Guidance

Check if you need to register a trailer before towing it abroad

From 28 March 2019, you must register commercial trailers over 750kg and all trailers over 3,500kg before towing them through some mainland European countries.

Trailers that have to be registered

From 28 March 2019, trailers must be registered before they can travel through countries that have ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

You must register:

  • commercial trailers over 750kg
  • non-commercial trailers over 3,500kg

You can voluntarily register non-commercial trailers that weigh over 750kg, but there’s no legal requirement to do it.

This means that these trailers making international journeys will need to:

  • display their own registration plate (separate from the vehicle towing them)
  • be able to show the trailer registration certificate to a foreign authority on request

Countries where the rule applies

Trailers must be registered to travel in these countries in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Europe:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Countries where trailers do not need to be registered

You do not need to register trailers that are only used:

  • in the UK
  • for journeys between the UK and Ireland

You also do not need to register trailers used in:

  • Cyprus
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Spain

However, you must register trailers to tow them through any country where the rules apply to reach Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Malta or Spain.

Register your trailer

Use the service to register your trailer to take it abroad.

You can use this to:

  • create an account to register your trailer or trailers
  • manage your registered trailer details - for example, if you sell or scrap a trailer

It costs:

  • £26 to register a trailer for the first time
  • £21 to issue a new registration certificate for a new registered keeper
  • £10 for a replacement UK trailer registration certificate

If you have an abnormal load trailer

You must also apply for a keeper’s certificate for an abnormal load trailer to take it abroad. You need to keep the keeper’s certificate in your vehicle when you go abroad.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 12 April 2019, some EU and EEA countries may also require a separate Green Card as proof of insurance for trailers.

If you’re travelling with a trailer, contact your insurance provider to get 2 Green Cards - one for the towing vehicle, and one for the trailer.

This does not mean that you need to buy separate insurance.

Register for updates on GOV.UK and via DVLA email alerts.

See also

This guidance expands on the road haulage technical notice published in September 2018.

Published 25 October 2018
Last updated 26 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Link to 'Register your trailer to take it abroad' start page added.
  2. Listing the information required to register a trailer for international use.
  3. First published.
  1. Step 1 Apply for operator licences and permits

    1. Check if you need a vehicle operator licence
    2. Apply for a vehicle operator licence

    You will need other licences and permits, depending on the countries you're driving to or through.

    1. Check which licences and permits you need
  2. Step 2 Make sure your driver is eligible to drive abroad

  3. Step 3 Check the rules for the goods you're carrying

    1. Find out if you need export licences

    There are rules for transporting certain goods. Check the rules for:

  4. Step 4 Find out what documents your driver needs to carry

  5. Step 5 Check local road rules

    1. Check the road rules for European countries on the AA website
    2. Check travel advice for countries outside Europe

    When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need, you can transport goods abroad.