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Maltese Laws

Online since: 09. April 2013

Maltese Police

As opposed to other European countries, the Catholic church still has a great influence on Malta’s legislation, especially with regard to the abortion law. Only since 2011 has it been possible to get a divorce in Malta. Basic human rights are pretty much the same as in other European countries. Other laws, however, sometimes take rather peculiar forms.

Abortion laws

In Malta, it is forbidden to abort at any stage of the pregnancy. The Maltese are very religious and the Catholic church still has great influence in certain areas. The “morning-after pill”, for example, cannot be purchased anywhere on the island.


Until October 2011, the law stated that you couldn’t get a divorce once you got married in Malta. Following a referendum in May 2011, a large majority of the Maltese population supported the legalisation of official divorce and the law was amended accordingly. For people whose legal status is stated as “separated”, only a new submission of documents at court is required.

Basically, the following three prerequisites have to be met in order to file a divorce: Husband and wife must have lived separately for a minimum of four year, the possibility of reconciliation is not given and the partner who filed for the divorce already pays maintenance.
For divorce involving a Maltese and a foreigner, special laws apply.

Yellow Lines

A yellow line on the street means absolutely no parking.

Pets in Flats

The law in Malta says that pets are not permitted in flats. This law only applies to flats, not houses. Usually, a landlord doesn’t mind if a small pet, such as a rabbit, is kept in the flat. Larger animals such as dogs, however, are a problem. But there are landlords who allow pets in the flats.

Carrying Bottles

In Paceville, an entertainment district in Malta, it is not permitted to carry any glass bottles. Several years ago, a large brawl happened there and glass bottles were thrown, causing several severe injuries. This law usually only applies in the evening, when clubs and bars are open.


Drugs are generally forbidden!

Towing a Vehicle

On Malta, it is forbidden to tow a vehicle with a towrope!

Here is the address of a local towing service:

Guardamangia Hill
Pieta, MSD 10

General Enquiries: +356 2122 5536

SOS Numbers
+356 2124 2222
+356 2144 2422
+356 2155 8844
800 722 21

Webpage RMFMalta.com

Topless on the Beach

Topless on the beach? Not in Malta! In Malta, women are not allowed to sunbath topless! G-strings are also forbidden (only when worn openly).

Riding a Bus in Decent Clothes

If a man boards a bus topless or a woman does so in a swimming costume, the driver may request that person to dress decently or, if necessary, leave the bus!

Laundry on the Balcony

In Malta, it is not permitted to dry your laundry on the balcony, in front of a window or hang it up anywhere else in front of the house.

Nude Swimming in Malta

Nude swimming is officially forbidden in Malta!

Driving a Car

If you are not keen on getting a ticket, you’d better stick to the traffic rules. Traffic wardens are very strict and won’t enter into any arguments.
There are three large road tunnels (ca. 500 - 1000 metres long) in Malta. If you don’t switch on your headlights, you risk being fined.
Speed limits on Maltese traffic signs are given in km/h. Most rental cars, however, show mph on their speedometer. 60 km/h equals roughly 36 mph. Please keep that in mind.
Parking is one of the largest problems in road traffic. It’s better to take a long walk than to get a parking ticket, which will cost around 23 Euros.

Maltese Dog DirtDog Dirt on the Street

As is displayed on signs, you are obliged to remove the dirt of your beloved pet from the street. If this is ignored, you can get easily fined for it. It’s not just the police who watch out to make sure that the streets remain clean, but also the neighbours. If you don’t want to damage your reputation, you’d better clean up after your dog. For the Maltese this is self-evident.

* All information is subject to change.

S. Wagner

Further reading on this subject (from our online bookshop):
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