New rules change look of U.S. Army Europe license plates in Germany

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
Jan 21, 2011

MANNHEIM, Germany -- A change in German vehicle registration procedures will alter the look of U.S. Army Europe license plates in Germany beginning this month, U.S. Army Europe Office of the Provost Marshal officials announced.

Drivers who register new vehicles will receive a set of USAREUR plates without a decal on the front plate. When vehicles are re-registered, inspectors or registration personnel will remove the front license plate decal and replace it with plain white filler.

The reason for the change is that on Jan. 1 the German government stopped using the so-called "AU emissions decal" that was placed on the front license plate of vehicles in Germany to indicate that the vehicle had passed an emissions test. Those emissions tests will now be performed at the same time as regular safety inspections, and so the decal has become obsolete.

OPM officials stress that vehicle owners should not remove any decals themselves. The front and back decals are color-coded according to the year the vehicle needs to be re-inspected. A missing front decal on a vehicle that has an older registration could result in its driver being stopped by German police to check that the vehicle's registration is in order.

The front decals for USAREUR vehicles were only used to make the plate look the same as a German plate and were not linked to any emissions test.

About us: The U.S. Army in Europe, with NATO and other coalition partners from throughout its 51-country area of responsibility, trains for, conducts, and supports contingency operations. Headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, USAREUR has forces throughout Germany as well as in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Romania, and in Afghanistan and Iraq.