Guide: Changing the ownership of a car in Sweden

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Whenever you buy or sell a vehicle, you and the second party will need to inform the Swedish Road Traffic Registry of the change of ownership. CARFAX guides you through this relatively straightforward process as well as discusses all the important information connected to a change of ownership. Follow along to learn all about it.

Basics of the Change of Ownership Notification

You have up to ten days to submit a notification of the change of ownership after the transfer of the vehicle has been made. In order to complete the process, you will need to use the last-issued registration certificate. Whenever the notification is received more than ten days after the transfer, the date included in the notification will not be used, rather the date on which the notification was received. Additionally, the new owner of the vehicle is required to take out mandatory road traffic insurance beginning on the date the notification of the change of ownership is made.

These two points are important to note, as the previous owner will continue to be responsible, and liable, for the vehicle until the change of ownership notification is received and officially registered.

What Is Included on the Change of Ownership Notification

In order to be complete, the change of ownership notification will need to include:

  • Personal identity (ID) number, corporate ID number, or other officially issued number of the buyer
  • Name of the buyer 
  • Buyer's Swedish address 
  • Date of the ownership transfer
  • Buyer and seller’s signatures

The following additional information must be included when the ownership is transferred to a minor (someone under the age of 18):

  • Personal ID numbers, as well as names and signatures, of the minor’s guardians / custodians
  • Details regarding which of the guardians / custodians should be registered

Notifications regarding the change of ownership must be sent to:

The Swedish Transport Agency

SE-701 81 Örebro, Sweden

In the case of buying a vehicle from, or selling a vehicle to, a dealership, it is often possible to complete the change of ownership notification on a computer via a direct link to the Swedish Transport Agency. When this is true, you will not need to notify the Swedish Transport Agency using the registration certificate yourself.

Tax Obligations

In situations where a vehicle is bought or sold within its relevant payment month, the tax obligation is not transferred with the ownership to the new owner. This is even true when the change of ownership takes place before the tax payment is due. The person registered as the vehicle’s owner at the start of the payment month is ultimately responsible to pay the tax. Keep this in mind, because if the payment is not made on time, the vehicle cannot be used until the tax payment is received.

Incorrect Information on the Change of Ownership Notification

As with all things, sometimes a mistake is made when submitting the change of ownership notification. If the details on the notification are inaccurate, the change of ownership cannot be completed and the previous owner will remain registered in the Swedish Road Traffic Registry as the vehicle’s official owner. This results in a significant cost obligation as well, because, for example, the owner is responsible for insuring the vehicle.

It is your duty to make sure the change of ownership is completed. This includes ensuring the other party is really who they claim to be (e.g. checking their documents to check if they are providing false information), and if you want to be extra sure, making sure the notification is actually placed in the mailbox, properly addressed to the Swedish Transport Agency. This is the best way to make sure no surprise cost liabilities find their way to your doorstep.

Check our  full guide on the vehicle tax.

Registration Certificates in Conjunction with a Change of Ownership

Whenever completing a change of ownership notification, you will need to use the most recently issued original registration certificate. Beginning in 2004, a European Union harmonized registration certificate has been in use, which is made up of two parts. For those who have not received a new registration certificate, the old one is able to be used.

If you have the new registration certificate, you can complete the change of ownership notification on part two (the yellow section) of the registration certificate.

Check our full guide on registration certificate.

Change of Ownership in Conjunction with Licensing a Vehicle for Use

When licensing a vehicle for use in combination with a change of ownership, considering the order in which the notification is made is an important step when determining who will be liable for the tax obligation. 

While it is possible to do so with the change of ownership, licensing the vehicle for use cannot be done retroactively. The date on which the notification was registered is the starting point from which the vehicle is licensed for use. This could be either the date on which the notification was received, or a later date if you specified a date in the future on your notification. Ultimately, it is important that the change of ownership is made before or on the exact same date as the vehicle is licensed for use.

Three examples, to demonstrate the importance of timing the notifications:

  1. If the vehicle is licensed for use using a self-service portal from the Transport Agency on June 15th, but the date of the change of ownership notification is June 16th, the obligation to pay vehicle tax will remain with the previous owner.
  2. Although, if the date on the change of ownership notification is also June 15th, the Swedish Tax Agency will consider if the obligation to pay vehicle tax could be transferred to the new owner. The previous owner will need to contact the Agency directly to request that the new owner be liable for the tax.
  3. In the case that the notification is made using the registration certificate, directly in connection with the change of ownership, the new owner becomes liable for the vehicle tax.

Change of Ownership in Conjunction with an Off Road Notification

Vehicle tax is no longer required when making an off road notification for a vehicle. Because in most cases the vehicle tax is paid for the full year in advance, any excess of the vehicle tax which has already been paid will be refunded to the person registered as the owner at the time the off road notification is completed. In cases where a change of ownership is made in conjunction with an off road notification, the new owner will receive the refund.

