15 January 2019

Foreign number plates

With the newsletter of the Italian Ministry of Interior reference no. 300/A/245/19/149/2018/06 as of 10/01/2019 (hereinafter Newsletter), the Italian Ministry of Interior has provided some clarification with regards to the driving ban applying to vehicles registered abroad used by persons having been resident in Italy for more than 60 days (introduced by art. 29-bis of Decree Law 113/2018, converted by Law no. 132/2018).  

In this regard, the following clarifications are contained in Annex 3 of the Newsletter.

i) The derogation from the driving ban applying to vehicles leased or rented (without driver) by an EU or EEA company to a resident person also applies to vehicles rented to resident legal persons and physically driven by natural persons who are certified corporate officers, employees, shareholders or partners of the above-mentioned legal person and are authorised to represent it in accordance with national rules. In the event of controls, these persons shall prove with adequate documentation for which purposes they are driving the vehicle (e.g. allocation letter / loan contract). In the event of controls, failure to produce this documentation shall lead to an administrative fine amounting to Euro 712 up to Euro 2,848 (see point 6.2 letter a) of Annex 3);

Hence, if the Italian person holding a leasing or a rental contract (without driver) issued by an EU or EEA company and concerning a vehicle registered abroad (EU- or non-EU-member state) is:   

  1. a natural person, a document drafted in Italian and with clear date should be kept in the vehicle in order to prove for which purposes and in which period the driver shall drive the vehicle (see point 8 Annex 3). As far as persons entitled to drive the rented vehicle are concerned, the Newsletter points out that the driver may also be a person other than the lessee specified in the document, allowing also relatives of the lessee to use the vehicle, provided that the lessee's right to use it has been legally determined, e.g. by means of a loan contract (see point 9 Annex 3);    
  2. a legal person, both the above-mentioned document (with clear date, proving for which purposes and in which period the driver shall drive the vehicle) and a document proving the existing relationship between the legal person and the driver as well as the authorisation for use (loan contract) should be kept in the vehicle. In this case, the use of the vehicle by a relative of the person to whom the vehicle is leased/rented by the legal person does not seem to be allowed.

ii) A person who, according to population registers, has been resident in Italy for more than 60 days, even if he/she has another residence abroad, is subject to a driving ban applying to his/her foreign vehicle: the driving ban remains in force (see point 1.12.1 Annex 3). According to the clarifications contained in the Newsletter, in the event of controls, the residence shall be checked by means of Italian identity documents, namely the Italian driving license. Failure to produce these documents or in case of doubts concerning the actual residence in Italy of the driver, he/she shall be required to declare through self-declaration his/her residence and place of temporary stay or domicile in Italy. This declaration may be subject to verification with the municipality specified by the concerned party: any possible false declaration shall be punishable both under the Italian criminal law and for the purposes of the driving ban provided for by the Italian highway code (see point 1.6 Annex 3).

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