You are moving and have your hands full making sure that everything works out with the move. If you move your car with you, not only do you have to register yourself, but you also have to re-register the car and change your address on your documents including your driving license. You can find out here what you need to bear in mind when re-registering your car.
Moving within the canton – What is important when re-registering your car
Here it is important that you inform the road traffic office of your canton of the new address so that the new address is adjusted in the driver’s license. The change of address must be made within 14 days. You can keep the license plate if you move within the canton.
New driver’s license in credit card format
Do you already have a driver’s license in credit card format? Then you can simply notify the responsible road traffic office of your new address by telephone or in writing. If you own a car, send the original vehicle registration document to the road traffic office.
What to do if I do not have a driver’s license in credit card format?
In general, you must notify the respective road traffic office of the change of address. If you do not have a new driver’s license, then send the following documents – if available – in the original for the adjustment:
- Vehicle registration document(s)
- Blue driver’s license
- Learner’s driving license
- Ship’s license(s) and skipper’s license
You can also generally exchange the old blue driver’s license for the driver’s license in credit card format. The blue driver’s license is valid until January 31, 2024. You can find out how to proceed with the exchange on the website of the cantonal road traffic office. You will have to pay a fee of 35 francs for the exchange.
Move to another canton
Are you moving to another canton and own a car or motorcycle? Then you must always register with the road traffic office in the new canton of residence within the next 14 days after the move. If you want to re-register your car after moving to another canton, submit the following documents to the Road Traffic Office:
- The completed form “Registration for the matriculation of a vehicle” (“Anmeldung zur Immatrikulation eines Fahrzeugs” in German) – you can find this form on the website of the road traffic office of your new canton of residence.
- Your previous vehicle registration document
- A new certificate of liability insurance (you can get this from your insurance company upon request)
In addition to your driver’s license and vehicle registration card, you must change your license plates. You can exchange the old license plate for a new one at the road traffic office in your new place of residence.
There are two ways to get the new plate: either you go in person and hand in your old license plate in exchange for the new one at the counter. Or the Road Traffic Office will send you the documents and you can exchange the plates at the relevant post office.
If you are also moving with children, there are some things you need to consider when changing schools. To facilitate the change of address, follow up your mail with the post office.
Car relocation from abroad to Switzerland
You would like to take your vehicle to Switzerland? Then you must declare the car at customs. After that, you generally have one year to register your vehicle in Switzerland. For newly purchased vehicles, however, a period of one month applies.
For registration, the car also needs a successful vehicle inspection. This means that your car will be presented and checked at the road traffic office. For the inspection, have your car presented and checked at the Motor Vehicle Inspection (MFK). Information on the exact registration regulations and the required documents can be obtained from the respective road traffic office.
Tip: If you have owned your car for at least 6 months, you can declare the car duty-free as removal goods. To do this, you submit an application to the Federal Customs Administration.
The new location of a car or motorcycle
It is true that the location of the vehicle usually changes when the owner’s place of residence changes. However, there are situations when the owner and traffic authority do not agree on the actual location. For this reason, there is a supplementary guideline that the location is where the car or motorcycle is regularly parked overnight.
This guideline is important for owners who, for various reasons, do not want to have a license plate from their canton of residence. That is why these owners try to avoid changing license plates after moving.
If you want to find a legal way to avoid having to register your vehicle in your canton of residence, you should ask the respective road traffic authorities in detail. This is because the police occasionally check non-Cantonal license plates that are regularly left in the same place at night.
It is usually worth changing your license plate if you move to a smaller canton. Insurance premiums are significantly cheaper outside of large cities
Tip: If you want to register a car in a canton other than your own canton of residence, this is only possible for company vehicles.
Frequently asked questions regarding car registration after the move
When do you have to re-register a car?
If you move within Switzerland, you have 14 days to re-register your car. If you are moving to Switzerland from abroad, you must re-register your car within one year. For newly purchased cars, you must re-register them within one month.
What are the costs if I miss the deadline when re-registering my car?
You must re-register your car within 14 days of your move. If you do not comply with this obligation, you are acting irregularly. That is why the cantons impose fines of various amounts. In addition, the owner does not receive important mail from the relevant traffic authorities. For example, if you are flashed, you learn about it too late, which causes even higher costs.
How much does one pay for a license plate in Switzerland?
A normal license plate costs 45 CHF. For popular license plates with low numbers or for desired numbers, the canton charges a higher amount. For example, a transfer of a 4-digit license plate costs about 200 CHF.
How do I deregister my car in Switzerland?
Do you want to sell your vehicle, dispose of it or have it replaced? Then you have to have the vehicle registration canceled at the road traffic office of your canton of residence.