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Procedure descriptions

Purchasing an environment sticker

Air cleanliness plans exist in areas with poor air quality. Environmental zones are possible measures under these plans. Environmental zones reduce dust and nitrogen dioxide emissions. Vehicles with high levels of harmful emissions are not permitted to be driven in environmental zones.

Should you wish to drive your vehicle in such a zone, you must purchase an environment sticker. There are three different colours of stickers, which are each assigned to an emissions group. The assignment of your vehicle to one of these categories depends on the emission key numbers. You will find these in the vehicle papers.

Note: The environmental zones are identified by their own traffic signs. The additional sign also includes the colours of the stickers which allow vehicles to be freely driven in the concrete environmental zone.

Responsible department

The issuing bodies for stickers are:

  • The vehicle registration authorities
    • Cities: the city administration
    • Districts: the district administration
  • The recognised bodies for exhaust checks, for example AU workshops, approved inspection organisations such as Dekra, GTÜ, KÜS, TÜV, GTS or technical inspection locations



In order to obtain an environmental sticker, your vehicle must fulfil the criteria of emission groups 2, 3 or 4.

For vehicles of emission group 1, it is not possible to obtain a sticker. These include:

  • Petrol vehicles without a catalytic converter and
  • old diesel vehicles with Euro 1 exhaust norm or worse.


Tip: Certain cities and districts, for example Stuttgart and Freiburg provide online services. You can order an environmental sticker through these. You pay by direct debit, bank transfer or credit card. Your sticker is sent to you by post. The precise rules and regulations can be viewed in the Internet services.

Required documents

Vehicle certificate (in case of older vehicles) or registration certificate part I (in case of newer vehicles)


Depends on the city or district, AU workshop or inspection organisation: usually 5 to 8 EUR

Processing time

In most cases, you receive the sticker immediately.

Detailed information

The Ministry for Transport provides detailed information on its websites concerning “Air cleanliness plans and environmental zones“. The Federal Environmental Office provides an overview of all of the environmental zones in Germany

For certain journeys, you can obtain an exemption permit from the traffic restrictions in environmental zones.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Verkehrsministerium released it on 18.08.2020. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts. In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

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