Individuals in breach of the rules on driving with foreign number plates risk high administrative and financial penalties.

Towing foreign trailers with Austrian vehicles

A trailer with a foreign number plate may only be towed by a vehicle with Austrian number plates if an Austrian number plate is provided for the trailer. This must cover the foreign number plate. The number plate is red, and has the same registration number as the towing vehicle. The use of a trailer with a foreign registration number depends on whether the driver's main residence is outside Austria outside Austria or in Austria.

Legal Basis

Sections 82, 83 of the Kraftfahrgesetz (KFG)

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 28 March 2023
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