The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires the users of all vehicles on the roads of the UK to be insured with an authorised insurer who is a member of the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB). There are similar structures overseas and over the years the national bureaux have become involved in agreements to recognise one another's status and accept reciprocal arrangements.

The Green Card system has been developed by a UN-backed commission as the underlying procedure for international travel. The system aims to facilitate free movement of vehicles over borders while protecting the interests of victims of road accidents. All European countries recognise the system and participate in it.

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