Green Card Description

I. Format
The format of the Green Card is suggested by the Council of Bureaux and thereafter accepted by the Road Transport Workin Group of the United Nation's European Economic Commission.
Any changes to the Green Card must be pre-approved by the Road Transport Working Group.
All Green Cards must comply strictly with the agreed format and no other information may appear on the document.
II. General Remarks on Green Cards
A Green Card can only be issued by the insurance undertaking (or a broker) which is authorised to do so under the authority of the national Bureau. Insurers are invited to follow the instructions provided by their respective national Bureau as regards the printing of the Green Card.

All Green Cards should be conformed to the specimen lodged with the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

The language to be used in the Green Card should be the language of the country of the issuing Bureau, with the title of the document being shown in addition in English and French (both languages being the official languages of the Council of Bureaux) and as specified in Art. 14 of Annex 1 of the Revised Consolidated Resolution on the Facilitation of Road Transport (R.E.4) adopted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva in February 2004.

The size of the Green Card is left at the discretion of each Bureau whether to print the Green Card in A4 format or a smaller format.

A revised Green Card format will be introduced as of 1st January 2009. This new format will have to be implemented by all insurers and by all Bureaux authorised to issue Green Cards by the end of 2010. This means that between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010 (transitional period), either old Green Card formats or the revised Green Card formats could be issued to the policyholders. However, as from 1st January 2011 onwards, only the revised format will be obligatory and will be issued to the policyholders.

If a Green Card is validly issued under the old format for more than one year (e.g. 5 years) within the transitional period (between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010), it will remain valid for the whole duration of its validity even if its validity goes beyond the transitional period of two years. However, any Green Card issued under the old format after 1st January 2011 will no longer be considered as valid.

The enclosed specimen is enclosed for information only: it gives some explanations on each item covered by the new Green Card format to help the Bureau and the insurers to understand which information has to appear on the document and which information is only optional. This explanation does not preclude any additional security feature (e.g.: against forging document, etc…) which might be on the Green Card at the discretion of the Bureau. Moreover the Council of Bureaux is not entitled to give any sample of the Green Card format to insurers directly: such sample has to be requested by the insurers to its respective Bureau.

A Green Card can be issued in a horizontal or in vertical format.

When the policyholder has a trailer or a caravan attached to his/her vehicle the words "and trailer" or "and caravan" may be added in Section N°6 of the Green Card (category of vehicle), if the compulsory motor third party liability law of the visited country does not require a separate Green Card to cover trailers and caravans.

The designation of “multi-purpose” vehicles (eg. Kombiwagen in Germany, utility vehicles, estate cars, station wagons, etc...) on the Green Card in the code space is left at the discretion of each individual insurer which issued the document.

If an insurer did not wish its Green Card to be valid for certain countries then it should cross out the country box mentioning the International Circulation Letters of those countries. However, Green Cards issued in one of the Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) shall cover the whole territory of the EEA[1] (including all the Member States). In this case, insurers can only cross out countries which are not part of the EEA (but none of those that are member of the EEA).

A Green Card is deemed to be valid for at least 15 days from its inception date. If the Green Card has been issued for a lesser period it will nevertheless be valid for 15 days under the guarantee of the Bureau that authorised the issuing of the Green Card.

Finally the colour of the Green Card must be green (but no standards are applied for the choice of the green colour). There are many shades of green and there is no rule as to which green to use as long as the document is perceived blatantly as being green.
III. Specific remarks on the new Green Card format

   a) Front page

 The front page is displayed in 11 Sections which are all numbered for better understanding.

The logo of a Bureau can be introduced as an option for the Bureaux at the top of the document. The insertion, deletion or any alteration of the Bureau’s logo may never be invoked as falsification of the Green Card itself.

The sections on the front page are consistently numbered and commented on as follows:

1. The title of the document “INTERNATIONAL MOTOR INSURANCE CARD/CARTE INTERNATIONALE D’ASSURANCE” has to be written in English and French and in the language or languages of the respective Bureau. The order of the languages used for the title of the document is left at the discretion of each Bureau.

2. The Issuing Bureau has still to be indicated (as it was the case in the previous format of the Green Card).

3. The validity of the Green Card has to be indicated but the way of indicating the validity period remains optional as agreed by the 1999 General Assembly of the CoB: the year of validity can be displayed twice either with 2 digits or with 4 digits.

4. The identification of the Green Card remains to be inserted as agreed by the Decision of the 1999 General Assembly of the CoB. The reference to a serial and or policy number was however deleted. The display of “Country Code/Insurer’s Code/ Number” is obligatory. The way to use the “Number” as a reference to a policy or a serial number or any other numbering remains the competence of each Bureau.

5. The Registration N°. (…):has still to be indicated (as it was the case in the previous format of the Green Card).

6. and 7. There is now a split between the section on “category” and the section on “make” of the vehicle for a more precise reference. A smaller space was left for “category” (since only a letter has to be inserted) in order to give more space to Section 7 (as the “make” of vehicle might require more space).

8. The section with the abbreviation of each country is now numbered for a better understanding and for more coherence with the rest of the text. It also bears a title: “TERRITORIAL VALIDITY”.

    • The sentence related to the validity of the Green Card is now formulated positively and reference is made to the website of the CoB which refers to the website of each Bureau [Table of National Bodies]
    • The comment referring to the guarantee provided by the Bureau and starting with” In each country (…)” has been moved to section 8, where it makes sense as additional information to the territorial validity.
    • On the last line before the country sections, there is now a reference to the list of Bureaux appearing on the reverse side of the document.
    • For the special situation of CY and SRB, a footnote with the appropriate explanation concerning the Green Card’s validity has been moved from the bottom of the Green Card to a space below the country sections.
    • A map is available on the CoB website which refers to the Bureaux’ website.

Bureaux are invited to indicate their geographical scope on their respective website.

9. The name and address of the Policyholder shall be indicated as it was also done on the previous Green Card format.

10. More space is now given for the Issuing Insurer, who

    •  has to add to his/her name and address (obligatory information),
    •  but can also add its logo, phone and/or fax number, homepage and email-address (optional information). The logo may provide some protection from falsification. The insertion, deletion or any alteration of the insurer’s logo may never be invoked as falsification of the Green Card itself.

11. The document has finally to be signed by the Insurer (whereas the signature of the insured is no longer needed).

The Insurer has now the opportunity to place some useful information for his/her policyholder and customer in a respective section called useful information (option): for example: website address, references to other services, useful advice on how to proceed in the case of an accident, etc….

At the very bottom, there is the list of “Category of vehicles” to be selected for Section 6 which remains the same with the exception of a new category of vehicles called “G. Others” (in light of ongoing technical development).


  b) Reverse side

The reverse side starts with a “Note to the insured” which remains unchanged. Its wording referring to a remark stating “(unless otherwise instructed by the insurer)”, which is now optional as it can be used by each market or left out.

Then follows the “Names and Addresses of the Bureaux”.

      • The full mention of the country headed by the official UN ECE abbreviations for the country remains a mandatory provision. 
      • The use of the language shall be decided by the Bureaux (i.e. national language and/or one of the CoB languages) for the country and the name of the Bureau (both mandatory provisions) in line with the Decision of the General Assembly of the CoB taken in Oxford in 1999 (namely, “all data on the Green Card must be recorded in the Latin alphabet with the option, if desired, to record the same data in other alphabets”). 
      • Any additional information (such as the address, tel. no, fax no, etc.) is left optional and at the discretion of each Bureau and its Market
  • Green Card Specimen - Back