International bus or coach services and tours: vehicle documents

Check which vehicle documents you need to carry if you drive a bus or coach across international borders.

Your vehicle must be taxed and you must carry certain documents about your bus or coach when you drive between countries. These include:

  • the vehicle and trailer registration documents
  • a public service vehicle operator licence disc
  • permits needed for the journey
  • vehicle insurance documents
  • UK sticker (previously a GB sticker)

Vehicle and trailer registration documents

Your need to carry your vehicle registration documents when driving abroad for less than 12 months. This can be either:

  • the vehicle log book (V5C), if you have one
  • VE103 to show you’re allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad

There are different rules if you take the vehicle out of the UK for 12 months or more.

Trailer registration certificate if you’re towing a trailer

You need to carry the trailer registration certificate when you travel abroad.

Find out how to register your trailer to take it abroad.

Letter about MOT extensions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) (Great Britain only)

MOTs have been extended due to coronavirus. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has updated its electronic records, but has not issued new paper documents.

When you make international journeys, carry a copy of this letter from DVSA that explains your MOT has been extended. This letter has been shared with the European Commission.

You should also carry:

  • a printed copy of the email confirmation you received from DVSA if you were given a 12-month extension
  • a print of the vehicle record from the service to check the MOT history of a vehicle – this shows the new expiry date

Find out more about MOT extensions due to coronavirus.

Public service vehicle operator licence disc

You must display a valid operator licence disc for either:

Bus or coach service permits and documents needed for the journey

You need to carry copies of the permits and documents that are needed for the journey you’re making. Depending on the type of service, this might include:

  • service authorisations
  • Interbus Waybills
  • Journey Forms

Check which permits and service documents you need to carry.

Vehicle insurance and green cards

You must have suitable motor insurance cover when you drive abroad.

In some countries, you will need to carry a ‘green card’ as proof of the insurance cover.

Where you need green cards

You need a green card to drive in:

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • Russia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

You do not need a green card to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.

When you need more than one green card

You will need to carry more than one green card if:

  • you have fleet or multi-vehicle insurance – you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
  • your vehicle is towing a trailer – you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)
  • you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey

You must carry a physical copy of your green card when driving abroad. Electronic versions of green cards are not acceptable.

Make sure your employer has got green cards

Make sure your employer either:

  • contacts their vehicle insurance provider at least 6 weeks before you travel to get a copy
  • prints green cards their insurance providers electronically send to them (this does not need to be printed on green paper)

When you will have to show your green cards

You will need to show green cards if you’re involved in an accident.

Find out more about vehicle insurance.

If you’re involved in a road accident

Contact your insurance provider if you’re involved in a road accident in the EU.

Any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurance provider of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway where the accident happened. You might have to make your claim in the local language.

You will not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.

Get legal advice if you need more information about this.

UK stickers (previously GB stickers)

You do not need a UK sticker if either:

  • your number plate includes the UK identifier on its own or with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack)
  • you’re driving in Ireland

You must display a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following:

  • GB identifier with the Union Flag (also known as the Union Jack)
  • a Euro symbol
  • a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales
  • numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier

If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must display a UK sticker no matter what is on your number plate.

If you have an old-style GB sticker, cover or remove it.

Vehicle tolls, charges or taxes

You may have to pay a:

  • vehicle toll or charge in EU countries
  • vehicle tax in some non-EU countries

Some non-EU countries have an agreement with the UK that means that registered goods vehicles are exempt from these taxes.

Countries currently charging visiting foreign goods vehicles to use their roads include:

Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Check locally for the latest, most up-to-date information about road charges and taxes.

You may need to carry paperwork, stickers, payment cards or electronic toll devices to use roads abroad.

Vehicle emission levels and controls

Many European towns and cities are Low Emission Zones (LEZ). This means that vehicles are not allowed in (or charged a fee) if their emissions are above a certain level.

Check the European Low Emissions Zone website to find out which areas are LEZs and what you must do to enter them.

Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 28 September 2021 
d 16 August 2021 
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