SME Chamber

Car Registration Process—Unofficial Users Manual

 A kind friend of GRTU forwarded to us this "Unofficial Users Manual" following quite an ordeal he has been through in order to carry out the simple task of registering a vehicle he had imported. GRTU agrees and we find the process very time consuming and will be taking it up with the authorities so that a simple procedure is found.

Registering a vehicle is a simple and painless affair everywhere. Malta has, however, managed to trump the rest of the planet once again and turn a mindless procedure into an epic saga.

Below is a simple account that outlines all procedures, documentation and expected time-frames to help you through the operation should you ever need to or want to import a car.

This guide assumes you have purchased a non-commercial vehicle within the EU (UK, for instance) and that it has been shipped/driven to Malta.    


Within 5 days of arrival of the vehicle you must inform the authorities of your intentions. To do so you need to take the necessary documentation to ADT for them to 'open the file'. Remember that you will be getting none of the documents back but will need copies of them for future steps so do copy EVERYTHING you pass on to ADT.    

Locate the right queue at ADT and present the following: 

Original logbook

Notice of Arrival (shipping document that proves importation)

Signed Invoice/proof of purchase

Photocopy of the front of your ID card (Even if it's expired they still need it)

Two forms filled out and signed. Form 1 is used to calculate the registration tax and Form 2 will allow you to specify size/nature of number plates.

To download the forms outlined in point 5 use the following links:    

If all is found in order, you will be given a little slip of paper with an appointment for your vehicle's inspection.


On the day and time (all appointments seem to be at 7:30 so do be there well before) of your inspection appointment. All you will need is the appointment slip. You have to drive the car with foreign number plates to Floriana so make sure the vehicle is insured and that you have the appointment slip with you for potential run-ins with the authority on your way.

Your 'file' should have made it to the inspection area, located 30 metres away from Hall B, right next to the area allocated to driving tests. If your file hasn't been transferred you have to explain this to the person who issued your appointment on Day 1. Allow an extra 1hr 30 mins if this is the case. An official will compare the engine number and chassis number of the vehicle to those on its logbook. If all is in line, you may now drive back home.

There is nothing more you can do at this point because the file will only be transferred back to Hall B the following day. This is your last chance to take your vehicle for a VRT so if you haven't already, make sure you do so.   


With your vehicle safely inside a garage remover the foreign number plates.

You will need:

1. The original (foreign) number plates. 

2. A certificate of insurance that covers the period until the expiry of the road license. In the case of non-personalised plates, this means 12 months. 

3. A bank draft or cash to cover the full amount of registration tax as calculated on

They will NOT accept a personal cheque and bank cards are occasionally subject to purchase limits below that required for registration tax. 

4. A print-out of the page on where you've calculated the tax value. 

5. A VRT certificate 6. A photocopy of the original Logbook

7. Your cheque book or a decent amount of cash.

Take all of these to Hall B once again and queue in the appropriate place (all the way to the left of the entrance).

When your turn arrives, present all the necessary papers (and number plates) and the registration tax will be calculated again. You will also have to pass on a cheque/cash to cover road license and number plates.

Once all is ready, queue again to be given a receipt for all payments and at this point you will be asked to leave your name and number. Here you will be given a sheet of paper with a batch number on it. You will NOT leave with the new number plates and a logbook but must wait for ADT to call you once they've sorted it all out – a week at the very least.

At this point you can NOT drive your car so do not drive to ADT with the new vehicle since you'll have to drive back home without number plates.    


ADT will call once they've processed all the paperwork. There could be a discrepancy between the amount paid in STEP 3 and the final calculation. You should be told about this over the phone but do take your cheque book with you once again.

You MUST present the sheet of paper with a batch number that was provided in STEP 3. Queue at the leftmost counter and present the batch number. Provided there is no additional payment to be made, you will finally have your new logbook and number plates.

Remember that the entire process will take at least two weeks so don't plan or depend on using your new vehicle before that. Going to ADT with any required document missing will further lengthen the process so do make sure you have everything necessary at every step.

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