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Last checked: 24/05/2018

Car registration in another EU country – Germany

Affected by Brexit?

Registration rules

As an EU national moving to Germany, you must register your car here if the vehicle's location is established in Germany.

Exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle

As an EU national moving to Germany you can use your vehicle here while it is still registered in your previous home country.

You can use it for 1 year, as long as the vehicle's location is not established in Germany.


With regard to the registration of vehicles, there are no special rules or exceptions for students.

Pensioners, second homeowners and cross-border commuters

As an EU national with a second home in Germany, you must register your vehicle here if the vehicle's location is established in Germany.

Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle

If you change your country of residence to Germany, you have to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country as soon as you take up residence there.

If the vehicle has already been moved to Germany, it is registered in Germany as from that date.

To re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, go to the registration authority at the district or city administration.

Export number plates

If as a foreign national you buy a car in Germany, you may drive it back to your country of residence. The conditions the vehicle must satisfy can be found in the general rules.

You can get the export registration at the competent authority of your district or city administration and the number plates at specialised local shops for around EUR 10 – 40.

Car tax

As an EU citizen, if you have registered your car in Germany, you as holder must pay car tax in advance on a yearly basis.

The following vehicles shall be granted a tax advantage:

  • Pure electric vehicles registered for the first time between 18 May 2011 and 31 December 2020: Complete tax exemption for a period of ten years from the date of first registration.
  • Vehicles adapted for drivers with severe disabilities:

    Depending on the type and degree of disability, complete tax exemption or a tax advantage of 50 % is granted. Drivers eligible for this tax advantage may opt instead for free travel on public transport. Proof of severe disability must be provided. N.B.: The vehicle for which the tax advantage is granted may only be used for the transport or day-to-day life of the beneficiary disabled holder.

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