July 09. (Day 1) I dropped off my application and three files covering all the evidence required for the ‘Exemption’ process to Transport Malta. The correct office is ‘Hall B’ in Hornswork Ditch (Maltese = Triq G. Galdiano), Floriana. Inside, there were queues going to the left and the right, and an ‘Information Desk’ in the middle. I went to the Information Desk. The man was helpful, took all my files, which included some original documents, and gave me the telephone number of the Ministry of Finance, whom I could contact with any queries, as they would be processing the ‘evidence’ part of the procedures. He also gave me a document which confirmed that the application had been received by them, to be kept in the car in case I was stopped.
July 13. (Day 5) I telephoned the Ministry of Finance to ascertain when I could get back the original documents. They could not find any trace of my application. They said the documents were only passed to them from Transport Malta on a weekly basis and that I should call again on July 17.
July 17. (Day 9) After 4 attempts, I got through to the same person I had spoken to before. She (Elaine) said they still had not received the application. She asked for my mobile number, and said she would call me when they received my application.
July 19. (Day 11) Elaine from the Ministry of Finance did call to confirm they had now received my application – 10 days after I had handed it in to Transport Malta. Furthermore, I could come to their offices to collect my original documents on July 27, which would give them enough time to take photocopies.
July 27. (Day 19) All my original documents were ready for me to collect at the reception of the Ministry of Finance in Maison Demandols, South Street, Valletta. All present and correct. I telephoned Elaine to thank her, and took the opportunity of asking how long she felt the process would now take to complete. With several caveats about ‘depending on the successful scrutiny of the information supplied’ etc., she said my case is expected to be heard by the committee on August 14. I should hear from them some time afterwards.
August 06. (Day 29) I received a letter by registered post from the Ministry of Finance. This was in effect the ‘temporary permit’, valid for 3 months, permitting me to ‘’make use of the said vehicle.’’ It contained some beautiful ‘old English’ grammar long since replaced by ‘plain English’ in the UK. Highlights included ‘’without prejudice to final deliberation on your application…’’ and ‘’the coverage of the vehicle by a valid insurance policy in accordance with local legislation not inconsistent with this temporary permit.’’ Lovely stuff.
September 13. (Day 67) Almost a month to the day since the committee meeting had decided the fate of my application, a registered letter arrived to announce the good news that my application had been approved, and that I had 20 days to complete all the further formalities for registration. I had to research these remaining formalities on the Transport Malta Website, which were 1) to get my vehicle VRT tested, 2) to get local Maltese insurance, 3) to take the vehicle for an ‘Inspection & Verification’ process by the Technical Unit of the Land Transport Directorate, 4) to remove the foreign plates and 5) to take all the documentation and plates to the very same office of Transport Malta I had first visited on July 09. (Important note: it would be incomplete of me not to mention that a vehicle coming from the UK would also need an Odometer Certificate of Authenticity, which can be issued (quite simply I understand) by Jevic UK Ltd. in Surrey without them seeing the vehicle; however I did not need this as my vehicle was French registered).
September 17. (Day 71) Devoting several days to accomplish the remaining tasks, I drove the vehicle to a VRT Testing garage, who issued me with the appropriate ‘pass’ certificate. All was not plain sailing here, as the Maltese authorities require the Engine number in addition to the Chassis number to be entered on the VRT certificate (and ultimately on the Maltese Log Book). Had my vehicle been UK registered, this would have been shown on the UK Log Book. However my vehicle was French registered, and the French Log Book (and Italian Log Books I understand) do not show the Engine number (as engines can be changed) - and the garage could not find it marked on the engine itself! A helpful dealer told me it is very hard to find without dismantling part of the Engine mounting - however this was eventually obtained by email. This extra hassle was ‘rough justice’ for the fact that I did not need the Odometer Certificate, I suppose!
September 18. (Day 72) I visited Atlas Insurance in Ta’ Xbiex. Not difficult to find and easy parking outside. A very helpful girl accepted my French renewal notice showing full no-claim bonus on the promise that I would get them a confirmation letter from France. Paid the premium (less than half the price I paid in France) by credit card and walked away with the required Insurance certificate and maximum no-claims receipt in my hand. Then I made an appointment with Transport Malta Technical Unit for the final inspection the next day.
September 19. (Day 73). Found the Technical Unit in Floriana. They took a few photos of the chassis number and plates and handed me a document to present to the adjacent Licensing Unit. The French number plates were riveted in place, so I went to a car body shop just 100 metres away, who immediately unriveted them as the foreign plates have to be handed in as part of the application to the Licencing Unit. With plates in hand and accompanying documents (Car Ferry tickets, Exemption Letter, copy of Passport, VRT certificate, Insurance certificate, Applications forms VEH 01 & 02, French Log Book - ex UK vehicles would also need an Odometer Certificate), I arrived back at Hall ‘C’, where the process had begun nearly 3 months earlier. Less than an hour later, I received my Maltese plates, Maltese Log Book, paid the Vehicle Licence, and then went back to the body shop to have the new plates riveted on to the car. They did this all for the princely sum of 5 Euros! Away I drove, proudly displaying the new personalised number I had chosen!
Whilst in the Licencing Unit, I witnessed a Swedish gentleman counting out over €20,000 in cash for the registration tax for his imported Mercedes. I left with a smirk on my face in the knowledge that, despite the mounds of paperwork and the time, I had just registered my beautiful Range Rover Vogue for zero registration tax!
Should anybody need clarification of any of the procedures and requirements, I would be happy to share my first-hand experience.