Car Registration in Sweden

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​The process for registering a vehicle on the Transport Agency in Sweden consists of several steps, and depending on how you buy your car, the steps which need to be taken may become more complex. CARFAX Europe sets out to explain the process of registering a vehicle on the Transport Agency, to help clarify any potential questions you may have and help get you out on the road faster.

The three different situations covered in this how-to guide are:

  • Registering a new car in Sweden
  • Registering a used vehicle in Sweden
  • Registering  an imported car in Sweden

Follow along to find out exactly what you need to do, depending on your particular situation.

Registering a New Car on the Transport Agency

The car registration process for new vehicles is fairly straight forward. The first car registration can be performed at the Transport Agency. To begin, you will need to order a registration certificate.

Registration Certificates

In Sweden, registration certificates are issued for all registered vehicles. Registration certificates can be ordered online or by phone (+46 (0) 771-25 25 25). There are two parts to each certificate:

Part 1 – Technical Details & Registration Information

The first part of the registration certificate is sent to the person who is using the vehicle. In many cases, this is also the owner. But in some situations, leasing for example, the user is not the same as the owner. Part 1 of the registration certificate contains the following information:

  • An authorization code (required for use on transportstyrelsen.se or when making calls to the Transport Agency’s service hotline)
  • Vehicle owner / user information
  • Information about leasing / purchases made on credit
  • Technical vehicle specifications & general vehicle information

Part 1 can also be used when licensing the vehicle for use, making an off-road notification (if you will not be using a vehicle, thus negating the need to pay traffic insurance and road tax), ordering the part 2 of the registration certificate, or ordering license plates.

Part 2 – Records Relating to Owner

The second part will be sent to the owner of the vehicle. This part of the registration certificate is very important, as it must be attached to the application to transfer ownership when selling the vehicle or when deregistering. Part 2 of the registration certificate contains the following information:

  • Current owner
  • Previous owners / users (not always applicable)
  • General vehicle information

Keep in mind, you need to bring your registration certificate with you whenever driving the vehicle abroad.

Licensing a Vehicle for Use

Before being able to drive the vehicle, it will also need to be licensed for use. In order to complete the licensing process, you must have traffic insurance and pay road tax. The two easiest ways to apply to license your vehicle for use are either online or by phone.

Traffic Insurance

Traffic insurance in Sweden is mandatory for all licensed vehicles. This means, in order to use the vehicle on the road, you must be listed in the Swedish Road Traffic Registry. For owners who do not currently have traffic insurance, you will need to acquire some from an insurance company before applying to license the vehicle for use.

Road Tax

When it comes to registering a vehicle, road tax must be paid in combination with licensing your vehicle for use. Immediately upon applying to license the vehicle for use, the Transport Agency will send you a payment slip. It is required to pay the road tax within three weeks after the date of licensing.

Keep in mind that road tax is paid for the full month, regardless of when the vehicle was licensed. This means, if registering a vehicle in the middle or end of a month, you will still have to pay road tax for the whole month.

Roadworthiness Tests

drive test

To complete the process of registering a vehicle for new cars bought in Sweden, you will not need to complete a roadworthiness test. The first test must take place within three years from the date of its first registration. After this, a roadworthiness test must be completed two years later, when the car is five years old. From this point, a roadworthiness test must be completed on a yearly basis.

Once roadworthiness tests become necessary, you may have the vehicle assessed by an inspector accredited by the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment.

In order to ensure your vehicle meets the standards of safety and functionality, the following areas are checked:

  • All lights (headlights, brake, turn signals, reverse, hazard, fog lamps, license plate, etc.)
  • Windows and mirrors (cracks, breaks, etc.)
  • Windshield wipers
  • Tire tread (min. of 1.6 mm)
  • Seat belts
  • Engine
  • Brakes
  • Presence of warning triangle

Renewal of Car Registration

When renewing a car registration, you will need to show the expiring registration documentation. For this reason, be sure to keep all important documents in a safe location.

