Short-term use of a vehicle

Short-time use of a vehicle

Transfer permits

Transfer permits can be granted for the temporary transfer or use of a vehicle. A transfer permit is a permit that includes transfer marks affixed to the vehicle and motor insurance.

A transfer permit can be issued for a vehicle that has not undergone a first-time registration, a decommissioned vehicle or a vehicle that has been removed from the vehicle register prior to 2 November 2007. A vehicle banned from use or traffic can be granted a transfer permit in order to take it for repair or inspection. The transfer permit can be acquired no sooner than seven days before the permit becomes valid. The serial number of the vehicle must be presented together with the application.

The permit does not come into force unless the vehicle is covered with continuous motor liability insurance or temporary motor
liability insurance, and the statutory vehicle tax has been paid. Taking into account the purpose of the transfer permit, the vehicle must be suitable for traffic and its structure, equipment, condition and other features deemed safe.

The permit must be kept with the vehicle whenever it is used in traffic.

Purposes for which the transfer permit can be granted:


Test plate certificate

On application, Trafi can grant a company a test plate certificate that entitles it to drive its vehicle with test plates. The test plate certificate is valid for one year from the date of issue. If needed, several test plate certificates can be granted to one company.

Applying for a test plate certificate

A test plate certificate is applied for with licence application form B301. The original application form is submitted to Trafi (address on the form) together with applicant's extract from the Trade Register. In addition, the applicant must take out test plate insurance which must be included in the insurance database (VATI). If the extract from the Trade Register does not list the person signing the application as a signatory of the company, a power of attorney must also be enclosed. The test plate certificate and registration plates are delivered to the customer by post, to the address given on the licence application. A separate invoice will be sent for the test plate certificate fee. Further details on the prices of test plate certificates and number plates are available here.

Using test plates

Test plates can be used to drive unregistered, decommissioned vehicles or vehicles banned from traffic due to non-inspection or non-roadworthiness (when transferred for repair or inspection). When using test plates on a vehicle, vehicle-specific registration plates must be covered or removed.

Test plates can only be used if the vehicle tax has been paid. The original, valid test plate certificate must be kept with the vehicle at all times while driving.

Vehicles equipped with test plates can only be used in traffic when being driven as part of one of the following certificate recipient’s operations:

  • test related to the study or development of the vehicle or its equipment
  • test drive or sales presentation
  • other transfer directly related to the manufacture, sale, equipment, repair or inspection of the vehicle.

Test plates can be used by the holder of the test plate certificate or his/her representative (employee etc.) A private individual can use test plates without the presence of their holder if the vehicle is being test driven with the intention of buying it, the vehicle tax has been paid and the driver carries the original test plate certificate and a temporary usage licence issued by the car dealer (valid for 24 hours).

Test plates cannot be loaned to another company or to private individuals.

Use of plates when car tax is unpaid

If the vehicle tax of a vehicle that has not yet been first-time registered is outstanding, the vehicle can be used with test plates in the presence of the holder of the test plate certificate or the holder’s representative, if:

  • the transfer of the vehicle is immediately related to testing the certificate holder's vehicle or its equipment for R&D purposes
  • the vehicle is being test driven to ensure its technical performance
  • the vehicle is being used for a short demonstration with the intention of selling it to someone living permanently outside of Finland Note! For those living permanently in Finland, driving vehicles with test plates before the tax has been paid is not allowed.
  • the vehicle is being used for other transfer immediately pertaining to its manufacture, export, repair or inspection, or if it is being equipped for the purpose of being sold.

For more information on the Vehicle Taxation Act, please contact Finnish Tax Administration.

Consequences of misuse of test plate certificate

Trafi can revoke an individual test plate certificate if it is used in an unlawful manner or if the test plate certificate has remained unpaid. Similarly, Trafi can revoke all of a holder’s test plate certificates if the test plate certificate has been repeatedly misused or the misuse of the test plate certificate has otherwise been deemed particularly serious.

Misuse of the test plate certificate is reported to Trafi’s Transport Taxation Unit which assesses whether the misuse pertains to using a vehicle that has been banned from traffic. Misuse of test plate certificate could lead to an additional tax of 1000 euros or more.

