What you should know about having a car in Ukraine

A blue car drove from point A to point B. The distance between destinations was 512 km. The car had three wheels. Each wheel was black. There was a slight scratch on the left fender from a metal buckle. The car had a full diesel tank. The driver was Michael, an American, 37 years old, who lives in Ukraine. He was driving at a speed of 80 km / h.

Question: How long did it take for Michael to arrive? On what grounds can he drive his car in Ukraine? What kind of driver’s license does he have? And what does a foreigner living in Ukraine need to know?

 So much for this  puzzle. Pure mathematics. For example, I’m not very good at mathematics, but even a child would be able to answer the critical question after reading this article.

And this is not strange. Nowadays, buying a car is an important and not always clear point, especially if you are a foreigner who works or lives in Ukraine.

Math loves precision, so there’s less talking and more to do. If you want to move about freely in Ukraine in your car, our article will make things clear.

Driver’s license

While in Ukraine, you have the right to drive vehicles if you have an international driver’s license or a license issued from a foreign country. Also, foreign drivers are allowed to drive using a certificate issued in Ukraine. But there are two options.


Temporary stay

Suppose you are temporarily on the territory of Ukraine under the visa-free regime. In that case, the issuance of a Ukrainian driver’s license is not carried out, even if you have lost your foreign driver’s license in circumstances beyond your control. Foreigners who have a Ukrainian temporary residence permit are an exception.


Permanent residence

Have you decided to live in Ukraine permanently? Your foreign driver’s license will be valid for only 60 days after you’ve been issued a permanent residence permit or registration of Ukrainian citizenship.

Next, you must replace your foreign license with a Ukrainian driver’s document, BUT only after passing a medical examination and an exam in the theory and practice of driving.

How can foreigners buy a car?  

If you are a foreigner and live on the territory of Ukraine legally, you have the right to buy a car. When buying a car directly from an individual, a foreigner must have a passport document and a tax certificate with an identification code. A car sale and purchase agreement are concluded in a simple written form, and if agreed by the parties, notarized. But official legislation does not actually require this. After purchase, every car is subject to registration with the relevant state authorities. 

When buying a new car in a showroom, the dealership, as a rule, takes care of the formalities for registering the vehicle. Self-registration of a vehicle usually only occurs when buying a used car.


  • Registration and deregistration of vehicles are carried out in the State traffic inspectorate. 


  • Registration of a vehicle purchased by a foreigner is possible if the buyer is in Ukraine legally, and there are no abnormalities keeping them from participating as a party in the transaction.


  • To operate a car in Ukraine, you need to contact the Interdistrict Registration and Examination Department of the Traffic Police at your place of permanent residence. If you have questions or are refused, you can go directly to the management and refer to the Procedure No. 1388, which was approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Car registration by a foreigner

 It is unlikely that you want to face unexpected problems in your new country. So you want to pay great attention to following the correct legal procedures.


Where to go to register a used car

You should contact the Interdistrict Registration and Examination Department of the Traffic Police (“MREO” in Ukraine), not at the place of registration, but at the place of your actual residence. The process of car registration for foreigners is no different than that done for Ukrainians.


Registering a used car at the Registration and Examination Department of the Traffic Police

Before buying a used car, it is best to ask the sellers to remove it from their registration. This includes checking the authenticity of the vehicle and issuing Temporary car number*.

* Temporary car number are issued in the showroom when buying a new car, as well as in cases where the old car is deregistered. These numbers are required so that the new owner can easily get to the place of registration of the car. You can drive with them for two months, but you need to register the car within ten days of purchase (that’s how much is a valid certificate-invoice).


The primary documents that will be needed when registering a car:
  1. Certificate of account or notary agreement
  2. Temporary car number
  3. Documents for the car
  4. Passport and tax identification code


Step 1

Apply to register the vehicle according to the established model. Check carefully afterward.


Step 2

Make the required payments

– traffic police services

– transport tax


Step 3

Get expert assessment.