Registering a Used Car / Change of Car Owner

If you have bought or sold a vehicle, there are additional steps to be taken when registering a vehicle. To begin, both the buyer and seller need to notify the Swedish Road Traffic Registry within ten days after the transfer of ownership. The most recently issued registration certificate will need to be used.

Notification of Change of Ownership

To properly complete the process, send the notification of change of ownership to the following address:

The Transport Agency

SE-701 81 Örebro, Sweden

The following details have to be included in the notification:

  • Personal identity number / corporate identity number of the buyer
  • Buyer's name
  • Swedish address of the buyer
  • Date of ownership transfer
  • Buyer and seller’s signatures

There are a couple of situations to be aware of. Sometimes, the information provided on the change of ownership notification is incorrect. In this case, the transfer of ownership is not valid and the previous owner will remain registered. As a buyer or seller of a used car, it is critical to make sure the other person is who they say they are. Also, it is recommended to ensure the notification was actually sent. This will help avoid potentially costly problems.

For used vehicles bring bought from or sold to a dealership, this process is often completed on the computer, using a direct portal to the Transport Agency. If this is the case, for your part, you will have to notify the authorities of the transfer of ownership using the registration certificate.

Licensing a Vehicle for Use

When registering a used vehicle, there are a couple of additional things to consider regarding traffic insurance and the payment of road tax.

Traffic Insurance

The new owner of a vehicle needs to take out traffic insurance from the date when the notification of transfer of ownership was made. Until the transfer has been registered, the previous owner will remain responsible for all claims related to the vehicle.

Road Tax

In the case where the transfer of ownership takes place in the month where road tax needs to be paid, responsibility to pay is not transferred to the new owner. This is still the case, even if the transfer takes place before the payment is due. Because of this, for those selling their car, considering the timing of the transfer plays an important role.

Additionally, it is not possible to retroactively license a vehicle for use. This means, the date which the vehicle is licensed needs to be either after the change of ownership notification or on the same day. Licensing the vehicle before the transfer of ownership is notified will result in the previous owner remaining responsible for paying road tax. If done on the same day, the road tax can be charged to the new owner.  

A Warning About Vehicles Bought on Credit

If you are buying a used car from someone, it is your responsibility to research the vehicle’s history before buying. One important thing to keep an eye on, is when a vehicle was previously bought using credit. If the previous owner has not resolved the open credit, there is a chance the new buyer will have to pay for the car twice.

Roadworthiness Tests

Roadworthiness tests should continue to follow the schedule previously described. It is not required to conduct one when a transferring ownership of a vehicle.

Keep in mind there are additional considerations when registering a vehicle for a minor, leasing vehicles, when buying a vehicle from someone without a Swedish personal ID number, the seller is an estate/deceased person, and/or if the vehicle will be designated for use off-road or as a taxi/commercial transport vehicle.

Registering an imported car in Sweden

As one might expect, things are a little more complicated when it comes to registering a vehicle which was bought outside of Sweden. There are some additional steps which must be taken in order to complete the registration process.

In order to register an imported vehicle, whether it’s new or used, you will need to have the original registration document available.

Clearing Customs (Non-EU Vehicles)

The first step of importing a car into Sweden is clearing customs. This process applies only to vehicles which were not purchased within the European Union. Upon entering the country with the vehicle, you will need to report it to customs and pay an import duty of 10%.

In addition to an import duty, the purchase of some vehicles require VAT to be paid in Sweden. Owners of vehicles which are classified as “new” must pay VAT. Vehicles receive a classification of new if they have been driven less than 6,000km at the time of purchase, or if the vehicle is less than six months old. Only one of the conditions must be met.

Temporary Car Registration

Temporary registration is not necessary for all cases, but for many. If your vehicle has a valid registration and traffic insurance in the EU/EEA country from where you purchased it, you can drive the vehicle in Sweden for up to one week. For those needing longer to fulfill the registration process, or those without valid registration in another country, you will also need to apply for temporary registration. An exception to this rule is after the one week has expired, you do not need a temporary registration if you only use the vehicle to drive the shortest possible distance to and from the official registration inspection. In any case, if you haven’t already insured the vehicle, you will need to apply for a temporary traffic insurance as well. A certificate provided by the insurance company will need to be submitted along with the application.

