Obtain duplicate documentation on imported cars

Many clients contact us every day, asking how to obtain a duplicate of the documentation on imported cars that have been purchased, especially from European countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Holland…

This is a very important part of the import car process. If we do not have any of the original vehicle documents from the country of origin, we will not be able to register our car in Spain.

Steps to obtain duplicate documentation on imported cars

From importarcoches, the first thing we have to know and analyze is the reason why that documentation is missing or has disappeared. Depending on what the cause is, we may or may not be able to get that duplicate.

This can happen for various reasons:

If the reason why our client does not have this documentation is something that has happened after having bought the vehicle (loss, theft…), and in a short period of time, it is very possible that the original documentation can be obtained.

On the contrary, if this is due to an event prior to the purchase of the vehicle, and beyond the control of the buyer (for example, that the car was repossessed, that it has some type of pending financing, that it is a stolen car…) it will be much more difficult and even impossible to obtain.

We meet many clients, who contact us to try to solve problems they have when registering a vehicle, and that are due to the exceptional situation of said car, in the face of which we can do little.

Documentation duplication in auction vehicles

Another of the most common reasons for requesting duplicate documentation is for cars from auction companies. We are talking, for example, of European companies such as BCA, Adesa, Auto1, Autobid, ALD, Autorola, Copart…

In these cases, sometimes, we find ourselves with the problem that the vehicles that have been acquired in these companies already lacked the documentation before being purchased by our clients. In other words, in the contracts and reports prior to the auction, said companies reported that the object of the auction had no documentation for whatever reason.

Other times it also happens that these auction companies buy the vehicles in other countries, other than the one in which the auction is held, and they do not correctly carry out the import process or community registration between countries, and therefore the documentation is not valid. .

If the cars did not have the documentation prior to the purchase, because they were seized, stolen, imported from other countries without the correct documentation, with unpaid or pending fines, from state entities, municipal agencies, old…), the most normal thing is that take many months or even years, without being registered with any kind of state traffic agency (KBA, RDW, Carpass…).

For our part, the way of acting in all cases is the same. We contact the corresponding provincial traffic offices in the country of origin, and request a duplicate of the documentation. In many cases, they tell us that there is no vehicle with that reference or chassis number registered in their database. Then the buyer will not be able to register the vehicle, lacking the corresponding documentation from the country of origin.

Normally the company that has sold the vehicle, with whom we often contact, do not provide any help. Since they hide behind the fact that these cars no longer had the documentation previously, and that they «are dedicated to selling and not to processing duplicates.»

From Importarcoches, we advise anyone who wants to buy an auction vehicle to make sure of the existence of the corresponding original documentation. Or at least verify that the contract or the auction offer does not indicate anything about the non-existence of the documentation.

Minimum requirements to obtain duplicate documentation


In the end, it is about convincing the corresponding traffic official that our client is the real and legal owner and that he needs it to register in Spain.

Own the car

The main need that we find when contacting the different Traffic Headquarters of countries throughout Europe, with the police or with the managers; is to really prove ownership of the property on which it is requested.

Therefore, the first thing we need is an invoice or purchase contract that reliably demonstrates that our client has purchased that vehicle clearly and correctly.

Those purchases that have been made fraudulently, or where the form of payment or ownership of the seller is not clear, are easily denied by the Traffic Headquarters in the country of origin.

Attest to the reason why we lack that documentation

It is likely that many officials responsible for issuing these documents will require a document (notarial or certificate of faith). In this document, the client has to say and declare how, where and when the event that caused it happened, the lack of that documentation. Sometimes having a loss, theft or loss report helps.

Public exposure

The normal thing is that once the duplicate has been approved by the corresponding Headquarters of the country of origin, they expose it on a public board for a certain time (7 to 21 days on average), in case someone wants to declare something against that documentation can be done before sending it to Spain.

The vehicle still exists in the database of the country of origin

If it has been a long time since the car was purchased (usually more than 4 to 6 months), it may no longer be registered in the traffic database of the country where it corresponds. If so, it will be really difficult to get a duplicate.

If you have lost the original documentation of an imported vehicle, it has been stolen or you need to obtain a duplicate and you do not know how to do it, we can help you. Request information without commitment.

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