How to get a temporary registration

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How to get temporary plates

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This information is for buyers who are in Germany and who have found the perfect car somewhere in Germany.


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It is not allowed to drive a car without registration and insurance on German roads!
If you don’t have a permanent address in Germany, you can’t register a car in your name. But you can get temporary plates e.g. to drive your car to the Hamburg port. Even as a foreigner you can get temporary plates, called “Export Plates” (in German “Ausfuhrkennzeichen”).That is a temporary registration for up to one year. If the duration is longer than 3 months you would have to pay German vehicle tax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer). Depending on the vehicle you have, the amount can be a couple of hundred Euros. With these plates you can drive the car all over Europe, for example if you want it to ship from Antwerp or Amsterdam.

Temporary plates:
You can get “Export Plates” or “5 Days Temporary Plates”

1. How to get “Export Plates”:
- Before you apply for the plates you have to buy insurance. That cost approx. Euro 160 per month for a passenger car or a small van. They want cash in advance for the complete validite period of the plates. You can get them for 14 days, one month or even longer. Some insurance companies only provide insurance for up to 90 days. Close to every registration office you will find a shop or an office where you can buy the insurance. If you don’t see it just ask the people in the You can also buy the insurance from the German automobil association: ADAC

- The insurance you can get is a kind of 3rd party liability insurance. Your car is not fully insured (no full or part collision insurance).
- Go to the registration office. There is one in every major district town. It is called “Kraftfahrzeug-Zulassungsstelle” or Verkehrsamt”.
- You have to show your passport, the car documents (the title: Kraftfahrzeugbrief or Fahrzeugbrief) and a document which proves a valid roadworthy test (HU or Tüv test).
- The car will be visiually inspected at the registration office and the vehicle identification number (VIN) will be checked. For that you have to bring the car to the registration office (use dealers plates or put your car on a trailer, or buy 5 day temporary plates first or ask the seller to bring it).
- The registration fee and the plates will cost you approx. Euro 150,-

Picture, sample, export plate:
(To the right of the plate is a red band with the year, month and day of expiry: 24 May 2006).


2. How to get “5 Days Temporary Plates”:
There is another kind of temporary plates, the “Überfuhrungskennzeichen” meaning a set of provisional plates that are valid for five days, allowing you to transfer the car to its destination over public roads during this period. For this you need to have a permanent address here, but perhaps a friend or the seller can get them plates for you... It will cost about 150 Euro for to cover the registration fee and insurance premium. No need to bring the car to the registration office, no inspection.

Picture, sample 5 days plate:
(At the right is a black on yellow band with the day, month and year of validity (21 June 2003) 


LHD only !
You should know that all used cars from Germany have left hand steering. You won’t find any RHD vehicles on the German market.


Do not, under any circumstances, drive a car here without a valid registration! You´ll be in a hell of a trouble if you do!