For vehicles coming from countries outside of the EU or European Economic Area, you will always have a restricted temporary registration. This allows the vehicle to only be driven the shortest possible route from customs to a storage location while awaiting inspection, and to and from the official registration inspection. The following nations are a part of the EEA:

Austria Estonia Iceland Luxembourg Romania
Belgium Finland Ireland Malta Slovakia
Bulgaria France Italy Netherlands Slovenia
Cyprus Germany Latvia Norway Spain
Czech Republic Greece Lichtenstein Poland Sweden
Denmark Hungary Lithuania Portugal United Kingdom​ 

If you have not applied for temporary registration or do not already have an appointment for inspection, the vehicle may only be transported around on a trailer.

Keep in mind that temporary registration can only be applied for in combination with the verification of origin. Only after the verification of origin has been approved can you receive your temporary registration and temporary license plates. Temporary registration is valid for a period of three months. Download the application form here (link to Application temporary registration pdf).

Verification of Origin

The next part of the process for registering a vehicle, often done in parallel to temporary registration, is to submit an application for the verification of origin. There are two methods to complete this step, either online or by downloading this form (link to Application for Verification of Origin), filling it out and mailing it in. If completed online, you will have to print the filled out form and mail it in as well. The fee for the application is SEK 600 and must be paid in advance.

Necessary Documents

 To successfully complete your application for verification of origin, there are several documents which will need to be submitted. Depending on your particular situation, there may be more or less.

Documents Which Must Always Be Sent:

  • Signed application form (or confirmation of application when completed online)
  • Original registration certificate from the country of origin (if it exists)
  • Proof of purchase / transfer of ownership (document must include information linking the specific vehicle, e.g. Vehicle Identification Number [VIN])

Additional Documents for Vehicles Imported from Non-EU Country:

  • Proof the vehicle has cleared customs (even if customs was cleared in another EU country)

For vehicles (or vehicle types) which haven’t previously been registered, it may be necessary to provide a “Certificate of Conformity” proving the vehicle conforms to the local standards.

Official Registration Inspection & Roadworthiness Test

After receiving approval of your application for verification of origin, you can arrange an appointment for the official registration inspection. The registration inspection will check the vehicle for conformity of Swedish standards. This includes exhaust emissions as well as collision protection equipment.

There are a couple of exceptions which would remove the requirement to have a full inspection performed. If the vehicle already has a European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval, it already conforms to the standards and does not need to be adapted to meet Swedish regulations. This is also the case when it can be proved (through registration certificate) that the vehicle has already been registered in another EU country. If the vehicle is a left-hand drive, comes with British-standard speedometers, or is a small-series model, the above exemptions do not apply.

Additionally, it is good to know that vehicle’s which come from or have a history in the United States often need to undergo modifications to conform to Swedish and general European standards. Checking a CARFAX Vehicle History Report can inform you if a specific import car has a history in the USA. On top of this, it will uncover a lot of useful information about a vehicle’s past, including accident records, mileage history, whether the vehicle has been registered stolen or scrapped, and much more. Learning these things in advance can save you a lot of trouble while registering a vehicle.

If necessary, a roadworthiness test will also be completed at this time.

Completing the Car Registration

Upon the successful conclusion and approval of the registration inspection and roadworthiness test, a registration number will automatically be generated for your vehicle. A registration certificate and license plates will also be sent automatically to your registered address. Once you have received both the registration certificate and license plates, you can proceed with the previously mentioned steps for licensing the vehicle for use.

sweden key car

Check a registration number with CARFAX

If you want to check the registration number of any used car in Sweden and then know the history of a car, try CARFAX Identity Check here.  With official information from Transportstyrelsens and many other unique sources, CARFAX provides the most comprehensive Vehicle History Report in Sweden.