Law 238/2021 modifies some of the provisions in force in the Italian legal system to adjust them to the European framework to regulate the circulation of foreign plates in Italy and sanctions in case of failure to comply with the legislation.
New provisions to the Italian Highway Code
Article 2 introduces article 93-bis to the Italian Highway Code, which was approved with the Legislative Decree No. 285 of 30th April 1992 and entered into force on 1st January 1993. Paragraph 1 of the new article establishes that:
motor vehicles, motorcycles and trailers registered in a foreign country and owned and driven by a person domiciled in Italy, may circulate in the Italian territory provided they are registered with an Italian license plate within 3 months of obtaining residence
While before, this procedure had to be done within 2 months.
Paragraph 2 specifies that on a vehicle registered abroad and driven in Italy by someone domiciled in Italy, who is not the owner of the vehicle, there must always be a document with certain date and signed by the vehicle owner, indicating for what purpose and for how long the vehicle will be used. This document is required because if the vehicle is used by someone who is not the owner for more than 30 days in a year, even if not continuous, the purpose of use and for how long the vehicle will be used must be registered to Registro dei Veicoli Esteri – REVE (book for foreign vehicles) by the driver.
Unlike the others, this paragraph’s provisions have been in force since 21st March 2022 (and not since 1st February 2022).
Paragraph 3 is about cross-border workers. Also people working in a state bordering or adjoining Italy owning a vehicle registered in such foreign state, must register the vehicle to REVE within 60 days from the acquisition of ownership. The registered vehicles may be driven also by cross-border workers’ family members domiciled in Italy.
REVE – Registro Veicoli Esteri
The following are the procedures that are reported at REVE:
- Vehicle’s registration;
- Cancellation (mandatory) when the terms of the vehicle’s purpose of use end;
- Change of domicile;
- Extension of the use of the vehicle.
Subsequently, potential variations in the purposes of use must be reported. In fact, the person who transfers the use of the vehicle must require the registration of the variations.
Registrations to REVE are made at Pubblico Registro Automobilistico – PRA (public register for vehicles, managed by ACI) upon reservation or at Sportello Telematico dell’Automobilista (STA), available at ACI or at Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile (driving and vehicle authority).
Exceptions to the provisions
The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 93-bis of the Italian Highway Code do not apply to:
- Citizens domiciled in the municipality of Campione d’Italia;
- Civilian and military personnel employed by public administrations serving abroad;
- Armed forces and police personnel serving abroad at international organizations or military bases;
- Drivers who have been domiciled in Italy for more than 60 days and own a vehicle registered at Repubblica di San Marino.
These categories of people are therefore exonerated from registering their vehicle to REVE.
Sanctions for driving with a foreign license plate
The fine applied to those who continue driving a vehicle with a foreign license plate after 3 months of obtaining residence in Italy, and to cross-border workers who do not register the vehicle’s ownership ranges between €400 and €1.600, to which is added the withdrawal of the vehicle registration certificate.
The fine applied to those who drive without the document required according to paragraph 2, ranges between €250 and €1.000. In case of failure to register the vehicle to REVE in the above-mentioned cases, the sanction ranges between €712 and €3.558 and it also provides for the withdrawal of the vehicle registration certificate.
Vehicles registered abroad and driven by foreigners in Italy
Article 2 of law 238/2021 also includes a reformulation of article 132 of the Italian Highway Code, which is about the circulation of vehicles registered abroad and driven in Italy by people who are not domiciled in Italy. Such vehicles can circulate in Italy for a maximum of one year, according to the registration certificate of the foreign State. In case of failure to comply with such provision, the fee ranges from €400 to €1.600, to which is added the withdrawal of the vehicle registration certificate.
This provision does not apply to vehicles owned by foreign personnel and their relatives serving at military organizations or bases located in Italy, as they can freely circulate within the Italian territory for the entire term of office.