Vehicles licensed in Switzerland

CERN/DSU-DO/RH/9885 - 27 july 2000

1. Vehicle licensing

a) Time limits

Vehicles must have a Swiss registration document and Swiss number plates:

  • if the owner has been residing in Switzerland for more than one year without a break of more than three consecutive months and has been using it for more than one month on Swiss territory, or
     
  • if the vehicle itself has been on Swiss territory for more than one year without a break of more than three consecutive months.

b) Technical details

Vehicles belonging to non-Swiss members of the personnel who hold a carte de légitimation issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter referred to as "DFAE") and who were not permanently resident in Switzerland before taking up their appointment may be licensed in Switzerland with virtually no restrictions provided that their owner produces:

  • the vehicle registration document and number plates of the country in which the car was previously registered, or
     
  • a manufacturerís certificate containing all the technical information needed for licensing purposes.

Before Swiss number plates and a Swiss registration document can be issued, the vehicle must first be tested for roadworthiness and safety.
The fact that a vehicle has been licensed in this way is shown on the licence. Unless it is brought into compliance with Swiss standards, it may be sold only to persons who enjoy the same vehicle licensing privileges.

c) Licensing on diplomatic plates

Members of the personnel holding a B or C-type carte de légitimation issued by the DFAE must license all their vehicles on diplomatic (CD) plates.

d) Relevant authority

Vehicle licensing formalities must be completed with the relevant road traffic authority in the ownerís canton of residence (for Geneva call (022) 343.02.00, for Vaud call (021) 316.82.10).

e) Family members

The family members of a member of the personnel who hold a B, C, D or E-Type carte de légitimation issued by the DFAE or a Ci permit are not entitled to license a vehicle in Switzerland in their own name. Only family members of Swiss nationality or who hold an ordinary Swiss permit (such as a B or C permit) are entitled to do so.

2. Periodic technical inspection, anti-pollution test and road tax

Holders of a B, C, D or E-type carte de légitimation issued by the DFAE are exempted from periodic technical inspections and anti-pollution tests.
Furthermore, holders of a B, C or D-type carte de légitimation are not required to pay road tax.

3. Customs privileges

[modified by document CERN/DSU-DO/RH/10275]

4. Entitlement to drive vehicles bearing CD number plates

As a general rule, only holders of a B or C-type carte de légitimation issued by the DFAE are entitled to drive vehicles bearing Swiss diplomatic number plates.
However, persons who have obtained a Ci permit in exchange for their B or C-type carte de légitimation are also entitled to drive a vehicle bearing Swiss diplomatic number plates. The Ci permit for foreigners bears a sticker indicating that the holder enjoys diplomatic status.
However, persons who do not have diplomatic status, such as Swiss citizens and holders of a D or C-type carte de légitimation issued by the DFAE, are not entitled to drive such vehicles.
It should be pointed out that the Swiss authorities do not make any exceptions to this rule and that any violation may be punished by law.

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