• Immigration law in Italy
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Foreign car license plate circulating in Italy

With the reform carried out by Law 1 December 2018, n.132, converted by Decree Law 4 October 2018, n.113 (in force since 4 December 2018) important innovations were introduced to the Legislative Decree of 30 April 1992, n.285 and s.m.i., of the “Codice della Strada”, on the circulation of vehicles registered abroad.

Article 93 of the “Codice della Strada” deals with all the formalities necessary for the circulation of vehicles. Comma 1 states that “vehicles, motor vehicles and trailers must be accompanied with a registration certificate and registered with the Department of Land Transport in order to circulate”.

Paragraph 1-bis of the article introduces a new principle, according to which it is forbidden to circulate with a vehicle registered abroad after sixty days from the acquisition of residence in Italy for an Italian or a foreign citizen.

NOTE: The residence shall be deemed to be that of the permanent residence as it is shown in the identity documents. Therefore, European citizens, who have temporary residence or normal residence in Italy, are excluded from the provisions of paragraph 1-bis and 1-ter. The penalty applies even if the individual declares to have a double residence, and if one of which is Italian; it does not apply to citizens registered within the AIRE (Register of Italian living abroad) as they are considered as resident abroad.

Moreover, paragraph 1-ter specifies that “in the case of a vehicle leased or leased out without a driver by a company established in another Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area, which has not established a subsidiary or a headquarters in Italy, and in the case of a vehicle leased to an individual resident in Italy and who has an employment relationship or collaboration with a company established in another Member State of the European Union or a member of the European Economic Area who has not established itself a subsidiary or a headquarters in Italy, in compliance with the provisions of the Community Customs Code,

a document shall be kept on board of the vehicle, signed by the holder and postmarked in order to certify the date, stating the title and duration of the vehicle’s availability, in addition to the identity of the tenant or of the borrower”.


1. Violation of the provisions referred to in paragraph 1-bis (paragraph 7-bis): an administrative penalty is applied, and it is required a payment of a sum from EUR 711 up to EUR 2.842. The ascertaining body must forward the registration document to the local civil vehicle registration office, order the immediate cessation of the vehicle’s circulation and its transport and storage in a place not subject to public transport. The provisions of Article 213 shall apply. In the event that, within 180 days of the date of the violation, the vehicle is not registered in Italy or the required documentation to take the vehicle beyond the border is not released, the additional penalty of administrative confiscation shall be applied in accordance with Article 213;

2. Violation of the provisions referred to in paragraph 1-ter (first period) (paragraph 7-ter): an administrative penalty is applied, and it is required a payment of a sum from EUR 250 up to EUR 998. In the notification report is imposed the obligation to present the document referred to in paragraph 1-ter within thirty days. The vehicle shall be subject to the administrative detention penalty in accordance with the provisions of Article 214, and shall be returned to the driver, the owner or the rightful holder, or to a person delegated by the owner, only after the document referred to in paragraph 1-ter has been presented or, in any case, sixty days after the verification of the violation. In case of failure to present the document, the ascertaining body shall apply the penalty referred to in article 94, paragraph 3, with effect from the deadline for notification from the day following the day established for the presentation of documents.

WARNING: According to Article 7 of the Codice della Strada, the notification should be paid immediately to the ascertaining body.

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