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Driving with Foreign Number Plates

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Principal Residence Abroad

People who have their principal residence abroad may use a motor vehicle or a trailer with foreign number plates in Austria for a maximum duration of one year. The one-year period starts with the importation of the vehicle into Austria.

People who focus their personal relationships in Austria by staying here for a longer period of time are obliged to register their foreign vehicle here.

Principal Residence in Austria

People who have their principal residence in Austria may use a motor vehicle or a trailer with foreign number plates in Austria for one month. The one-month period starts with the first importation of the vehicle into Austria. Driving abroad shall not interrupt the running of time.

This period can be extended by another month if the person concerned can provide sufficient proof that registration in Austria was not possible within one month. Further extension is impossible.

Once these periods have expired the registration certificate and the foreign number plates are to be turned in to the competent federal police headquarter [Landespolizeidirektion] or district administration [Bezirkshauptmannschaft] and Austrian number plates have to be used, for which registration is required.

For the registration of vehicles without any EU-operating licence a special permission [Einzelgenehmigung] is required. Vehicles with an EU-operating licence need to have their data registered in the permission database. For further information please contact the competent office of the provincial government (technical inspection station) [Amt der Landesregierung (Technische Prüfstelle)] or the general importer [Generalimporteur] of the vehicle.


Failure to comply with the regulations concerning driving with foreign number plates can result in high administrative and financial penalties.

Towing of Foreign Trailers by Austrian Motor Vehicles

A trailer with foreign number plates may be towed by a motor vehicle with Austrian plates only if an Austrian number plate is used for the trailer. This plate must cover the foreign plate; it is red and bears the towing vehicle's registration number. The maximum duration of usage of a trailer with foreign number plates depends on whether the driver's principal residence is abroad or in Austria.

Sections 82 and 83 of the Kraftfahrgesetz (KFG)

Last update: 01.01.2017
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Approved by
Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology

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