Request re-registration of your motor vehicle (when changing owners)

If you buy or take over a vehicle that is already registered, you must have it re-registered in your name immediately and, if necessary, apply for a new license plate.

If you want to buy or take over a motor vehicle that is still registered to another owner, it must be re-registered in your name. Nationwide, you have the option of retaining the previous license plates on the vehicle.

The re-registration of your already registered motor vehicle must be carried out immediately at the local registration office in whose district you have your:

  • main residence,
  • Registered office or
  • Have your branch.

If you do not want to make use of the license plate portability, you still have the option to apply for a new license plate. Additional fees apply for a desired license plate.

If your vehicle has a fine dust sticker, it may become invalid due to new license plates. If you want to drive in low-emission zones and do not have an exemption permit, you should also apply for a new fine dust sticker when re-registering.

Note: Vehicles can be registered to private individuals and legal entities or companies as vehicle owners, i.e. also to:

  • Corporate
  • Authorities or
  • Clubs.
  • valid identity card or passport with your last confirmation of registration
  • Registration certificate Part I or old vehicle registration document
  • Registration certificate Part II or old vehicle registration document
  • Electronic insurance confirmation number (eVB number)
  • Test report on the last general inspection, for example TÜV, DEKRA, GTÜ, KÜS, GTS, FSP

Attention: You usually have to submit further documents. The documents required for re-registration with change of holder differ depending on the federal state. Please ask your local licensing authority in this regard.

Forms: can be obtained from your local licensing authority

Online procedure possible: yes, via the online portal of the locally competent licensing authority

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

Preconditions

  • You must not have any car tax liabilities of EUR 5 or more. When calculating the amount, late payment surcharges, interest and late payment surcharges are also taken into account.

Note: If someone is to represent you at the registration of your vehicle, you must give this person a written power of attorney. This power of attorney must also include your consent that the licensing authority may inform the authorized person about arrears of fees and expenses from you.

Related Links

  • § 13 paragraph 1 Vehicle Registration Ordinance (FZV)
  • § 13 Motor Vehicle Tax Act (KraftStG)
  • Building Regulations for Measures in Road Traffic (GebOSt)

You can apply for the re-registration (in the event of a change of owner) online or in person at your locally responsible registration authority.

Personal application: 

  • Check with your local licensing authority to see if a form is available for download. Ask what documents you need for the procedure. 
  • Go to your competent licensing authority with the completed form and the required documents. 
  • If you want to keep the previous license plate on the vehicle, you can do so nationwide. If you do not want to make use of the license plate portability, you can still apply for a desired license plate. 
    • Tip: If you need new license plates, you can contact private providers. These can usually be found near the licensing authority 
  • When assigning a new number plate, the registration authority attaches the sticker (main inspection and new stamp sticker) to your new license plate. 
  • If your vehicle has a fine dust sticker, it will become invalid due to new license plates. If you want to drive in low-emission zones and do not have an exemption permit, you should also apply for a new fine dust sticker when re-registering. 

Online procedure: 

  • Go to the online portal of your local licensing authority. 
  • Identify yourself there with your new electronic identity card (nPA) or electronic residence permit (eAT) with activated online ID function. 
  • Enter the necessary data in the application mask of the portal. 
  • Pay the fees using the e-payment system (payment methods vary depending on the competent regulatory authority).
  • If previous license plates are retained: 
    • The application is automatically checked in real time. 
    • The letter of admission is immediately made available online and can be retrieved within 30 minutes. 
    • Your vehicle is re-registered with the retrieval of the registration notice. You can put it into operation.
    • Print out the registration letter and carry it in your vehicle until you receive the registration certificate Part I. 
    • You will receive the registration certificate Part I and II as well as an information letter from your licensing authority by post.
  • If new license plates are requested:
    • The application is examined by a clerk.
    • You will receive a letter of admission as well as a fee notice, registration certificate Part I and II, the stamp sticker holders and the sticker carrier for the main inspection (HU) for affixing to the license plate from the registration authority by post. 
    • Your vehicle is thus re-registered. After receiving the registration documents, you can put the vehicle into operation. 

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Last update or date of publication
14.11.2019