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Old 2 Feb 2009
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How to sort out our vehicle licence?

My wife and I live in Oman and are planning a three-to-four-year road trip. Early on in the planning we came up against the problem of vehicle registration/licencing (which are effectively the same thing in Oman, where on production of proof of insurance, and some money in hand, the Motor Vehicle Licence for a twelve-month period is done very quickly---at present cannot be done online).[/font]

As far as I know, to be road-legal, up-to-date licencing/registration will be needed for the duration of the trip. I have a friend here in Oman, maybe two, who I might ask to do me the favour of annually renewing the licence (first paying the cheapest possible third-party insurance, without which –as mentioned above-the licence cannot be obtained) and sending the new one to me, but their residence here for the duration of the trip is not certain. Thus I began to pursue the option of importing the vehicle to Britain and registering it there. However, for various reasons, (including cost and the fact that we don’t intend to return to the UK with the vehicle after the trip) registering the vehicle in the UK doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Thus I seem to be left with three possible (legal) options: registering the vehicle in the UK; registering it in some other country (I’m thinking of Austria, where an Austrian friend would gladly, I think, take care of annual paperwork, the details and cost of which I haven’t looked into), or reinsuring and reregistering it in Oman each year. IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY? I hope there is someone out there (including Dingo, who started his trip in Oman) who can say to me “Look, this is what you’re going to have to do.”

I am somewhat concerned that the Omani licence itself is a small and unimpressive piece of plastic, its only words in English (the rest in Arabic) being “SULTANATE OF OMAN, ROYAL OMAN POLICE: Directorate General of Traffic: Motor Vehicle Licence”. All the numbers are “1-2-3” numbers: the vehicle’s licence plate number is given (not the VIN), as is the date of commencement and expiry, but a person looking at the licence would be assuming/guessing that “2009/12/20” is in fact the date of expiry, because once beyond Syria (or possibly the southern Turkish border) it can be assumed that no border official can read Arabic. Thus it does seem possible that an Omani licence would in any case not be the most convincing document to be carrying, given that some customs/immigration officials (according to my experience) see themselves in the business of hindering rather than facilitating.

Thank you for earlier responses to my question related to this matter. Please advise.
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