Vehicle services

vehicle transfer

Name transfer for Spanish vehicles.
If you are buying

Before committing yourself to a purchase, you can ask in Trafico for a document called “Informe” – life of vehicle. It will tell you if the vehicle has any problems/fines attached to it and who is the current official owner.

Please confirm that the person selling you the vehicle is the official owner. If not, do make sure that the documents provided to you are from the official owner.

It is also very much advisable to make an official sale-purchase contract to benefit both parties. The template of the contract can be bought in any Gestoria, Official Tobacco Shops or here in M.E.EXPRESS.


You should be given the originals of the following documents:

• Permiso de circulacion – car registration document
• Ficha technica – ITV document
• Payment confirmation of the current Road Tax

From the official owner you need the following documents (without them the transfer cannot be done)

• Copy of the valid passport
• Copy of the NIE or Residencia document
• Copy of DNI card – if the owner is Spanish

Document applications:

• NIE number document /Residencia Certificate
• Start vehicle(s) registration
• Town Hall Registration
• Social Security application
• Medical registration
• Baja consular document
• Finish vehicle registration

Please note that there is a difference between an NIE number document and Residencia Certificate, although both do list your NIE number itself. Please contact us if you are not sure which one to apply for – it does depend greatly on your situation and future plans.

contrato de auto
If you are selling

As a seller you should ensure that the vehicle would be transferred onto the new person’s name. We advise you to make the contract of sale-purchase, keep the copies of identification documents of the buyer and if you can go with him/her to a Gestoria or our office to make sure that the process of transfer has been started.

Otherwise any future fines, Road Taxes or accident involvement will all come back to you and you will be liable for them.

Also, keep the contact details of the buyer, just in case.

The process

The transfer process should be started as soon as possible. All documents have to be taken to Trafico together with the payment of trafico and transfer taxes.

Trafico tax is fixed, and transfer tax is the 8% of the value of the vehicle, estimated by the Tax Office (Hacienda) tables, not by the purchase price.

The process on average takes from 3 to 4 weeks. Please note that you should be given a provisional document by a Gestoria to be able to drive the car during the transfer process.

Homologation of non-Spanish vehicles

During this process the vehicle is given a personalised Type Approval number by the Spanish “Ministerio de Industria” – Industry Ministry. It may take up to 30-40 days and costs around 1500€. A representative from the Ministry will travel to see the vehicle. He will then provide a list of necessary adjustments that have to be implemented. Official homologation document is then issued that allows the ITV test to be passed.

“Baja” of vehicles – declaring it off the road

This is a necessary procedure that has to be done in Trafico when your vehicle is not on the road for a long period of time for some reason. For example, when you export it, or when you do not drive it due to technical problems.

It is in the best interest of the owner to give “baja” to the vehicle, as the Road Tax will not be issued.

If later you want to drive the vehicle, you have to make a reverse procedure of “alta” and declare the vehicle on the road again. Please note it is illegal to drive the vehicle in the state of “baja”.

Payment of the outstanding Road Taxes

By law, when you drive a Spanish car, you need to have with you the confirmation of the payment of your local Road Tax. It is issued by the Town Hall listed on your registration document (Permisso de Circulacion).

Usually the payment request is sent to the address on the document, but in many situations the owners never receive these letters. But it is still a responsibility to have it paid.

Please note that past unpaid Road Taxes do not disappear, but become attached to the vehicle, and the interest and fines grow every year. So the earlier you pay the cheaper it will be.

Change of address on the registration document

By law, you are required to have your correct address shown on the registration document (Permisso de Circulacion). Why is it important to have the correct address? The address on the document is used for all correspondence: by the Town Hall for payment of Road Tax, by Trafico regarding any fines, by ITV to inform of about due date. If the address is wrong, you will not receive any of the above information.

When you move, please apply for New Town Hall Registration (Padron or Empadronamiento) and then change the address on your Permisso de Circulacion.

“Life of vehicle” document application

This is a very useful document if you plan to buy a Spanish vehicle. It can give you the following information about the vehicle:

  • who is the current official owner
  • when was the ITV passed last time
  • where is it registered now
  • any outstanding fines or impoundments
  • other information if available

It is issued by Trafico and you only need to have the registartion number of the car. Usually it is given on the same day, or the next working day.

ITV service


The table below shows when the ITV test has to be passed for passenger transport vehicles “turismos”, caravans, motorbikes under 50cc and motorbikes over 50cc, depending on the age:




Passenger transport vehicles “turismos” and caravans

Under 4 years



Between 4 and 10 years

Every 2 years


Over 10 years

Every year

Motorbikes under 50cc

Under 4 years



Over 4 years

Every 2 years

Motorbikes over 50cc

Under 3 years



Over 3 years

Every 2 years

ITV can be passed in any province of Spain, no matter where the vehicle is officially registered. In Malaga province it is necessary to get the appointment in advance.

It is illegal to drive without the valid ITV, so please ensure you pass it before it expires. If you do not pass first time, you have one month to go back without paying for ITV test again.

Lost/stolen car documents

Either if you have lost your documents , or they have been stolen, in both cases you need to declare your situation to the Guardia Civil or Local Police. You will be given an official report of the event.

You can continue driving legally using this report for 2 months. But we advise you to start application for new documents immediately, as it takes some time.

Please contact us regarding the costs of the above services and list of necessary documentation.


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