Traffic fines from abroad
If you receive a traffic fine from abroad we advise you to pay it, otherwise you can expect further sanctions, such as an entry in the crime alert database, a ban on entering the country from which you have received the fine, or an increased penalty charge. If you revisit the country from which you have received a fine but not payed up, your car may even be confiscated. Or you may be subject to imprisonment.
Foreign authorities sometimes appoint private companies to recover fines imposed on public land. These are considered as private legal debts and may be collected by Swiss debt-collection agencies.
If you doubt the authenticity of a fine from abroad, contact the foreign police service responsible or, depending on the sender address, the appropriate local authority or company that has issued the fine.
The measures on non-payment of a fine vary from country to country. Below you can find information regarding measures by Switzerland’s neighbouring countries and the Netherlands
Switzerland and France have signed an agreement on certain aspects of traffic legislation, such as parking and speeding offences. On request, both countries provide mutual assistance in enforcing fines. That means the Swiss authorities can enforce the payment of fines issued by the French authorities to Swiss motorists, and vice versa. Electronic data is exchanged between the two countries via EUCARIS (European Car and Driving Licence Information System).
Switzerland and Germany have signed a police cooperation agreement that includes provisions on traffic legislation. Both countries exchange data on vehicles and vehicle owners on request, regardless of how high the fine is.
There is no agreement between Switzerland and Italy regulating traffic fines. Some Italian communes, for example Milan or Florence, have outsourced debt collection to private companies. Fines from Italy should be paid within the deadline because Italy imposes high reminder fees. Appeals must be made in writing and in Italian.
E.M.O. European Municipality Outsourcing
Austria/Principality of Liechtenstein
The current trilateral agreement does not regulate cooperation on fines. However, a new agreement will come into force in the second half of 2017 that will provide for the future exchange of vehicle and vehicle owner information on request.
Both countries can impose direct fines for traffic offences; the appropriate cantonal police service and the Dienst Wegverkeer (RDW) in Zoetermeer exchange vehicle owner information on request. Fines from the Dutch authorities should be paid on time because reminder fees for overdue fines are high and offenders can end up on the wanted list.
Foreign motorists who do not pay their Swiss fine and whose fine has subsequently been converted to a prison sentence are registered in the police alert database RIPOL for a period of up to three years.
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