Admission to the road circulation

Regulations concerning the admission to the road circulation in Switzerland of vehicles belonging to permanent missions (PM), international organisations (IO) and their members of personnel

Registration without restriction

Vehicles belonging to the following :

  • Permanent missions and international organisations,
  • Heads of mission (PM) and members of the senior management (IO) (holders of a "B" legitimation card),
  • Diplomatic agents (PM) and high ranking officials (IO) (holders of a "C" legitimation card),
  • Administrative and technical staff members (PM) and officials in professional category (IO) (holders of a "D" legitimation card),
  • Service staff members (PM) and officials in general services (IO) (holders of an "E" legitimation card),
  • Non-Swiss members of personnel of the ICRC (holders of a "I" legitimation card),
  • Non-Swiss members of personnel of the IFRCS (holders of a "L" legitimation card),

may be registered in Switzerland essentially without restriction if already licensed for international circulation. This can be evidenced either with the relevant circulation permit and license plates (including Z plates) of the country of origin, or with documentation from the manufacturer providing all of the technical data required for the registration.

Before issuing Swiss license plates and circulation permit, the vehicle must be tested to ensure that it is in good working order and meets all relevant safety requirements. The following are no longer required for the registration in Switzerland :

  • proof of compliance with exhaust fumes regulations,
  • proof of compliance with noise regulations,
  • adaptation of the braking system,
  • adaptation or replacement of the speedometer,
  • exchange of tyres (they must have a minimum profile of 1.6 mm).

These vehicles are not obliged to be controlled periodically and to comply with anti-pollution requirements.

The registration of vehicles under these conditions and those registered with diplomatic "CD" licence plates have a particular mention in the circulation permit. Vehicles registered with ordinary license plates do not carry a special mention in their circulation permit. Unless adapted to Swiss norms, they may only be sold to holders of a legitimation card enjoying privileges and immunities as well.

Documents needed for the control of the vehicle :

  • Insurance certificate from a company registered in Switzerland (cover for third party liability is compulsory; cover for damage to own vehicle is optional).
  • Specialist report (customs form 13.20A) accompanied by Swiss customs stamp and/or by any customs authorisations (customs forms 18.44, 18.45, 18.46, 15.30 or 15.40).
  • For vehicles that have already been registered, the date of the first time the vehicle was put into circulation (not the date of construction and not the date of sale) of the original certificate of registration (for example "Registration card" for vehicles from the USA).
  • Technical data about the vehicle, e.g. engine size (c.c.) and indications of guaranteed weight. This data must come from the following documents: vehicle constructor's certificate or from the Swiss importer of the vehicle's brand, original registration certificate (Fahrzeugbrief German), descriptive note, constructor's plate, user guide.
  • Legitimation card issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (via the Swiss Mission).

Standard registration

The following categories are not eligible for unrestricted vehicle registration and must meet the current legal requirements (registration, periodic control, anti-pollution service, etc) :

  • Swiss members of personnel (PM) and Swiss civil servants (IO) (holders of a "S" legitimation card),
  • Members of personnel with permanent residence in Switzerland (PM) (holders of an authorisation for residence or establishment – B or C permit),
  • Private Household Employees (PM/IO) (holders of a "F" legitimation card),
  • Civil servants on short-term contracts (holders of a "G" legitimation card),
  • Persons without privileges or immunities (PM/IO) and non-civil servants staff (IO) (holders of a "H" legitimation card),
  • Members of the scientific personnel of CERN (holders of a "P" legitimation card).

Specialist Contact

Permanent Mission of Switzerland to UNOG  
Office of Security and General Affairs
Rue de Varembé 9-11, P.O. Box 194
CH - 1211 Geneva 20
Tel. +41 (0)58 482 24 24
Fax +41 (0)58 482 24 37