Changing a vehicle registration (in the case of new keepers)
If you buy a vehicle which is already registered, you must immediately have the registration transferred to your name.
the licensing authority responsible for your principal residence, business headquarters or branch
The licensing authority is:
- in urban districts: the city council (Stadtverwaltung)
- in rural districts: the rural district office (Landratsamt)
The prerequisites for registering the vehicle in your name are:
- you may not have any unpaid charges or expenses from previous registration procedures. If you are more than 30 euros in arrears, the licensing authority is not permitted to register your vehicle until you have paid the outstanding amount. If the outstanding amount is less than 30 euros, the licensing authority may decide whether or not to register your vehicle despite the arrears.
- you may not have vehicle tax arrears of five euros or more. Fines for late payment, interest and default penalties will be taken into account when the outstanding amount is calculated.
- If you appoint a representative to register your vehicle, you must give this person written power of attorney. This power of attorney must include a declaration of consent to the licensing authority giving your authorised representative information about outstanding fees and expenses. Your representative must present the written power of attorney and provide personal identification.
You must request the transfer in writing from the competent authority. You may also appoint a representative.
Depending on the service provided by your licensing authority, you can download a form or use an online service for this purpose.
The licensing authority may ask you to show the vehicle.
Note: If the vehicle was previously registered in another licensing district, you will have to obtain new number plates. If your vehicle has a particle emissions sticker the new number plates will render it invalid. If you wish to drive in environmental zones but don’t have an exemption permit, you should also apply for a particle emissions sticker during the re-registration process.
The licensing authority will issue your vehicle with a licence plate and attach the stickers (main inspection and stamp) to it.
Note: As of 1 January 2015, you can take your vehicle registration plates anywhere in Germany whenever you move. However, this is not possible if the vehicle keeper changes.
Tip: You can also obtain new number plates from private suppliers. These are usually located close to the licensing authorities.
- valid passport or personal ID card
- If another person is representing you, you must also provide
- written power of attorney
- your authorised representative’s personal ID card or passport
- for minors: declaration of consent and identification documents from the parents
- For legal entities/companies:
- SEPA direct debit mandate for payment of vehicle tax (Erklärung zum Einzug der Kraftfahrzeugsteuer (SEPA-Lastschriftmandat))
- Registration certificate (Zulassungsbescheinigung) part I or old vehicle registration document (Fahrzeugschein)
- Registration certificate part II or old vehicle registration document (Fahrzeugbrief)
- Evidence of a valid main inspection (MI) in the form of the inspection report if the vehicle
- is more than three years old
- was previously licensed as a hire car, taxi or similar
- Confirmation of insurance (eVB code)
- Previous number plates if you are changing your number plates or if you wish to deregister the vehicle electronically in the future: new stickers with a security code are required
- Confirmation of reservation if you previously applied for vanity plates
Note: Severely disabled persons with the marks “H”, “BI” or “aG” in their disability cards are exempt from vehicle tax.
Note: Confirmation that you are covered by motor vehicle liability insurance can be obtained from an insurance company of your choice. You can usually request this by phone. The competent authority will notify the insurance company automatically of the vehicle registration.
- § 13 Fahrzeug-Zulassungsverordnung (FZV) (Mitteilungspflichten bei Änderungen)
- § 1 Gesetz über die Verweigerung der Zulassung von Fahrzeugen bei rückständigen Gebühren und Auslagen (Fahrzeugzulassungsverweigerungsgesetz) (Verweigerung der Zulassung)
- § 13 Kraftfahrzeugsteuergesetz (Feststellung der Besteuerungsgrundlagen, Nachweis der Besteuerung und Zulassungsverweigerung bei Steuerrückständen)
- Gebührenordnung für Maßnahmen im Straßenverkehr (GebOSt)
Depending on the administrative outlay: from EUR 18.60
Note: The fees do not include the cost of number plates.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Verkehrsministerium released it on 01.01.2018. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.