What Needs to be Taken Into Account When Registering a Vehicle ?
There are many details to consider when registering a vehicle. The regulations vary depending on whether private individuals, companies, freelancers, or associations wish to register a vehicle. The following guide will tell you everything you need to know about the process of registering or deregistering a vehicle.
Vehicle registration: What documents do you need to register a car?
You are not allowed to drive your car on public roads without a valid vehicle registration. So if you have bought a new car or a used vehicle, the first step is to go to the registration office. The following guide will provide you with practical support that will make vehicle registration easier for you and enable you to prepare for registration in the best possible way.
In Germany, vehicles and trailers that are registered for public road traffic must be registered with the administrative authority, the vehicle registration office.
Vehicle registration is a sovereign administrative act and corresponds to a permit. You must register your vehicle with the registration authority that is responsible for your place of residence. The registration authority is located at the district office or the municipal administration.
The legal basis for vehicle registration is the Road Traffic Act (SVG), with the guidelines being set out in the Registration Ordinance (FVZ) since March 2007. Registration always takes place upon application by the vehicle owner or a person authorized by him and is completed with the assignment and stamping of the official license plate.
Different documents are required depending on whether a private individual, a company, a freelancer, or an association wishes to register the vehicle and whether it is a new or used vehicle.
Documents required for the vehicle registration of a new car
You will need the registration certificate part II (formerly Fahrzeugbrief) as well as an electronic insurance confirmation (EVB number). The registration certificate part 1 (formerly vehicle registration certificate) is issued and handed out at the registration office. In addition, proof of type approval must be provided.
This can be done by an EC certificate of conformity/COC from the dealer, an individual expert opinion, or a data confirmation from the manufacturer. If you do not register the vehicle in person, the person you authorize requires a corresponding signed declaration of authority and a copy of your ID card. In addition, a completed, personally signed SEPA direct debit mandate for the collection of the vehicle tax must be submitted.
Documents required for the vehicle registration of a used car
In addition to the documents that you also need to present when registering a new car, you will also need the registration certificate Part I (formerly the vehicle registration document) and proof of the last general inspection, which verifies the roadworthiness of the used vehicle.
Documents that natural persons must present for legitimation purposes
In addition to private individuals, natural persons include sole proprietorships, civil law partnerships (GBR), freelancers (such as doctors, notaries, and architects), and associations. Private individuals and freelancers need an ID card or passport to prove their identity.
Freelancers must also submit a letterhead with their VAT identification number (USD-IdNr.). Sole proprietorships and GBRs need a current business registration in addition to the ID document, and associations prove their identity with an extract from the register of associations and the ID card or passport of the association’s board of directors.
Documents that legal entities must present for legitimation purposes
Legal entities are companies with their legal capacity such as the GmbH, the KG, the OHG, or the AG. The person who registers the vehicle for the company must legitimize himself with a copy of the ID of the person authorized to sign (managing director or authorized signatory) and a power of attorney as well as present an extract from the commercial register and the business registration.
Registration of a vehicle to a minor vehicle owner
If the vehicle is to be registered to a minor, a declaration of consent from both parents or guardians is required in addition to the other documents mentioned.
What does the vehicle registration office do?
The registration office will enter the vehicle owner in the vehicle documents and will also issue the license plate number and the official stamp stickers. You can reserve a preferred license plate in advance for a fee. After registration, the plate service will make the license plate and you will then have to go to the registration office again to have the stamps applied. Upon request, you will receive an environmental sticker for the car you have registered.
What should be considered when deregistering and transferring a car?
The deregistration of a car is referred to as decommissioning. For deregistration at the vehicle registration office, you will need the registration certificate Part I as well as the license plate, which will be stamped at the registration office.
If the vehicle is being scrapped, you must also present the certificate of destruction from the dismantling company. You can reserve your license plate if you want to use it for another vehicle in the future. Depending on the registration district, a reservation is possible for three to twelve months. During this period, you can take over the license plate for another vehicle by paying a fee of 10.20 euros.
If you sell your still registered vehicle, you must inform the vehicle registration office of the sale. You are exempt from this obligation if the buyer informs the registration office and registers the vehicle.
