Car registration

In Germany all cars taking part in traffic must have a valid vehicle registration, this blog article provides necessary information on the process.

Local cars

Pre-owned vehicles

You just purchased a car, made a great deal and want to hop in right away. But before doing so, your new vehicle must go through the registration process at the lbv (Landesverkehr Vertrieb).

Make sure to have all of the necessary documentation ready before making an appointment and bring along:

  • valid ID OR passport with latest certificate of registration (“Meldebestätigung”)
  • registration papers of the car (“Zulassungsbescheinigung I & II”) or a confirmation of deregistration (“Abmeldebestätigung”)
  • eVB-Code (electronic confirmation of car insurance) – you have to get an insurance before the registration appointment
  • old car plates if new ones are supposed to be issued
  • confirmation of a valid general inspection (“HU” or “Hauptuntersuchung”) – every 24 months to prove the roadworthiness of the vehicle (the date is noted in “Zulassungsbescheinigung I”), can be done at DEKRA, TÜV etc. (cost approx. 100€)
  • SEPA-mandate for the annual payment of the vehicle tax

Important note: the registration must take place according to your place of residency, e.g. Hamburg.

Costs for registration at lbv: 26,30€-60,00€

Appointment at lbv: https://www.lbv-termine.de/LBV/index.php

Document SEPA-mandate vehicle tax: https://www.hamburg.de/contentblob/4273860/33ab5cde2bf81963443c96ab09c659a6/data/formular-sepa-mandat-kfz-steuer-ab-010314.pdf

New vehicles

The documentation and process of the registration of new vehicles are equal to preowned cars, except that additionally a Certificate of Conformity (“Konformitätszertifikat”) needs to be provided. The CoC can be obtained at your car dealer. The point regarding plates may be disregarded in this case.

Imported Cars

Pre-owned vehicles

If you import your car from your home country, the following documentation needs to be provided:

  • valid ID or passport with latest certificate of registration(“Meldebestätigung”)
  • Certificate of Conformity (“Konformitätszertifikat”)- obtainable at the manufacturer or your car dealer
  • Original registration papers of the car from country of origin (in your name)
  • eVB-Code (electronic confirmation of car insurance) – you have to get an insurance before the registration
  • confirmation of a valid general inspection (“HU” or “Hauptuntersuchung”) – every 24 months to prove the roadworthiness of the vehicle (the date is noted in “Zulassungsbescheinigung I”), can be done at DEKRA, TÜV etc. (cost approx. 100€)
  • SEPA-mandate for the annual payment of the vehicle tax

The foreign plates and registration documents of the car will be withheld by the lbv and a confirmation of the process issued. The owner is responsible for the deregistration of the car in the country of origin.

Important note: the registration must take place according to your place of residency, e.g. Hamburg.

Costs for registration at lbv: 26,30€-60,00€

Appointment at lbv: https://www.lbv-termine.de/LBV/index.php

Document SEPA-mandate vehicle tax: https://www.hamburg.de/contentblob/4273860/33ab5cde2bf81963443c96ab09c659a6/data/formular-sepa-mandat-kfz-steuer-ab-010314.pdf

How to save import taxes

When importing a vehicle from a non-EU-country, customs duty (10%) and import sales tax (19%) are usually due. It is possible to avoid those costs by claiming a vehicle “Übersiedlungsgut” (personal property imported by natural persons).

In order to claim the car as such, certain conditions have to be fulfilled:

  • Residency of the applicant outside of the EU for at least 12 months
  • Applicant is and has been the owner of the car AND has used the vehicle for at least 6 months in the country of origin (proof by receipt, sale contract etc.)
  • Vehicle must have been registered to the name of the applicant
  • Import has to take place within 12 months after having moved to Germany (it is possible to divide the import of personal property into various shipments)
  • The vehicle must be in personal use by the owner for 12 months upon arrival before lending, lease, selling or gifting can take place
  • A customs declaration as “Übersiedlungsgut” must take place (Form: “Zollanmeldung Formular 0350”)

The car is not excluded to the motor vehicle tax and depends on its form of propulsion (spark ignition engine, diesel engine, rotary piston engine), cubic capacity and emission class.

Sources:

https://www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/hamburg/11433073/
https://www.hamburg.de/lbv-fahrzeug/6435026/kfz-zulassung-importfahrzeug/
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Steuern/Verkehrsteuern/Kraftfahrzeugsteuer/Grundsaetze_Besteuerung/Steuerhoehe/steuerhoehe_node.html#doc294822bodyText2
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Zoelle/Zollbefreiungen/Aussertarifliche-Zollbefreiung/Uebersiedlungsgut/Voraussetzungen/voraussetzungen_node.html;jsessionid=0147B0CE49CB49B89D6F4D8C99597FF5.live4651
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