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What is a green card?

Every car owner is required to have at least third-party car insurance. This insurance ensures that you are insured for damage you cause to another person. After taking out insurance, you will receive a green card. With this you can prove that, for example, your car is insured. The card is an international proof of insurance.

Regardless of the language, it is clear what the information on the map means. About 70 years ago, this card was developed to protect victims of road accidents when the perpetrator was a foreign car. It was compulsory for motorists to carry the card with them when travelling abroad. It was also useful for the motorist, as it contained all the necessary information about car insurance. The green card is still there, but is usually not mandatory anymore.

green card

Where is the green card number?

When you sustain damage to your car, you must fill out a European claim form. On this you must always mention the green card number. There is a lot of information on a green card. The green card number is under point 4 'Country code/Insurer code/number'. The number consists of three parts, namely the policy number of your car insurance, the insurer code and the code of the country you live in. Using this number, the insurer can find out the correct details. It is therefore important for a quick settlement of the claim, that you mention the number on the claim form.

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When do I need a green card?

In the Netherlands, you do not have to carry the green card as standard. However, in some EU countries it is mandatory to have a green card with you. You have to be able to prove that your car has at least third-party insurance. In popular vacation countries such as France, Spain and Italy it is not necessary to have a green card with you. Are you going by car to Albania, Morocco or Turkey, among others? Then you do need your green card. Still, even in the Netherlands it is handy to have your green card with you. On it you will find your insurance information and the phone numbers you can call in case of damage or breakdown.

What does a green card look like?

The green card is a pass or paper document, containing the most important information about your car insurance. The green card shows the insured registration number, the period for which the car is insured, in which countries the car is insured, the card number and the insurer's contact information. The advantage of a green card is that it has the same layout throughout Europe, making it easy to read even when abroad, for example, for the police.

Since July 1, 2020, the green card is no longer green, but white. So it is printed on white paper, instead of green paper. You can now print the green card yourself in black and white.

Is a green card the same as a registration certificate?

The green card and the registration certificate are two different things. The green card is an international certificate of insurance. It allows you to prove that your car is at least third-party insured. You get the green card after taking out car insurance. The registration certificate is your car's means of identification. It shows that you are the owner of the car. You get the license plate when you purchase the car. The green card does show the registration number of the car.

When should you carry the green card?

In the Netherlands, since 1972, it has not been compulsory to carry the green card for your car. However, it is advisable to always take the green card with you when you go out with your car. This is because there is a lot of useful information on the card. Should you have a breakdown on the road or get involved in an accident, you will always have your insurance information and important phone numbers at hand.

For non-registered vehicles, such as tractors, you do need to carry the green card in the Netherlands.

Green card number

Every green card has a green card number on it. This is a combination of your car insurance policy number, the insurer code and the code of the country you live in. You have to fill in the number on the European claim form. In addition to the number, all insurance information is written on it succinctly. It is wise to always carry the green card with you when you hit the road. You never know when you might need the green card number.

Green card for car

Not only a car has a green card as proof that it is insured. Your other motor vehicles, if any, also need such a certificate. The green card applies to any motor vehicle. However, this is not the same as for the car. You have a separate green card for each motor vehicle. You will also receive a green card for your motorcycle, scooter or motorhome. When you go abroad, don't forget to bring it with you.

Lost green card

If you have lost your green card or it has been stolen, you need to apply for a new green card. If you are insured through Alpina, you can request a new green card online, which is free of charge. The green card will then be sent to your home via mail or e-mail. In some cases, you will even receive the new green card by mail as well as by e-mail. If you receive the card by mail, keep in mind that it takes several days before you receive the card.

Green card required

In the Netherlands it is not mandatory to carry a green card. Of course, you must have at least a third-party insurance policy for your car. After you have taken out car insurance, you will receive the green card. Although it is not mandatory in the Netherlands to always have it with you, it is recommended. Make it a habit to take your green card along with your driver's license whenever you drive.

Green card caravan

In the Netherlands, caravans are (co-)insured on the third-party insurance of the towing vehicle. However, this does not apply to a number of other countries. Are you going on vacation with the caravan? Then sometimes you need a separate green card for your caravan. In Germany, Spain, Croatia and Poland, you are required to bring a separate green card for your caravan if it weighs more than 750 kilograms. You request this second green card from the insurer.

Green card Germany

In Germany, it is not mandatory to carry a green card. You do have to be able to prove that your car is insured. However, if you go on vacation to Germany with a caravan, you must have a green card with you. The green card is sometimes confused with the (green) environmental sticker. However, these are two different things that generally have nothing to do with each other.

Green card countries

In many countries today it is not necessary to carry a green card. However, there are certainly still plenty of countries where it is mandatory to carry an original green card. That means a card on green paper and not a copy. For the following countries, the original green card is mandatory: Albania, Bosnia (and Herzegovina), Israel, Iran, Morocco, Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Macedonia and Belarus.
If you are going to or driving through one of these countries, make sure you have an original paper green card with you.

Green card policy number

That is a lot of useful information on the green card, you no doubt know. Your car insurance policy number is part of the green card number. This policy number is a unique code under which your car insurance is registered with your insurer and/or agent. So the green card policy number is not the same as the green card number you list on the European claim form, but only a small part of it.

Green card abroad

Although a green card is not always required abroad, it is still useful to always have the card with you. So always take the card with you when you go abroad (on vacation). It may not be compulsory in the country of destination, but keep in mind the countries you drive through to get to your destination. Here it may be mandatory to have the card with you. In addition, the green card is an easy way to show, in case of an inspection or a collision, that your vehicle is insured. Of course, it is then important that your car is actually insured.

Download green card

Most insurers no longer send out the green card, but make sure you can download it online. You can then print and save the green card yourself. Before July 1, 2020, the green card was actually green, but recently the green card has become white. This makes it easier for you to print it out, just in black and white. Want to download your green card? You can usually do this in your personal area on the insurer's website. You will also often receive the green card via e-mail.

Green carddigital

These days, almost every insurer lets you download your green card digitally. You can then print the green card yourself. In the Netherlands you are not obliged to keep the green card in the car. If you go abroad by car, however, in some countries it is mandatory to have it with you. Abroad, a green card on a phone or tablet, or a screenshot of the digital version, is not accepted. It is wise to keep the green card in your car and save it on your phone. That way you always have your insurance information and important phone numbers at hand.

Green cardpass

The green card can be either a pass or a document. As more and more insurers no longer send the green card, but share it digitally, it is less and less often a pass. You can print out the document yourself on white paper. Although it is not mandatory in the Netherlands to carry a green card in the car, it is recommended. This is because the green card also contains important phone numbers that you will need in case of breakdown or damage. It is therefore best to keep a digital green card with you at all times, for example by saving the PDF file to your phone.

Apply for a green card

You get your green card after you purchase car insurance. Then you will automatically receive a new green card every year when you renew your car insurance. So you do not have to apply for the green card yourself. On the green card you will also find your personal data. Did you move house? Then your green card with the old address remains valid. You do not have to apply for a new green card in that case. When you renew your car insurance you will automatically get a green card with a new address on it.

Green card valid

The validity date of your green card is printed on the card itself. Basically, a green card is valid for one year. However, most green cards are valid for 13 months. Every year, when you renew your insurance, the insurer will automatically send you a new green card. Of course, it could be that you are just on vacation around the time of your car insurance renewal. That is why we have chosen to give the green card a validity period of 13 months. This prevents you from being stuck abroad with an invalid green card.

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