Information for Police & Public Security Services

How to check the insurance cover of foreign vehicles? Find out the countries which need the “green card” document

European Commission Criteria regarding foreign vehicle insurance control

The E.U.C. ( by motion of the Council of Bureaux), has ruled that  “the insurance of a vehicle of another member state can be checked to resolve a R.T.A. in which the vehicle is involved and in which the number plate isn’t sufficient to ascertain said insurance .That said, if a control is carried out in which the objective is to enforce the obligation of 3rd party Insurance then the  aforementioned criteria will not apply as that in that case it would be considered a “specific and systematic check “

“To sum up”-according to the E.U.C –“we consider that we must emphasize that the prime objective of European Regulations on vehicle insurance is to allow the free circulation of vehicles without unnecessary checks.”

“As such, it must be made clear that control of vehicular insurance is an internal question of each member state with its residents, and only in circumstances in which it is really necessary (traffic accidents, crimes etc.), can insurance checks be carried out on foreign vehicles”.


How can you verify that a foreign vehicle is actually insured?

Currently, real time 100% verification of a foreign vehicle insurance status is not possible. This process still requires a certain amount of time. In this sense any request to OFESAUTO is opened and registered at once, but we are totally dependent on the foreign Bureau in question to certify whether a vehicle is insured or not. Depending on the Country this period can vary between one week and three months.

Nonetheless, there is an important indication of whether a vehicle is insured or not, and that is the existence of a valid Green Card.

  • Check the validity of the date
  • Check that the country code and insurance company information in box 4 matches the name of the insurance company in box 8
Valid green card scheme

Keep in mind that vehicles of some EU countries do not require a green card to drive in Spain and whose insurance should be checked by means of a receipt, policy etc.

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