EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 01999L0037-20220324

Consolidated text: Council Directive 1999/37/EC of 29 April 1999 on the registration documents for vehicles

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/dir/1999/37/2022-03-24

01999L0037 — EN — 24.03.2022 — 006.001


This text is meant purely as a documentation tool and has no legal effect. The Union's institutions do not assume any liability for its contents. The authentic versions of the relevant acts, including their preambles, are those published in the Official Journal of the European Union and available in EUR-Lex. Those official texts are directly accessible through the links embedded in this document

►B

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 1999/37/EC

of 29 April 1999

on the registration documents for vehicles

(OJ L 138 1.6.1999, p. 57)

Amended by:

 

 

Official Journal

  No

page

date

►M1

COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 2003/127/EC of 23 December 2003

  L 10

29

16.1.2004

►M2

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2006/103/EC of 20 November 2006

  L 363

344

20.12.2006

►M3

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/22/EU of 13 May 2013

  L 158

356

10.6.2013

►M4

DIRECTIVE 2014/46/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 3 April 2014

  L 127

129

29.4.2014

►M5

DIRECTIVE (EU) 2022/362 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 24 February 2022

  L 69

1

4.3.2022


Amended by:

►A1

Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, concerning the accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic to the European Union Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, concerning the accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic to the European Union

  L 236

33

23.9.2003




▼B

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 1999/37/EC

of 29 April 1999

on the registration documents for vehicles



Article 1

▼M4

This Directive shall apply to the vehicle registration documents issued by the Member States.

▼B

It shall not prejudice the right of Member States to use, for the temporary registration of vehicles, documents which may not meet the requirements of this Directive in every respect.

Article 2

For the purposes of this Directive:

(a) 

‘vehicle’: shall mean any vehicle as defined in Article 2 of Council Directive 70/156/EEC of 6 February 1970 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers ( 1 ) and in Article 1 of Council Directive 92/61/EEC of 30 June 1992 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheel motor vehicles ( 2 );

(b) 

‘registration’: shall mean the administrative authorisation for the entry into service in road traffic of a vehicle, involving the identification of the latter and the issuing to it of a serial number, to be known as the registration number;

(c) 

‘registration certificate’: shall mean the document which certifies that the vehicle is registered in a Member State;

(d) 

‘holder of the registration certificate’: shall mean the person in whose name a vehicle is registered;

▼M4

(e) 

‘suspension’: means a limited period of time in which a vehicle is not authorised by a Member State to be used in road traffic following which – provided the reasons for suspension have ceased to apply – it may be authorised to be used again without involving a new process of registration;

(f) 

‘cancellation of a registration’: means the cancellation of a Member State’s authorisation for a vehicle to be used in road traffic.

▼B

Article 3

1.  
Member States shall issue a registration certificate for vehicles which are subject to registration under their national legislation. The certificate shall consist of either a single part in accordance with Annex I or two parts in accordance with Annexes I and II.

Member States may authorise the services they appoint to this end, in particular those of the manufacturers, to fill in the technical parts of the registration certificate.

2.  
Where a new registration certificate is issued for a vehicle registered prior to the implementation of this Directive, Member States shall use a certification model as defined in this Directive and may limit the particulars shown therein to those for which the required data are available.
3.  
The data given in the registration certificate, in accordance with Annexes I and II, shall be represented by the harmonised Community codes shown in those Annexes.

▼M4

4.  

Member States shall record electronically data on all vehicles registered on their territory. Those data shall include:

(a) 

all mandatory elements in accordance with point II.5 of Annex I as well as the elements of points II.6(J) and II.6(V.7) and (V.9) of that Annex, where the data are available;

(b) 

other non-mandatory data listed in Annex I or data from the certificate of conformity as provided for in Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 3 ), where possible;

(c) 

the outcome of mandatory periodic roadworthiness tests in accordance with Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 4 ) and the period of validity of the roadworthiness certificate.

The processing of personal data in the context of this Directive shall be carried out in accordance with Directives 95/46/EC ( 5 ) and 2002/58/EC ( 6 ) of the European Parliament and of the Council.

5.  
Technical vehicle data shall be made available to the competent authorities or testing centres for the purpose of periodic roadworthiness testing. Member States may limit the use and the dissemination of such data by testing centres in order to avoid their misuse.

