I purchased a new car and have registered it in Germany. I want to use it to travel to the Czech Republic, but I haven't received the Green Card from my car insurance company.

Would this be a problem?

  • 1
    purely FWIW, "on the ground" I've never ever had one (!) and never had the slightest problem. again this is purely a personal anecdote. Hope it helps!
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 9:01
  • I have once been advised by my travel insurer that I was insured from the moment I agreed to the contract over the phone so I think you should be OK but the best might be to ask the insurer about it.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 9:32

2 Answers 2


If you believe the UK MotorInsurers'Bureau page on the green card the green card is not necessary within the EU if the car is registered and insured in the EU:

I have been told that a Green Card is not necessary for travel in Europe. Is this true? It is correct that a Green Card is not required by law to cross borders within the European Union. This is because every EU country complies with the First Directive on Motor Insurance which says that every insurance policy issued in the EU must provide the minimum insurance cover required by law in any other EU country.

Green Cards are also not necessary for some non-EU countries who are signatory to Section III of the Internal Regulations, which is an international agreement between Green Card Bureaux. These countries are Iceland, Norway, Switzerland (incorporating Liechtenstein), Andorra and Serbia. Although a Green Card is not necessary for these non-EU countries our advice is to check the insurance position with your insurers before you travel. Our understanding is that a UK insurer is not legally obliged to provide cover for non-EU countries, although some may choose to do so.

Similarly AngloInfo Berlin states it is not necessary to have a green card, but recommendable to carry some proof of insurance:

It is not essential for an EU citizen to have a Green Card when travelling within the EU and certain other European countries, though if you do not take one you should instead carry your Certificate of Insurance. However, a Green Card can serve as easily recognisable proof of third party insurance, for example in the case of an accident, when travelling abroad.

Finally the UK governments nidirect page lists countried you need no green card for and such where it is needed:

A Green Card is not required by law to cross borders within the European Union and some other countries. This is because all EU countries and certain other countries comply with the first directive on motor insurance, which says that every insurance policy issued in the EU must provide the minimum insurance cover required by law in any other EU country.

The countries that don't need a Green Card are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The countries that do need a Green Card are: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Moldava, Morocco, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Some more information my be found on drive-alive.co.uk and driverabroad.com, but essentially gives the same answer.

  • nice in theory, in practice it's almost universally expected to be carried. If you end up in an accident, everyone pulls out their green card. Mostly it's just for convenience, to copy over the insurance provider's details on the accident report forms though. If you carry your insurance policy itself with you, that'd do as well of course.
    – jwenting
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 9:06
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    @jwenting I've been in the position myself (Italy, being rear ended, the other party being French) where having a green card would have been helpful, but I didn't have mine to hand - anything that has the name of the insurance and insurance number/contract number etc. will do.
    – greyshade
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 9:09
  • true. I do know that over here in the Netherlands pretty much everyone carries their green card in their car or with their car papers at all times, and used to be driving instructors and lease companies would tell customers to always at the very least keep a copy in the car.
    – jwenting
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 9:13
  • 4
    @jwenting sure it never hurts to have a copy with you - but the question here was 'I haven't received mine, is is a problem?', to which is answer clearly is 'no' as long as the insurance is valid (which I assume it is, otherwise no driving in Germany either..).
    – greyshade
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 9:35

Note that the accepted answer is not universally true. To quote Wikipedia,

Within the European union, some countries (such as France and Belgium) have kept the Green card as their national/domestic system of insurance, which make the green card a compulsory requirement in those nations.

In France, failure to present the green card during a traffic check can result in a 150€ fine (source in French).

  • This is only applicable to vehicles which are "normally based" in France. See this page. The page you've linked to is targeted at French residents, hence it makes not mention of this exception. See also this page
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 11:56

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