Registration Process

Go to the nearest Motorizzazione, which is a region’s equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, hereafter abbreviated as DMV. When you get there, most likely there will be a receptionist who will ask what do you want to do, and you can tell the man that you want to matriculate your vehicle from America to Italy. It is highly unlikely that someone will speak English fluent enough to complete the process and happen to work there, so you need have basic proficiency in conversational Italian before you go.

Vorrei immatricolare la mia macchina dall’America in Italia” – This is probably the easiest way to say in Italian what you want to do.

Don’t expect that the receptionist or the people behind the teller windows will know immediate what to do. It is possible that they are completely unfamiliar with the procedures and your request will be the first time. Some DMV have specific office for dealing with foreign vehicles, they are usually identified by labels such as “sportello veicoli dall’estero” (vehicle from abroad window). If such window exists, go directly there.

Now, in Italy, it is important not to take any answers, even from an official, as the last word. For the same thing, there can be several interpretation and procedures. Therefore, remember do not let anyone tell you that it is not possible to register your car in Italy. One expat had a particular bad experience at the DMV in Trento, as quoted from her blog web site:

Within minutes, we were escorted to a small, second-floor office where a man behind a computer told us that registering a non-EU vehicle could not be done. I handed him the printout that listed the process and paperwork. I showed him our papers. He shook his head. It cannot be done.

“Only European cars can be registered in Italy.”

“Our car is European, we just happened to buy it in America.”

“Doesn’t matter. An American car cannot get Italian plates. It cannot be done.”

“But I have friends who have registered a car here. They have Italian plates on a Jeep!”

“It cannot be done.”

“Allora, che dobbiamo fare? What must we do?”

“Why don’t you drive on your California plates?”

Source: Our Greatest Expat Mistake

Eventually, after she was denied several times over the course of a period, she sent the car back to the U. S. at a great loss. The person in charge at the Trento motor vehicle office is incompetent and does not want to admit it, and he has no idea what to do, that’s why he denied her request as not possible.

In reality, registration of vehicles from the U. S. is possible and has been done by many people. You must insist and do not take no for answer. If necessary, educate the worker about the procedure. A link to a complete list of procedure issued by the Motorizzazion of Piemonte is available as part of my eBook Premium Pack.

Now, if you know the specific procedure, you will have an easier time convincing someone who is not familiar with his job. The form you will need is DTT2119, which a competent employee should provide you to get started.

ThThese are the documents you need to begin the registration, if you read the earlier section, you should have them prepared by now:

  •  A valid identification document recognized by the Italian government (passport, Carta d’identita, etc.), plus a photocopy
  • If you are not a citizen of the European Union, you will also need to provide your Permesso di Soggiorno (resident’s permit)
  • The original and a photocopy of your title, registration and their apostille documents
  • The certified translation of the title and registration documents
  • The original and a photocopy of the bolletta e certificate doganale (custom bill and certification, which is Form A22, they are usually on one document)
  •  Prepare about €130 euros to pay several versamento (payment) for which they will provide the payment forms and will likely ask you to pay at a post office
  • The Caratteristiche Techniche del veicolo (the Technical Characteristics / homologation document from either the manufacturer of your car or C. E. T. O. C. in Italy)

If you are missing one or two documents, don’t panic. The process is somewhat depended on the person in charge, his interpretation of the rule, and your circumstance and persuasion. For example, when I first began applying, I still have not had my permesso di soggiorno yet, however, with a valid passport, and the fact that I am married to an Italian, they accepted the application. The person in charge told me to get the registration and title translated by a court translator, which was expensive. I did that, and when I came back with the translations, he asked me for the apostilles, and I did not know what they are or I needed them. I explained the fact that both the car and me are already here and it would be impractical to go back to the U. S. to obtain two documents, and I already paid for the certified translations as he asked. In the end, he accepted the application without them. However, I still recommend that you have all your documents in place, especially now this web site exists.

After you have paid the various payments at the post office, go back with your application and the payment receipt and all the necessary documents to the DMV, they will accept your application for processing. Don’t breathe in relief yet, as this will be only the first part of a potentially very long process.

They will need your contact information. Once the application has been processed, they will schedule an appointment to test and inspect your car for road worthiness. It could take up to two months to get an appointment.


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