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.
Fines from Italy should be paid on time because the Italian authorities impose very high reminder fees. 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. Appeals must be made in writing and in Italia..
E.M.O. European Municipality Outsourcing
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.
Austria/Principality of Liechtenstein
The new trilateral agreement contains detailed provisions on enforcing traffic fines. Once the technical installations are in place, the automatic exchange of vehicle and vehicle owner information will be possible on request. Fines are already enforceable.
Fines from the Dutch authorities should be paid on time because reminder fees are high and offenders can end up on a "wanted" list. 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.
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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