For example, a Turkish citizen buys a Spanish-registered car in Spain, but he is a non-resident of Spain.

Is it possible to register the car on the bearer's Turkish passport?

Can the Turkish citizen insure the car using his Turkish passport?

  • Generally cars are registered independently from passports and other identity documents.
    – phoog
    Aug 25, 2016 at 14:07
  • 1
    As someone who recently dealt with this in Canada, but does not have experience with Spain specifically, it probably is unlikely the insurance company will issue insurance based on a passport. I was able to register the car with a foreign driver's license (DL), but only one (of about five or six) insurance companies would even work with a foreign DL, and even then they would cancel if I didn't obtain a local DL within 45 days. You may be able to obtain insurance from an insurer in your home country that covers the Spanish car, though.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 27, 2016 at 3:03
  • 1
    @phoog That is really country specific. In Spain you can't deal with the government in any way without your personal identity number (or equivalent for foreign people). Aug 29, 2016 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


You will need to be a resident in Spain, as you will need to provide you foreign resident number alongside your passport.

Link to the official documentation at gob.es : https://sede.dgt.gob.es/Galerias/tramites-y-multas/tu-coche/matriculacion/08/08-Matriculacion-ordinaria-vehiculos-INGLES-04-04-2016.pdf


Without knowing the situation in Spain in detail, there are basically three options. I assume that you are asking about a non-resident buying a car in Spain and then taking it to his home country. This may vary heavily depending on the countries involved, but basically your options are:

  1. Take the car home with its current registration (in the name of the previous owner). Issue here: some owners might be reluctant to do this (as they might get into trouble for any traffic violations you commit), you'd need to prove ownership (preferably via a written contract), and your destination country might not allow its residents to drive a foreign-registered car (or have extra bureaucratic requirements for such cases).
  2. Regular registration in the state in which you bought the car. Issue here: as mentioned above, this may require you to be a resident (or at least have an address there), and some states change heavy taxes for each ownership change.
  3. Export/temporary plates issued by the state in which you bought the car. Where available, export plates tend to have laxer requirements on residency (as they are intended for the very purpose of buying a car in the country and taking it abroad). Issue here: not all states offer such plates.
  4. Import/temporary plates issued by the state you are taking the car to. If you are a resident of that state, there shouldn't be a problem. Issue here: again, not all states offer export plates, and for temporary ones, some states require that the car be physically within their borders already.
  5. Regular registration in the state to which you are taking the car. Issue here: if you need to take the car through customs, this may not be possible before the car is actually in the country.
  6. Temporary (or even permanent) registration in a third state where residency and/or the car being abroad is not an issue, preferrably one that is in a customs union with one of the two states involved. Issue here: language barriers, in addition to that really being a non-standard procedure.
  7. Take the car home on a trailer or flatbed, after canceling its current registration, and register it in your home country once you get there. This may be your last option if you can't get a valid registration. Issue here: this is a costly option.

Spain is one of the most benevolent countries in EU.. For almost all those things you will need to be "empadronado" that only means you have to be registered in the "Foreign authority" and give a valid address where they suppose to find you.... The fun fact is, you don't even need to be legal in Spain to do that.. you just can do it.. After you get that paper you are free to get car or even get the benefits of health care from the state...

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