Article 3a

1.  
Where the competent authority of a Member State receives notification of a periodic roadworthiness test showing that the authorisation to use a particular vehicle in road traffic has been suspended in accordance with Article 9 of Directive 2014/45/EU, the suspension shall be recorded electronically and an additional roadworthiness test shall be carried out.

The suspension shall be effective until the vehicle has passed a new roadworthiness test. On successful completion of the roadworthiness test, the competent authority shall without delay re-authorise the use of the vehicle in road traffic. No new process of registration shall be necessary.

Member States or their competent authorities may adopt measures to facilitate the retesting of a vehicle the authorisation of which for use in road traffic has been suspended. Those measures may include the grant of permission to travel on public roads between a place of repair and a test centre for the purpose of a roadworthiness test.

2.  
Member States may allow the holder of the registration certificate to submit a request to the competent authority for transfer of the registration to the new owner of the vehicle.
3.  
In the event that the competent authority of a Member State receives notification that a vehicle has been treated as an end-of-life vehicle in accordance with Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 7 ), the registration of that vehicle shall be cancelled permanently and information to that effect shall be added to the electronic register.

▼B

Article 4

For the purposes of this Directive, the registration certificate issued by a Member State shall be recognised by the other Member States for the identification of the vehicle in international traffic or for its re-registration in another Member State.

Article 5

1.  
For the purposes of identifying a vehicle in road traffic, Member States may require that the driver carry Part I of the registration certificate.
2.  
With a view to re-registering a vehicle previously registered in another Member State, the competent authorities shall require the submission of Part I of the previous registration certificate in every case and the submission of Part II if it was issued. These authorities shall withdraw the part(s) of the previous registration certificate submitted and shall keep the latter for a minimum of six months. They shall, within two months, inform the authorities of the Member State which delivered the certificate of its withdrawal. They shall return the certificate which they have withdrawn to those authorities if they so request within six months of its withdrawal.

Where the registration certificate consists of Parts I and II, and Part II is missing, the competent authorities in the Member State where the new registration has been requested may decide, in exceptional cases, to re-register the vehicle, but only after having obtained confirmation, in writing or by electronic means, from the competent authorities in the Member State where the vehicle was previously registered, that the applicant is entitled to re-register the vehicle in another Member State.

▼M4

3.  
Without prejudice to Articles 5(4) and 8(3) of Directive 2014/45/EU, Member States shall, as a matter of principle, recognise the validity of the roadworthiness certificate in the event that the ownership of a vehicle – which has a valid proof of periodic roadworthiness test – changes.

▼M4

Article 6

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 7 in order to amend:

— 
point II.4, second indent and point III.1.A(b) of both Annex I and Annex II, in the event of enlargement of the Union,
— 
point II.6 of Annex I in relation to non mandatory elements in the event of changes of definitions or of the content of certificates of conformity in the relevant Union type-approval legislation.

Article 7

1.  
The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.
2.  
The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 6 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from 19 May 2014. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the five-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period.
3.  
The delegation of powers referred to in Article 6 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.
4.  
As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.
5.  
A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 6 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by either the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

▼B

Article 8

1.  
Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations or administration provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 1 June 2004. They shall notify the Commission thereof immediately.

When Member States adopt these provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such reference at the time of their official publication. The methods of making such reference shall be laid down by Member States.

2.  
Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field governed by this Directive.

The Commission shall communicate to the Member States all the models for registration certificates used by the national administration.

▼M4

Article 9

Member States shall assist one another in the implementation of this Directive. They may exchange information at bilateral or multilateral level in particular so as to check, before any registration of a vehicle, the latter’s legal status, where necessary in the Member State in which it was previously registered. Such checking may in particular involve the use of an electronic network, comprising data from national electronic databases to facilitate the exchange of information.

▼B

Article 10

This Directive shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Article 11

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

▼M1




ANNEX I

PART I OF THE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE ( 8 )

I.

This part may be implemented in either of two formats: as a paper document or as a smart card. The characteristics of the paper document version are specified in Chapter II and those of the smart card version in Chapter III.

II.

Specifications of Part I of the Registration Certificate in paper format

II.1.