The off road notification is valid from the day the Swedish Transport Agency receives it. If an off road notification is received later than the date indicated on a change of ownership notification, this could mean that the vehicle is licensed for use in the time between these two dates. This is important to note because during this time, the new owner is responsible for insuring the vehicle, and is liable for any events which may occur as well.

sweden key car

Special Situations Relating to a Change of Ownership

There are several specific situations in which additional conditions apply when making a change of ownership notification.

Vehicles Purchased Using Credit

If a vehicle is sold using credit, where the seller maintains the right to repossess the vehicle due to neglect by the buyer to fulfill their payment obligation, the details of the transaction should be included with the change of ownership notification.

It is especially important when buying a used vehicle to ensure the previous owner has fulfilled their obligation regarding the credit payment for the vehicle. It is the buyer’s responsibility to find out this information, because if there is an open balance, there is a high risk that the buyer will need to pay twice for the vehicle – first when buying it from the previous owner and again the open balance to the creditor.

Vehicles Which Have Been Leased

For all vehicles covered under a minimum one-year leasing agreement, this must also be registered on the registration certificate. You will also need to attach a copy of the leasing agreement.

Whenever a leased vehicle is sold, a change of ownership notification is only approved by the Swedish Transport Agency with explicit permission of the lessor, or when the lessor completes the notification directly.

Buyers Without a Swedish Personal Identity (ID) Number

In order to register a change of ownership, the new owner must have a Swedish personal ID number. If the buyer does not have one, they can apply for a “coordination number” instead. This number can then be used with the change of ownership, and a written request should be attached including the person’s Swedish address along with the notification. A copy of the person’s identification documents should also be included.

Please note: An “LMA card” is not considered a valid identification document.

If you have more questions, or to get additional information related to this topic, you can contact Vehicle Enquiries at +46 (0)771-14 15 16. For more information related to coordination numbers, check out the Swedish Tax Agency’s website.

Change of Ownership as Pertains to Minors

In cases where the seller or buyer is a minor (under the age of 18), both guardians / custodians must approve the change of ownership notification before it can be registered.

Minors may not be the solitary registered owner of a vehicle for which they do not have a driving license or permit. A change of ownership notification must then include the name of the guardian / custodian whom will be registered with the Swedish Road Traffic Registry as responsible for vehicle taxes, traffic insurance, and other associated charges.

The following guardian / custodian information must be stated on the “Other Notifications” section on part two of the registration certificate:

  • Personal identification (ID) numbers
  • Names
  • Signatures
  • Details regarding which guardian / custodian will be registered

Please note: If the above information is not received, the change of ownership notification cannot be registered.

The registered guardian / custodian will then be responsible for completing and signing all notifications on the registration certificate. If the guardian / custodian should change, this information should also be included on the “Other Notifications” section on the registration certificate, as well as the date of the change. The Swedish Transport Agency must receive notification of this change no later than 10 days after this date.

Once a minor reaches 18 years of age, or obtains a driving license or permit for the vehicle, the guardian / custodian will be automatically removed from the registry. From this point on, the minor is responsible for paying vehicle tax, traffic insurance, and other vehicle-related charges, such parking tickets.

Vehicles Sold by the Estate of a Deceased Person

When a vehicle is bought or sold from the estate of a deceased person, all procedures relating to the change of notification remain the same. The only additional information to know is that the estate administrator, a part-owner, or another representative of the estate must sign the notification.

Off-road Vehicles and Tractors

If you would like to register a change of ownership for an off-road vehicle or tractor, details regarding how this vehicle is used must be included in the notification. The description of its usage is necessary for the Swedish Transport Agency to be able to assess how the vehicle is taxed.

Please note: A detailed description is necessary. For example, “tractor for farming” or “class 2” are not detailed enough descriptions. Providing more information will help ensure a smoother process.

Commercial Transport Vehicles (e.g. Taxis)

Change of ownership notifications for vehicles which are used as taxis, or will be used as one in the future, must include this information. For vehicles which will no longer be used as a taxi, all taxi plates will need to be returned to the Swedish Transport Agency, or the county administrative board, before a change of notification can be completed.

Please note: If a vehicle will no longer be used as a taxi, a registration inspection must be completed within one month of the end of use.

For all vehicles used in other forms of commercial transport, information regarding this usage must be included on the notification and it will be passed onto the county administrative board.

Checking the CARFAX 

Before buying a used vehicle and completing the change of ownership process, it is always recommended to learn as much about its past as possible. CARFAX makes learning details about a vehicle very simple. With the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, used car shoppers can learn the useful information such as: Ownership history, technical specifications, car inspection information, vehicle tax payment (amount / month / schedule), mileage records and much more…