An expert inspects the car for the authenticity of the unit numbers and evaluates the vehicle. After this procedure, you will be able to receive a technical inspection report.


Step 4

Go to the registration department.

After receiving the inspection report and making all payments, you submit all documents, after which the car will be recorded as registered.


Step 5

Receive registration documents.

– registration certificate for the car

– state license plates

The moment of truth has come: the car is now yours! As the legal owner, you have the right to use the vehicle for your purposes. You can sell, modify, or drive it.


But don’t forget for a moment that you are in Ukraine, and all interactions with the authorities often resemble a quest. These tasks will take time, money and if you’re not lucky, then nerves 🙂 When buying, be prepared to solve several organizational and legal issues. The decisive moment is where you decide to purchase the vehicle: a showroom, a commodity exchange, an individual, or a legal entity. It is also essential to consider whether the car is new or used, whether it is necessary to deregister it, or whether there’s a need to make some mandatory payments.


Complexity is an integral part of such procedures. At a minimum, the Ukrainian state does not oblige parties to certify the purchase and sale agreement by a notary; but upon registering with the Registration and Examination Department of the Traffic Police, this may be required.


You can always choose a more convenient option for yourself and contact a professional company that manages such procedures. And doing so would be reasonable. After all, understanding Ukrainian legislation is often a 5-star problem, which is difficult even for a lawyer to solve.

Uncleared car from abroad


You could also decide to bring your car with you to Ukraine. But further options depend on the status of your stay here. This works both for cars bought abroad and cars under a vehicle sale and purchase agreement in Ukraine that are not customs cleared.


Are you a resident of Ukraine?


Cross the Ukrainian border once every five days if through the same checkpoint. Once every 10 days, if through a different checkpoint.




Drive the uncleared car for a year if the car is registered in another country and you are a resident of that country. You are the co-owner and are entered in the registration certificate as the owner of the vehicle. Once a year, the owner of the car, a foreign citizen, must drive across the Ukrainian border and return. You cannot do this on your own.

If you are officially employed by a foreign company, you can drive a car without customs clearance in Ukraine, but only for one year. The vehicle, however, must be registered to a foreign legal entity.


Are you a non-resident of Ukraine?

You have the right to use your vehicle for personal purposes for one year. In this case, the car must be registered in Ukraine at the consulate of your citizenship.


Fines for driving an uncleared car:


A member of Ukraine who keeps a car in the country without registration (more than ten days) will pay from 170 to 8500 UAH, depending on the duration of the delay.

The administrative fine for non-payment of customs duties is threefold.

A non-resident or foreign legal entity who keeps a car in the country without registration (more than one year) will pay 100% of the cost of the vehicle, and the vehicle will be confiscated. 

In all cases, customs officers can collect a fine and hold the car.

! Important information


In April 2021, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted on preferential customs clearance for cars with foreign registration. Will finally end the torment and red tape? Very likely. The Law establishes clear and transparent rules for the import and customs clearance of this category of vehicles.

Within 180 days, an individual responsible for complying with the customs regimes for temporary import or transit has the right to export out of Ukraine a vehicle that was in use and imported into Ukraine until December 31, 2020. This is for people who did not comply with the terms and conditions of the customs regimes for temporary import or transit when they first brought the car into Ukraine. Individuals can take advantage of this law on the condition they make a voluntary payment to the state budget funds in an amount equal to that of five hundred non-taxable minimum incomes, or 8.5 thousand UAH.

After studying a lot of information, we now understand the secrets of this intricate mathematics step by step. To solve the problem, you need a lot more data. After all, the processes of registration and proceedings bring up so many unknowns. Our driver Michael was undoubtedly convinced of this.


It doesn’t matter if you are a Ukrainian or a foreigner, the fact remains that feeling the road and speed is an irreplaceable pleasure for motorists, when cruising into a new journey along the roads of Ukraine.


The most important thing is to prepare and do everything thoroughly. And if you’ve read our motorist guide from Vestor.Estate, then it will be so. Have a safe voyage!

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