The overall dimensions of the Registration Certificate shall not be greater than an A4 format (210 × 297 mm) or a folder of A4 format.

II.2.

The paper used for Part I of the Registration Certificate shall be made secure against forgery by using at least two of the following techniques:

— 
graphics,
— 
watermark,
— 
fluorescent fibres, or
— 
fluorescent imprints.

Member States are free to introduce additional security features.

II.3.

Part I of the Registration Certificate may consist of several pages. Member States shall determine the number of pages in accordance with the information contained in the document and its layout.

II.4.

The first page of Part I of the Registration Certificate shall contain:

— 
the name of the Member State issuing Part I of the Registration Certificate,

▼A1

— 
the distinguishing mark of the Member State issuing Part I of the registration certificate, namely:

B

:

Belgium

▼M2

BG

:

Bulgaria

▼A1

CZ

:

Czech Republic

DK

:

Denmark

D

:

Germany

EST

:

Estonia

GR

:

Greece

E

:

Spain

F

:

France

▼M3

HR

:

Croatia

▼A1

IRL

:

Ireland

I

:

Italy

CY

:

Cyprus

LV

:

Latvia

LT

:

Lithuania

L

:

Luxembourg

H

:

Hungary

M

:

Malta

NL

:

Netherlands

A

:

Austria

PL

:

Poland

P

:

Portugal

▼M2

RO

:

Romania

▼A1

SLO

:

Slovenia

SK

:

Slovakia

FIN

:

Finland

S

:

Sweden

UK

:

United Kingdom,

▼M1

— 
the name of the competent authority,
— 
the words ‘Part I of the Registration Certificate’ or, if the certificate consists of one part only, the words ‘Registration Certificate’, printed in large type in the language or languages of the Member States issuing the Registration Certificate; they shall also appear, after a suitable space, in small type in the other languages of the European Community,
— 
the words ‘European Community’, printed in the language or languages of the Member State issuing Part I of the Registration Certificate,
— 
the number of the document.

II.5.

Part I of the Registration Certificate shall also contain the following data, preceded by the corresponding harmonised Community codes:

(A)

registration number;

(B)

date of first registration of the vehicle;

(C)

personal data;

(C.1)

holder of the Registration Certificate:

(C.1.1)

surname(s) or business name,

(C.1.2)

other name(s) or initial(s) (where appropriate),

(C.1.3)

address in the Member State of registration on the date of issue of the document;

(C.4)

Where the particulars specified in II.6, code C.2 are not included in the Registration Certificate, reference to the fact that the holder of the Registration Certificate:

(a) 

is the vehicle owner,

(b) 

is not the vehicle owner,

(c) 

is not identified by the Registration Certificate as being the vehicle owner;

(D)

vehicle:

(D.1)

make,

(D.2)

type,

— 
variant (if available),
— 
version (if available);

(D.3)

commercial description(s);

(E)

vehicle identification number;

(F)

mass:

(F.1)

maximum technically permissible laden mass, except for motorcycles;

(G)

mass of the vehicle in service with bodywork, and with coupling device in the case of a towing vehicle in service from any category other than M1;

(H)

period of validity, if not unlimited;

(I)

date of the registration to which this certificate refers;

(K)

type-approval number (if available);

(P)

engine;

(P.1)

capacity (in cm3),

(P.2)

maximum net power (in kW) (if available),

(P.3)

type of fuel or power source;

(Q)

power/weight ratio (in kW/kg) (only for motorcycles);

(S)

seating capacity,

(S.1)

number of seats, including the driver's seat,

(S.2)

number of standing places (where appropriate).

II.6.

Part I of the Registration Certificate may, moreover, contain the following data, preceded by the corresponding harmonised Community codes:

(C)

personal data,

(C.2)

owner of the vehicle (repeated as many times as there are owners),

(C.2.1)

surname or business name,

(C.2.2)

other name(s) or initial(s) (where appropriate),

(C.2.3)

address in the Member State of registration, on the date of issue of the document,

(C.3)

natural or legal person who may use the vehicle by virtue of a legal right other than that of ownership,

(C.3.1)

surname or business name,

(C.3.2)

other name(s) or initial(s) (where appropriate),

(C.3.3)

address in the Member State of registration, on the date of issue of the document,