If you learn that the buyer will not register the car immediately or that he will put the vehicle out of service, you should in turn notify the vehicle registration office. In this way, you will protect yourself from having to continue paying vehicle taxes on the vehicle. To avoid problems of this kind, it is advisable to deregister the sold vehicle yourself before handing it over. Be sure to inform the insurance company of the sale, because the insurance is transferred to the buyer with the sale. If the buyer causes damage, you will not be downgraded.
If you move, you must also re-register your vehicle. If you move within a registration district, you can keep the previous license plate and only have to have a change of address made in the vehicle documents. It is also possible to keep the license plate when moving outside the registration district. However, the registration office at the new place of residence must be informed of this immediately. However, if you later sell the vehicle, it is not possible to use the license plate for your new vehicle.
How does online vehicle registration work?
Many vehicle owners now use the service of registering their vehicles online, saving them the appointment at the registration office, which is often associated with long waiting times. You can carry out both the initial registration of your vehicle and the transfer to a new vehicle owner online if your responsible registration office offers Internet-based vehicle registration (i-Kfz). Two-thirds of all registration authorities now provide this service to citizens, but so far only for general license plates. Seasonal license plates and e-license plates for electric vehicles, which are associated with certain advantages (for example, when parking), must still be applied for at the local vehicle registration office.
Prerequisite for the use of i-Kfz
If you want to register your vehicle online, several prerequisites must be met. You need a new ID card with the eID online function activated and the corresponding PIN. Furthermore, a card reader is required. Alternatively, you can use a free ID card app. Another prerequisite is that both registration certificates (vehicle title and vehicle registration document) have a security code that is hidden and must first be scratched free. Part I of the registration certificate has met these requirements since 2015 and Part II only since 2018.
Online registration procedure
The first step is identification in the online portal of the registration authority. This is done with a new identity card or with an electronic residence permit. In the case of a first-time registration, you enter the vehicle identification number (VIN) after identification. Then enter the security code that you scratched off on the registration certificate Part II (vehicle registration document). Now you need the EVB number of the insurance company with which you provide proof of motor vehicle liability. Then enter the account details of the account from which the vehicle tax is to be collected.
Once these formalities have been completed, you can either select the next license plate that is available or enter the desired license plate that has already been reserved. The system automatically checks the application data and finally asks you to pay the registration fee. This payment is also made electronically via ePayment, i.e. by credit card or Giropay.
Once you have confirmed all the information once again, a clerk at the registration office will check the application for registration. All the necessary documents will then be sent to you:
Stamp sticker holder
Sticker holders for the HU (general inspection)
After you have placed the sticker holders on the license plate, your vehicle is officially registered and you can drive off.
Special features for vehicle registration
If you want to register a classic car and apply for an H license plate, you will need a classic car certificate from a motor vehicle expert in addition to the other documents. This must confirm that the vehicle in question is a motor vehicle cultural asset.
In the case of seasonal registration, you must define the desired registration period, which can be between two and eleven months.
The short-term license plate is requested for registration or test drives of an unregistered vehicle. This license plate is valid for a maximum of five days and may only be issued for vehicles in Germany. The cost of the plates is about 25 euros and there is an additional administrative fee of about 13 euros. In addition, you must plan for costs for vehicle insurance, which vary depending on the insurance company and the scope of insurance (liability, comprehensive or partial cover).
Alternate license plates can be applied for similar vehicles that are used alternately by the vehicle owner. The vehicles don’t need to be identical in construction.
In the case of a re-registration, you will need a deregistration certificate if the vehicle was already immobilized before October 1, 2005. Furthermore, proof of the main and exhaust emission tests is required. If the vehicle was decommissioned more than seven years ago and the vehicle registration document and vehicle title are no longer available, you will need a certificate of conformity for re-registration.
If you want to register a trailer, you will need a certificate from the manufacturer, TÜV, or Dekra confirming that the trailer has Tempo100 suitability.
Costs for vehicle registration: What are the costs?
The vehicle registration authority charges the following fees:
Vehicle registration at the registration office: 27 euros
Online vehicle registration: 27.90 euros
Deregistration (decommissioning) at the registration office: 6.90 euros
Online deregistration: 5,70 Euro
Transfer to another registration district at the registration office: 27 Euro
Online transfer: 28,20 Euro
Reservation of a special license plate: 10,20 Euro
Fee for postal delivery of the registration certificate part II: 10,20 Euro