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Munich - Car Registration

Car Registration 'Registrierung':
To register a new or second-hand vehicle, go to the TÜV registration centre at Eichstätterstr with your proof of insurance (double card) and permit for use (Betriebserlaubnis) which is in the vehicle registration book. Vehicles can only be registered if the driver has liability insurance, so you must bring proof of this. If it's a second-hand car, you also need to remove the number/registration plates, as these will be destroyed and new ones issued.

The registration centre opens at 7am, and it is advisable to get there at that time, if not before, to avoid long queues. If driving from the north, beware of the arrows you may find directing you to the TÜV, as these are not to the registration centre but the inspection centre, which is located on separate premises several blocks away! Something else to be wary of is that Eichstätterstr is a one-way street that feeds into the main road (Westendstr) rather than from it, and it's nested in a maze of one-way streets. If you don't get parking immediately in front of the building, turn right from Eichstätterstr into Westendstr where there's plenty of parallel parking (before 7:30am!).

Inside the TÜV building there is a reception desk. Tell them you're there to register your vehicle, or simply hold up the number plates, and they'll give you a number and direct you to the appropriate waiting area.

When your number is called take the double card, vehicle registration book and numberplates to the public servant who will first leave you standing there while they get a cup of coffee, then take the paper work from you, destroy the old number plates, and give you a slip of paper with instructions (in German!) of what to do next.

The next step is to go to the cashier and pay two amounts: the first is 28.20 euros which is the administration fee for the change of registration, and the second is 29 euros for the manufacture of the new number plates you're about to be issued with. To collect your number plates you need to leave the building and walk to the number plate manufacturing booth, where your newly-manufactured plates will shortly appear.

You then take the warm plates back inside the original building to another booth where a man sticks a sticker on each plate. These stickers show the due date of your car's next roadworthiness inspection. There are two components to a road worthiness inspection, and they can be carried out independently. The first is the Hauptuntersuchung (main inspection). This tests for structural and mechanical defects. The second component is the Abgasuntersuchung (exhaust test) that checks for emissions. Both tests are to be done after three years for a brand new car, and every two years thereafter. Together they cost around 50 euros. The tests can be carried out in the city at Ridlerstr 57, Tel: + 49 (0) 89 574 061. Also Garching, Tel: + 49 (0) 089 3 29 50-51 and Unterhaching + 49 (0) 89 610 0215, or at an approved repairer.

With stickers firmly attached to the number plates, you go upstairs to wait for the completed paperwork: Fahrzeugschein and Fahrzeugbrief. The Fahrzeugbrief is the vehicle registration book, ie. the certificate of ownership. Keep it in a safe place! The Fahrzeugschein has insurance details and must be carried with you when you drive. Neither of these two documents are to be left in a parked car! Be aware that the ticket number you have is not an individual number but a batch number, so many people with the same number will swarm the window when that number is called. Once you sign for the paperwork, you are free to fasten the newly minted number plates to the number plate holders and drive off into the sunset. (No matter how early you get there in the morning, by the end of this process it is sunset!)

In addition to the change of registration costs, there is an annual registration tax. In 2003 this was 195 euro for a VW Golf.

If you temporarily move to a different registration district for longer than 3 months you must inform the previous registration centre. If you move to a new registration district permanently, you must get new registration plates. If you move permanently within the same registration district, the new address must be entered on the vehicle registration certificate.

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