Table of contents
Key information for moving to Belgium
1/ Residence Permit
European Union citizens whose stay exceeds three months are regarded as “residents” and must possess a valid identity card or passport as well as a valid residence permit.
In order to obtain this residence permit, you must register with your city’s communal authority in the eight working days following your arrival. You will be asked for three photos, your valid identity card or passport and a fee. Some communes might request your birth certificate and a marriage licence. You will then be required to prove that you have adequate financial resources.
The communal authorities will give you a certificate, serving as a temporary residence permit, which is valid for five months.
If your stay will last at least one year, you must also request long-term residence status from the communal authorities. Within five months you must produce certain documents and your certificate will then be extended by one month. If long-term residence status is approved, the communal authorities will give you a residence card valid for five years.
2/ Vehicle Registration
Registration of your vehicle requires that you have already undertaken the necessary steps regarding residence in Belgium and have taken out third party automobile liability insurance.
You must then obtain a European compliance certificate from a dealer selling the brand of your vehicle and undergo a technical control in order to obtain a technical control certificate.
Finally, you must go to your insurance company with the registration request, the compliance certificate and the technical control certificate. You will then receive your new licence plates in the mail. Since the 15th of November 2010, Belgian numberplates follow the European standard.
Taxes to pay:
During this registration procedure you must pay a fee of 20 euros as well as a one-time new road tax, the amount of which is determined by the vehicle’s age and motor size.
You must also pay an annual road tax, the amount of which is determined by the vehicle’s motor size, as well as an additional road tax for vehicles with liquid gas engines (LPG).
The VAT in Belgium for the purchase of a vehicle is 21%.
Key information for obtaining insurance in Belgium
1/ Automobile Insurance
In Belgium third party automobile liability insurance is compulsory.
Although the bonus/malus system is not compulsory, most companies still use a premium scale based on accident history. This means that individuals coming from France must submit a document showing their current bonus/malus situation. For other countries, a statement from their insurance company regarding accident statistics is required.
If you are the victim of an accident in which the responsible vehicle has left the scene, cannot be identified or is not insured, you should contact the Belgian guarantee fund: the FCGA (“Fonds Commun de Garantie Automobile”): www.fcga-gmwf.be.
2/ Home Insurance
Multi-risk home insurance is not compulsory either for the owner or for the renter. It is nevertheless strongly recommended. In practice, the mortgage company requires the owner to purchase such a policy when he buys his house. Similarly, owners often impose this requirement on their renters.
3/ Health Insurance
If you are employed, your employer is required to undertake the necessary formalities to register you with the social security system at the ONSS (“Office National de Sécurité Sociale”). Regarding illness-invalidity insurance, you should join a mutual company of your choice (“ziekenfonds”) or register with a regional office of the CAAMI (“Caisse auxiliare d’assurance maladie-invalidite”; “Hulpkasvan de ziekteen invaliditeitsverzekering”). You should provide the insurer with forms E104 and E105, which will be provided to you on request by the health insurance body of the country you are leaving.
If you are a student or are retired, you will be part of the same social security system as employed workers. You should therefore contact the “Office Nationale de Sécurité Sociale”: www.onssrszlss.fgov.be.
If you are self-employed, you should contact the « Institut National d’assurances sociales pour Travailleurs Independants » in Brussels: www.rsvz-inasti.fgov.be.
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