In which countries do you need a green card?

A green card is an internationally valid insurance certificate. The advantage of a green card is that it has the same layout throughout Europe, which makes it easy to read for the police when you are abroad. You will receive the green card when you take out your car insurance and subsequently you will receive a new one every year.

Contents of the Green Card

On the green card, the insurer will state in which countries the car insurance provides cover. The green card also states for which period and for which vehicle the cover applies. On the green card the insurer usually states which authorities the insured can turn to in case of breakdown, accident, broken windows and theft, both at home and abroad. Even though the Green Card is not obligatory, it still serves its purpose well because all the insurance details are listed in a concise manner. The card also has a so-called green card number.

The green card abroad

In a large area, border controls on the presence of a green card have been lifted. In most countries, however, in the event of an inspection or collision you will need to show that your vehicle is insured. You can do this by showing your green card. Of course your car insurance must be valid. You used to be obliged to take it with you when you went abroad with your car. This is no longer the case, but it is still advisable to take the green card with you.

Does a green card have to be green?

In many European countries it is no longer compulsory for the green card to be green. This applies to all EU countries, with the exception of Belgium. In addition, the Green Card is not required in Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. However, even though it is not compulsory in these countries, we still recommend that you always take your green card with you.

Green card obligatory

In the following countries it is compulsory to carry the green card and it must be printed on green paper:

Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

In which countries is the Green Card covered?

This differs per insurance company, but the countries below are covered by most companies. However, we advise you to check this carefully before travelling abroad.

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Morocco
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Belarus
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Country does not appear on the green card

For countries that are crossed out or do not even appear on the green card, insurance can usually be purchased at the border.

green card abroad

Separate green card for a trailer

Are you going abroad with a trailer or caravan? Then you may have to apply for a second green card for your trailer or caravan. In the Netherlands, trailers and caravans are (co-)insured on the third-party insurance of the towing vehicle. On your green card the code AF is mentioned. Are you going to Germany, Poland or Spain with a trailer or caravan? Then you need a second green card if your trailer or caravan weighs more than 750 kg. These heavy trailers or caravans have their own registration number. Therefore, in these countries you need a second green card with the trailer's or caravan's licence plate. When you need a separate green card for your trailer or caravan we advise you to apply for a (separate) green card early.

Green card expired

When your green card expires, you will usually receive a new one from your insurance company. The green card is always valid for 1 month longer than the insurance period. This is to avoid that when you are abroad your green card has just expired.

Does the green card really have to be green?

After taking out a car insurance policy, the insurer (usually) sends the green card. It seems logical that this card is really green, otherwise it would have a different name. But is it possible that the card has a different colour or does the green card really have to have that colour?

Apply for a new green card

If you have not received a new green card or if you have lost your green card, you can request a new green card very easily and completely free of charge.

8 things you should know about the green card

Everyone with a car insurance has one: the green card. You get it automatically when you take out your car insurance. However, there are many misunderstandings about the green card. For example, it does not necessarily have to be green and in some countries it is compulsory. 8 things you should know about the green card.

1. A green card does not have to be green

The green card used to be an insurance certificate on green paper. Nowadays, the card comes in all shapes and sizes. However, the 'normal' paper green card still exists. Nowadays, you can also get a digital card and a card in credit card format.

If you receive a paper green card from your insurer, the card is almost always green. Did your insurer send you a PDF and do you print it yourself? Then the card does not necessarily have to be green. Please note! In some countries it is compulsory to have a paper green card with you.

2. The card is an international insurance certificate

The green card is given to you by your insurer after you have taken out a car insurance policy. With the green card you can show that your car is insured. The card is also valid abroad. However, the green card does not prove whether the insurance is valid or not.

3. The green card is not compulsory in the Netherlands. It is in some other countries

In the Netherlands and many other countries, it is not compulsory to carry a green card. There are a few countries where it is compulsory to have a (paper) green card with you. You can read about this on your green card.

4. The card is valid for one year. Or is it?

The green card has a validity date. Usually it is valid for one year. However, many Green Cards state that they are valid for 13 months. When an insurance year is extended, the insurer will automatically send you a new green card. It may be that you are on holiday just before the renewal. To prevent you from being abroad with an invalid green card, it is valid for 13 months instead of 12.

5. You sometimes need a separate green card for your caravan or trailer

Going on holiday with the caravan? Then sometimes you need a separate green card. In Germany, Spain and Poland, for example, you are obliged to carry a separate green card if your caravan weighs more than 750 kilograms. You can apply for this second green card at your insurance company.

6. If your green card is lost or stolen, you can apply for a new one

You can easily request a new card using the form below. Please note that it takes a few days before you receive the card by post.

7. Always take the green card with you on holiday

Even though the green card is not compulsory in every country, it is still useful to have it with you at all times. It contains important information, such as the telephone numbers of organisations that you can call in the event of an accident, breakdown or theft. It also contains the details of your policy and insurer.

8. The card is not only valid for your car

The green card applies to every motor vehicle. So even if you go abroad with your motorbike, scooter or camper van, don't forget to bring the green card.

When is a green card not a proof of insurance?

As strange as it may sound, a green card (insurance certificate) is actually no proof at all. The insurer issues the card once a year, at the beginning of the insurance year. If you are late paying the premium during that insurance year, you will end up with no cover.

Read also:

Where are winter tyres required?

Am I insured without winter tyres?

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Last updated: 22-02-2022

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