Around 160,000 number plates are stolen in Germany every year. However, number plates can also be lost on a bumpy road if they have not been fitted correctly. Regardless of whether it is stolen or lost, losing a license plate in Germany means trouble and costs for the car owner. Below we advise what to do if you find yourself in this situation.
Number plate theft in Germany – act quickly
If you notice that your car is missing a number plate you should act quickly as driving without a number plate is illegal in Germany (60 euro fine). It does not matter whether you have lost your number plate or it was stolen: if someone has committed a crime with your stolen or lost number plate, you can get into trouble if you do not report the loss immediately.
Law enforcement officials may turn a blind eye if you can prove that your license plate was just lost and you happen to be driving home. The cardboard replacement license plate often used in this situation is generally not allowed, but is sometimes tolerated for short drives home.
Having a stolen number plate in Germany – here is what to do!
If your license plate has disappeared, it is imperative that you:
- Report the theft to the police
- Inform your insurance company
- If the plate(s) is (are) lost: return the remaining license plate (if available) to the department of transportation (KFZ Zulassungsstelle) where the vehicle is currently registered and apply for a new license plate.
- If the plates are stolen: apply for new plates at the appropriate registration office by presenting a police report of theft (you will receive this immediately upon reporting the theft of the plates at the police station).
To re-register your car in Germany, you will need the following documents:
- ID card or passport
- If the vehicle belongs to a company, association or other legal person: extract from the register of companies or associations, document confirming the establishment of the business
- If a person cannot come to the registration authority himself, an authorized person requires: A signed written authorization (original) and an identity card of the authorized representative (original) and an identity card of the authorized representative (copy)
- Registration certificate Part I (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I)
- Registration certificate Part II (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil II)
- Technical inspection certificate from the TÜV
Information about the new number plate in Germany
You will be issued with a new number plate at the registration department. The previous combination is blocked for several years for security reasons, since thieves often use stolen plates for various crimes, such as stealing fuel at petrol stations or transporting stolen cars. Whether or not the cost of getting new number plates will be covered by your insurance company depends on the terms of your insurance. In this situation, it is advisable to contact your insurance company and inquire.