Use of foreign license plates

Depending on the main residence of the car owner, there a different regulations and time limits to consider.


Main residence of the car owner is not in Austria | Permanent location of the car is not in Austria

The use of a vehicle (or trailer) displaying foreign license numbers is permitted for a maximum of one year (from the time the vehicle enters Austria) provided the owner's primary residence is not in Austria. Each border crossing interrupts the time period and the one-year period starts again.

Note: To identify the permanent location of a car the assumption of its location is important. The Austrian law automatically assumes that a car with foreign license plates and is owned by people with their primary residence in Austria, has its permanent location in Austria until it is proved that black is white. The centre of vital interests normally counts as the primary residence. In the case of weekly or monthly commuters, the place of family residence counts as centre of vital interests.


Main residence of the car owner is in Austria | Permanent location of the car is in Austria

If moving to Austria and declaring Austria as the primary residence, the vehicle or trailer may only display foreign plates for a month. An extension of a further month is possible if the car owner shows credibly that an Austrian admission was not possible within one month.

The plates must then be relinquished to the Austrian authorities and replaced with Austrian plates which also require official registration of the vehicle. In this case vehicle owners are obligated to pay the so called "Normverbrauchsabgabe (NoVa)" to the tax office.

Normverbrauchsabgabe (NoVa)

  • The common value or the vehicle purchasing price without purchasing tax are the assessment basis of  NoVa
  • Tax rate depends on fuel consumption and pollutant emission of the vehicle
  • Tax liability arises with the transfer of the vehicle to Austria, tax is due one month after the transfer
  • Delayed declaration of NoVa may result in a late filing penalty (10%), delayed payment of NoVa may result in a late payment penalty (2%)
  • Usage of a vehicle without domestic admittance despite admittance obligations may reslut in a € 5,000 fine. The vehicle owner also can be impeded from using his vehicle (e.g. take over of keys and number plates through authorities)


Car registration

Note: For the admittance of vehicles without an EU operating permit, an individual permit or, for vehicles with an EU operating permit, data entry >> in the permit database is required. As requirements can vary individually, please contact your vehicle importer or the vehicle inspection agency directly.

Useful links:
Information on import from within the EU >> (site is available in German only)
Information on import from outside the EU >> (site is available in German only)


Contact for more information about vehicle import to Austria:



The Welcome2Upper Austria Service Center is pleased to assist you with further questions!