If you reside in Belgium, you are normally not allowed to drive a vehicle with foreign number plates on Belgian public roads. As a Belgian resident you will need to import your car and pay the local registration and annual road tax. This is mandatory even when your vehicle has already been registered abroad in your personal name or in a company’s name. As road taxes are a regional competence in Belgium, the tax due for your car can vary significantly from region to region (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia).
However, in some very specific situations you will not be required to register your foreign car in Belgium and can continue driving with foreign number plates:
- The vehicle is made available free of charge to an individual residing in Belgium for a maximum of 30 days per calendar year. You are required to keep a document in the car drawn up by the foreign owner in which it is stated that the latter gives permission to use the vehicle for a fixed period with a specific ending date.
- The vehicle is rented from a rental company abroad for a maximum of 6 months. When asked for it, you should be able to present a signed and dated rental contract in the name of the person driving the vehicle in Belgium.
- The vehicle is driven by a civil servant residing in Belgium who works for an international institution located in another EU Member State. The driver needs to keep proof of their accreditation issued by the employer on board the vehicle.
- The vehicle is used by a foreign student for the duration of their studies in Belgium. The student should always be able to demonstrate proof of studying or registration at a Belgian university or other educational institution.
- The vehicle is used by an employee who works for a foreign employer in Belgium. The employee needs to keep a copy of the employment contract in the car, together with a written authorization by the foreign employer that the car is made available to this particular employee. The vehicle is mainly used for professional purposes but can also be used privately.
The general rule is that if any of the listed documents are not on board the vehicle when asked for by the authorities, the Belgian tax is immediately due. In some cases, the authorities will give you a short delay to provide the required documents.
TAXPATRIA® can advise you on your Belgian tax requirements and make sure you are fully compliant when residing and working in Belgium.