Renewing a test plate certificate

The test plate certificate is renewed annually without reapplication, unless the certificate holder has made a notification of cancellation during the certificate's period of validity, or the certificate has been cancelled by Trafi, or Trafi decides not to renew it for a certain reason. A prerequisite for the renewal of a test plate certificate is the payment of the test plate insurance and certificate fee.

Cancelling a test plate certificate

If, after the end of their period of validity, the holder no longer wishes to use test plates, the inspection office must be notified that they will no longer be required, at the latest by the second working day after the period of validity has expired. This notification must be made using the expired test plate certificate and the test plates must be returned at the same time, as must any unpaid test plate certificate for the following year.


Export registration

Export registration can be granted to a vehicle which has not been previously registered and which is handed over in Finland to be used in another country. Usually, export-registered vehicles are new, unregistered cars, for which taxes have not been paid. A decommissioned used vehicle can also be granted export registration for the duration of transfer.

When a vehicle is brought back to Finland as removal goods, a sale restriction is entered in the register. For more information on the sale restriction, please contact Tax Administration. The export registration date will be marked as the vehicle’s commissioning date.

Applying for export registration

To apply for export registration, please use export registration application form (B518). Submit the form to Trafi (the address is on the form), appending the original, completed and signed registration documents. There is more detailed information on the form as to which documents must be filled in, signed and appended to the application.

The documents needed for export registration are largely the same as those needed when a vehicle is registered for the first time (advance notification certificate and registration inspection certificate). If the vehicle has been previously registered or was privately imported, it must always undergo a registration inspection in Finland before the export registration can be completed.

In addition to the details of the applicant (owner, possible co-owner and holder of the vehicle), the export registration application must include a Finnish address for the delivery of export plates, as well as a billing address. Other details to be included are the start date (and possible end date) of the export registration, the transfer location and the customs procedure location. Please remember to complete and sign all the registration documents related to export registration.
Export registration requires the existence of a continuous motor liability insurance policy that is valid in Finland. The insurance company must enter the policy details for the vehicle identification number in the VATI insurance database. The start date of the insurance must be at the latest the start date of the export registration and no earlier than the beginning of the month in question.

Export-registered vehicles are not subject to vehicle tax.

Validity of export registration

For previously unregistered vehicles, export registration is valid for one year from the end of the first month of registration. In other words, if an export registration is granted at the beginning of June, it is valid until the end of June the following year. The validity period can also be shorter if the applicant so requests.

For a decommissioned vehicle or a used vehicle not previously registered in Finland, the export registration is valid only for the duration of transport from Finland to the target country (1–30 days depending on the target country). The validity of export registrations cannot be extended.

Whether the Finnish export licence plates can be used for the whole duration of the export registration or whether the vehicle must be registered in the local vehicle register of the target country depends on the target country’s national legislation. For further information on export registration, please contact the relevant authorities of the target country such as that country’s embassy or Customs. If an export-registered vehicle is registered abroad, the motor insurance company must be notified so that the vehicle's insurance can be cancelled.

No separate notification is needed for Trafi, nor are the export registration plates returned unless otherwise stated in the export registration certificate. The customer may submit a copy of a foreign registration certificate to Trafi if he or she so wishes, so that Trafi can cancel the export registration.

Temporary use of export registered vehicles in Finland

Prior to being exported, an export registered vehicle can only be used in Finland for transferring it from the point of delivery to the point of export, or, in connection with the emigration of its owner, to the domicile of the owner and thereon further to the point of export.

An export registered vehicle may temporarily be used in Finland for a compelling reason, a customary holiday trip or other comparable short stay. It cannot, however, be used during the month immediately following the emigration or the month immediately preceding the immigration.

The owner or holder is responsible for obtaining arrival and exit markings from Customs on the back of the export registration certificate.

If an export registered vehicle is obtained during a holiday in Finland, the customer must be able to prove to traffic police that he/she lives abroad.

For more information on the deadlines for using an export registered vehicle in Finland, please contact Tax Administration.





Elsewhere on the Web

Tax Administration

Finnish Customs


Contact information

Advice on transfer permits, test plate certificates and export registration
Phone: +358 29 534 5000 (local network charge/mobile call charge)

Temporary motor
liability insurance
Finnish Motor Insurer's Centre



Page updated 01/01/2017