From 28 March 2019, trailers will need to be registered for international journeys.

If you have a trailer that will be used abroad from 28 March 2019, you will need to register it through DVLA’s new ‘Register your trailer to take it abroad’ service.

  • The trailer registration scheme comes into force on 28 March 2019 regardless of the outcome of negotiations surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU.
  • The EU has now confirmed that most journeys to the EU will not need an ECMT permit if the UK leaves without a deal but you must ensure your trailer is registered before you travel.

Registration is mandatory for all commercial use trailers travelling internationally with a gross weight of over 750kg. Registration is also mandatory for non-commercial use trailers that travel internationally and have a gross weight over 3,500kg. Non-commercial trailers that weigh 3,500kg or less can be registered voluntarily but there is no legal requirement to do so.

The scheme is a result of the UK ratifying the UN 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Trailers in the mandatory categories must be registered when used internationally in countries that have ratified the convention.

Once a trailer is registered through our new service, DVLA will issue a secure trailer registration certificate by post and send email confirmation which includes authorisation to get a number plate made up for the trailer. The number plate must be displayed on the trailer and the registration certificate must be available to present to a foreign authority upon request.

If you have a trailer that needs to be registered, make sure you do it in time.

If you have an abnormal load trailer, you also need to apply for a keeper’s certificate for an abnormal load trailer if you’re going to take it outside the UK. You need to keep the certificate in your vehicle when you go abroad. 

Insurance Green Cards for Trailers

Irrespective of registration, some EU and EEA countries may also require a separate Green Card as proof of insurance for your trailer. If you are travelling with a trailer, contact your insurance provider to get two Green Cards: one for the towing vehicle, and one for the trailer. This does not mean that you will need to purchase separate insurance.