(C.5), (C.6), (C.7), (C.8):

where a change in the personal data given in points II.5, code C.1, II.6, code C.2 and/or II.6, code C.3 does not give rise to the issue of a new Registration Certificate, the new personal data corresponding to these points may be included under codes (C.5), (C.6), (C.7) or (C.8); they are then broken down in accordance with the references in points II.5, code C.1, II.6, code C.2, II.6, code C.3 and II.5, code C.4;

(F)

mass:

(F.2)

maximum permissible laden mass of the vehicle in service in the Member State of registration;

(F.3)

maximum permissible laden mass of the whole vehicle in service in the Member State of registration;

(J)

vehicle category;

(L)

number of axles;

(M)

wheelbase (in mm);

(N)

for vehicles with a total exceeding 3 500  kg, distribution of the technically permissible maximum laden mass among the axles:

(N.1)

axle 1 (in kg),

(N.2)

axle 2 (in kg), where appropriate,

(N.3)

axle 3 (in kg), where appropriate,

(N.4)

axle 4 (in kg), where appropriate,

(N.5)

axle 5 (in kg), where appropriate,

(O)

technically permissible maximum towable mass of the trailer:

(O.1)

braked (in kg),

(O.2)

unbraked (in kg);

(P)

engine:

(P.4)

rated speed (in min-1),

(P.5)

engine identification number;

(R)

colour of the vehicle;

(T)

maximum speed (in km/h);

(U)

sound level:

(U.1)

stationary (in dB(A)),

(U.2)

engine speed (in min-1),

(U.3)

drive-by (in dB(A));

(V)

exhaust emissions:

(V.1)

CO (in g/km or g/kWh),

(V.2)

HC (in g/km or g/kWh),

(V.3)

NOx (in g/km or g/kWh),

(V.4)

HC + NOx (in g/km),

(V.5)

particulates for diesel (in g/km or g/kWh),

(V.6)

corrected absorption coefficient for diesel (in min-1),

▼M5

(V.7)

CO2 (in g/km) or Specific CO2 emissions where indicated at position 49.5 of the Certificate of Conformity of heavy-duty vehicles defined in the Appendix to Annex VIII to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/683 ( 9 ) or at position 49.5 of the individual vehicle approval certificate defined in Appendix 1 to Annex III to that Regulation,

▼M1

(V.8)

combined fuel consumption (in l/100 km),

(V.9)

indication of the environmental category of EC type-approval;

reference to the version applicable pursuant to Directive 70/220/EEC. ( 10 ) or Directive 88/77/EEC ( 11 ),

▼M5

(V.10)

CO2 emission class of heavy-duty vehicles determined at the moment of first registration, in accordance with Article 7ga(2) of Directive 1999/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 12 );

▼M1

(W)

fuel tank(s) capacity (in litres);

▼M4

(X)

proof of having passed the roadworthiness test, date of next roadworthiness test or expiry of current certificate.

▼M1

II.7

Member States may include additional information (in Part I of the Registration Certificate), in particular they may add between brackets to the identification codes, as laid down under II.5 and II.6, additional national codes.

III.

Specifications of Part I of the Registration Certificate in smart card format (Alternative to the specimen in paper format described in Chapter II)

III.1   Card format and data legible with the eye

Being a microprocessor card, the chip card shall be designed in accordance with the standards mentioned in Chapter III.5. The data stored on the card should be legible with normal reading devices (such as for tachograph cards).

Printed on the front and back of the card shall be at least the data specified in Chapters II.4 and II.5; these data shall be legible with the eye (minimum character height: 6 points) and printed on as follows. (Examples of possible lay-outs are presented in Figure 1 at the end of this section.)

