Emissions Certificate (for Driving in Germany)
Fine particulate stickers are designated according to vehicle emission groups
German Environmental zones
In Germany in March 2007 the new ordinance governing the classification of motor vehicles according to harmful emission groups came into force. It regulates, firstly, the set-up of "environmental zones" and, secondly, the marking of vehicles according to stipulated pollutant groups. The first environmental zones were established at the beginning of 2008. Only vehicles bearing the corresponding new stickers on their windscreen are permitted to enter designated environmental zones. This not only applies to through traffic, but also to residents in the environmental zones.
The regulation applies to all passenger motor vehicles and commercial vehicles irrespective of propulsion (with combustion engines - petrol, diesel or gas - and with electric motors). Vehicles registered abroad also require the stickers in order to be permitted to drive into environmental zones. The implementation of the ordinance is principally intended to reduce pollution in the cities and in so doing, particularly contribute to reducing the fine particulate in the atmosphere.
Exempt from the driving ban and from the requirement to display fine particle stickers are:
- Mobile machines and devices
- Driven machines
- 2- and 3-wheel vehicles (e.g. mopeds, motorbikes, scooters)
- Agricultural and forestry traction machines (such as tractors)
- Vehicles driven by persons or transporting persons that are severely handicapped, helpless or blind (evidenced by aG, H or BI entered in the severely handicapped ID)
- Veteran cars with 07 registration plates, as well as foreign vehicles that fulfil the comparable requirements (generally this is any vehicle over 30 years old)
The nationally standardised marking of cars, trucks and buses is to be accompanied by the introduction of the new environmental zone road sign. It informs of a driving ban for vehicles that do not bear the indicated sticker(s). Cities and municipalities can use air purity plans to devise measures which stipulate which areas are to be designated as temporary or permanent environmental zones.
Red, Yellow or Green
The fine particlate stickers come in the three colours, red, yellow and green, each conforming to a particular harmful substance group.
The green sticker (harmful emission group 4) covers motor vehicles with the lowest particulate and harmful emissions, such as, for example, motor vehicles equipped with the most modern diesel technology and virtually all petrol-engined motor vehicles fitted with a computer-controlled catalytic converter. The yellow (harmful emission group 3) and red stickers (harmful emission group 2) for diesel motor vehicles are assigned in further stages. Vehicles classified in harmful emission group 1 (diesel as per Euro 1 and older, petrol without computer-controlled catalytic converter) cannot be issued with a sticker.
The classification is initially made according to the emission classification numbers in the vehicle documents. In many cases, the retrofitting of filters to diesel-engined vehicles can lead to a better classification.