Applying for temporary vehicle registration
Private individuals and companies can apply to have a roadworthy but unregistered vehicle registered temporarily.
In such instances, you can only use the vehicle for:
- test drives and
- transfer journeys.
You can also only use it for the vehicle entered in the registration document. Temporary registration is only valid for five consecutive days including the day on which it is granted.
Note: The beginning of the registration period cannot be pre-dated. Please take this into account when applying for registration before a weekend or public holiday.
As of 1 April 2015, temporary registration is only granted to vehicles with valid EC type approval or a valid operating permit, and only if a valid main inspection/safety inspection has been performed. If your vehicle does not meet these requirements, it can still be registered temporarily but your vehicle use will be limited to specific purposes. As a rule, temporary registration is only valid within Germany. If you want to use a temporary registration document to transfer a vehicle abroad, you do this at your own risk. Export licence plates are available for this purpose.
Tip: Ask the competent foreign authority in advance whether German temporary registration is recognised in the country of destination.
the licensing authority responsible for your principal residence, business headquarters or branch, or the licensing authority responsible for the district where the vehicle is located. if you are not registered in Germany, the licensing authority responsible for the domicile or location of your authorised recipient. The licensing authority is:
- in urban districts: the city council (Stadtverwaltung)
- In rural districts: the rural district office (Landratsamt)
The prerequisites for obtaining temporary registration are:
- You need the vehicle for
- a test drive during which you can test and verify that the vehicle is serviceable, or
- a transfer journey undertaken with the aim of transporting the vehicle to another location.
- You have a specific personal need for temporary vehicle registration plates. If you require temporary registration for several vehicles simultaneously, you must provide proof of need.
- You must specify the vehicle to the licence authority and furnish evidence of the vehicle data.
- The vehicle must have EC type approval or an operating permit.
- Proof of a valid main inspection (MI) and, if applicable, a safety inspection (SI) of the vehicle must be provided for the entire period in which the temporary registration is valid.
If your vehicle has no EC type approval or operating permit, you may only register it temporarily for the journeys needed for it to undergo the corresponding inspections. In these circumstances, you may only drive to the nearest inspection centre in the district in which the vehicle was temporarily registered or in a neighbouring district.
If your vehicle has not undergone a valid main inspection or safety inspection, temporary registration will only be granted for the journey
- to the nearest inspection centre in the licensing district and back or
- to a nearby workshop in the licensing district in which the vehicle was temporarily registered or in a neighbouring district and back for the immediate repair of major or minor defects.
This does not apply to vehicles that are classified as non-roadworthy.
You, your authorised representative or your authorised recipient must apply to the competent licensing authority for temporary registration. Depending on the service provided by your licensing authority, you can download a form or use an online service for this purpose.
Tip: You can obtain number plates from private suppliers located close to the licensing authorities.
Note: If you, as the applicant, are not registered in Germany, you can apply to the competent licensing authority for temporary registration provided you appoint an authorised recipient.
- 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
- If you, as the applicant, are not registered in Germany:
- your authorised recipient’s personal ID card or passport
- For minor vehicle owners also:
- a declaration of consent and identification papers from his/her parents/guardians
- For legal entities/companies:
- evidence that the vehicle fulfils the necessary technical requirements, e.g. vehicle registration document part I, EC type approval, operating permit or valid main inspection/safety inspection
- evidence of the vehicle’s location if applicable: registration certificate part II or purchase agreement
- confirmation of insurance for temporary registration (eVB code)
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 from your insurance company.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Verkehrsministerium released it on 16.05.2018. 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.