Registering your car: how does it work?

Registering your car: how does it work?

Did you know that to be able to travel on public roads, any motor vehicle weighing more than 750 kg must first be registered in the “vehicle directory” kept by the Vehicle Registration Department (DIV)? In addition to a license plate and a green card, you therefore also need a registration certificate for your car, under the penalty of criminal prosecution. When are you required to register your car and how do you do it? How much does it cost and how long will you have to wait to receive your registration certificate? Conversely, how to deregister your vehicle? Explanations in this article.

When should you register your car?

If you live in Belgium, your vehicle (car, motorcycle, van, or truck) must have a registration certificate before you can hit the road for the first time.

How to proceed?

If you buy a new car or a new motorcycle, the seller (garage or private individual) must give you a pink vehicle registration form. Appointment, with this pink form, at your P&V adviser. He or she will take care of applying with you and will register your vehicle online at the DIV (Vehicle Registration Department).
Please note: the vehicle registration application form, issued by the technical control, is only valid for 2 months. After this period, you or the seller will have to go back to the technical control to extend its validity against payment.
You have moved? Don’t forget to have your registration certificate changed with your municipal administration. Indeed, during the technical inspection, the examiner checks that the address on the certificate corresponds to your legal domicile. If this is not the case, the technical inspection may refuse your vehicle.

How long will you have to wait to receive your plate and registration certificate?

Once the request has been made by you or your P&V adviser, your registration certificate and your registration plate are sent by bpost to your main residence. If the order has been sent to bpost before 6 pm, the number plate is delivered the next working day (except in cases of force majeure). If the order was sent after 6 pm, the number plate is delivered on the 2nd following working day.

Payment terms

While issuing a plate will cost you 30 euros, issuing a registration certificate will cost you 26 euros. These amounts are to be paid directly to bpost:
if the package is delivered to your home or an address of your choice: in cash and the exact amount (COD = Cash On Delivery = no transfer possible);
if you pick up your package at an office or post office: in cash or by bancontact.
Also, note that once paid, fees are non-refundable.
If you want to get your registration certificate and license plate faster, it will cost you an additional 80 euros. You will then receive your certificate and plate the same day (if registered with the DIV before 12:30 pm).

What should you do after receiving the registration certificate?

First, check that the number plate on the registration certificate is identical to the number printed on the plate. Check that all other data is correct, including your name, address, and vehicle details.
If you notice an error (eg wrong plate format, incorrect data on the registration certificate), contact the DIV call center directly (tel: 02 277 30 50 or e-mail Be sure to report any anomaly quickly to avoid any future problems.
All is correct? Since September 1, 2013, the registration certificate consists of two parts. After receipt, carefully cut the certificate in half. The two elements together form a single document with the same security number. Both sections are necessary for the sale, registration, or re-registration of your car. You must keep one of these two parts at home while the other must always be on board the vehicle.
This format for the registration certificate aims to make fraudulent practices more difficult. Indeed, having both parts of the registration certificate is necessary for the sale, registration, or re-registration of a vehicle.

What to do if you lose your registration certificate?

Have you lost your registration certificate or has it been stolen? In this case, you must make a declaration to the local police, who will issue you a certificate of theft or loss. Then give it to your P&V adviser, who will help you complete an application form for the attention of the DIV. Your P&V adviser will put a sticker on this form to prove that your vehicle is insured.

How to stop the registration of your vehicle?

If you wish to have your vehicle deregistered, you must return your license plate to the DIV. Do it as soon as possible. As long as the DIV has not received your license plate and it is therefore not deregistered, you continue to pay road tax. You have three options:
You give your license plate (the official plate on the back of which a seal is affixed) to your insurer.
You deposit your license plate in the mailbox at the head office or a DIV counter. Please note: the boxes located on the counters are only accessible during opening hours. Are you abroad? Return your plaque by post to DIV – Radiations – Rue du Progrès 56 1210 Brussels.

Bring your official plate (the “back” plate with the DIV logo), without packaging, to a bpost office or post office.

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