A.   Basic imprint

The basic data shall contain the following:

Front

(a) 

To the right of the chip location:

in the language(s) of the Member State issuing the Registration Certificate
— 
the words ‘European Community’;
— 
the name of the Member State issuing the Registration Certificate;
— 
the words ‘Part I of the Registration Certificate’, or, if the certificate consists of one part only, the words ‘Registration Certificate’ printed in large type;
— 
another (e.g. previous national) designation of the equivalent document (optional);
— 
the name of the competent authority (alternatively, also in the form of a personalisation imprint as per Letter B);
— 
the unambiguous consecutive number of the document as used within the Member State (alternatively, also in the form of a personalisation imprint as per Letter B);
(b) 

Above the chip location:

the distinguishing mark of the Member State issuing the Registration Certificate, white in a blue rectangle and surrounded by twelve yellow stars:

B

Belgium

▼M2

BG

Bulgaria

▼M1

DK

Denmark

D

Germany

GR

Greece

E

Spain

F

France

▼M3

HR

Croatia

▼M1

IRL

Ireland

I

Italy

L

Luxembourg

NL

The Netherlands

A

Austria

P

Portugal

▼M2

RO

Romania

▼M1

FIN

Finland

S

Sweden

UK

United Kingdom

(c) 

Member States might consider adding, at the lower edge in small type and in their national language(s), the note: ‘This document should be produced to any authorised person requesting it.’

(d) 

The basic colour of the card is green (Pantone 362); alternatively, a green-to-white transition is possible.

(e) 

A symbol representing a wheel (see proposed lay-out in Fig.1) shall be printed within the printing area in the bottom left corner of the card front.

In other respects, the provisions of Chapter III.13 shall apply.

B.   Personalisation imprint

The personalisation imprint shall contain the following information:

Front

(a) 

the name of the competent authority — see also Letter Aa)

(b) 

the name of the authority issuing the Registration Certificate (optional)

(c) 

the unambiguous consecutive number of the document as used within the Member State — see also Letter Aa)

(d) 

The following data from Chapter II.5; according to Chapter II.7, individual national codes may be added to the preceding harmonised Community codes:



Code

Reference

 

 

(A)

registration number (official licence number)

(B)

date of first registration of the vehicle

(I)

date of the registration to which this certificate refers

personal data

(C.1)

holder of the Registration Certificate

 

(C.1.1)

surname or business name

 

(C.1.2)

other name(s) or initial(s) (where appropriate)

 

(C.1.3)

address in the Member State of registration on the date of issue of the document

(C.4)

Where the particulars specified in Chapter II.6, code C.2 are not included in the imprint of the Registration Certificate defined in the Letters A and B, reference to the fact that the holder of the Registration Certificate

(a)  is the vehicle owner;

(b)  is not the vehicle owner;

(c)  is not identified as the vehicle owner in the Registration Certificate;

Back

The back shall bear at least the remaining data specified in Chapter II.5; in accordance with Chapter II.7, individual national codes may be added to the preceding harmonised Community codes.

In detail, these data are:



Code

Reference

 

 

Vehicle Data (in consideration of the notes in Chapter II.5)

 

(D.1)

make

 

(D.2)

type (variant/version, where appropriate)

 

(D.3)

commercial description(s)

(E)

vehicle identification number

 

(F.1)

max. technically permissible laden mass, except for motorcycles (kg)

(G)

mass of the vehicle in service with bodywork, and with coupling device in the case of a towing vehicle in service from any category other than M1 (kg)

(H)

period of validity, if not unlimited

(K)

type-approval number (if available)

 

(P.1)

displacement (cm3)

 

(P.2)

nominal power (kW)

 

(P.3)

type of fuel or power source

(Q)

power/weight ratio (in kW/kg) (only for motorcycles)

 

(S.1)

number of seats, including driver's seat

 

(S.2)

number of standing places (where appropriate)

Optionally, additional data from II.6 (with the harmonised codes) and II.7 may be added on the back of the card.

C.   Physical security features of the smart card

The threats to the physical security of documents are:

— 
Production of false cards: creating a new object which bears great resemblance to the document, either by making it from scratch or by copying an original document.
— 
Material alteration: changing a property of an original document, e.g. modifying some of the data printed on the document.

The material used for Part I of the Registration Certificate shall be made secure against forgery by using at least three of the following techniques:

— 
microprinting,
— 
guilloche printing*,
— 
iridescent printing,
— 
laser engraving,
— 
ultraviolet fluorescent ink,
— 
inks with viewing angle — dependent colour*,
— 
inks with temperature — dependent colour*,
— 
custom holograms*,
— 
variable laser images,
— 
optical variable images.

Member States are free to introduce additional security features.

As a basis, the techniques indicated with an asterisk are to be preferred as they enable the law enforcement officers to check the validity of the card without any special means.