At this time, the license plate makes it clear whether a vehicle is registered and allowed to participate in road traffic. But the marking that seems so commonplace to us today has a very interesting background and fulfills a function that should not be underestimated. In this section we will focus on the different aspects that characterize the license plate.
The history of the license plate
By no means is the marking of a vehicle a recent invention. Known are already different markings of the roman chariots, which were in use about two thousand years ago. Even clearer parallels can be drawn with the carriages that ran in england in the 17th century. find out about the 21st century. Boards were once attached to them to help make the distinction.
From 1907 at the latest, it was compulsory in Germany to attach a license plate to the still young cars. For this purpose, a uniform system was developed in the empire, which was valid in all parts of it. This had become necessary in order to be able to identify all participants in road traffic without any doubt. Traffic offenses, up to and including hit-and-run driving, could only be safely punished in this way.
An overview of the different license plates of the past century shows that the license plate itself evolved. The most recent coining goes back to the european union, which provided for a uniform marking for all vehicles. Since then, it has been possible to determine the country of origin within the EU on the left edge of the plate.
The structure in germany
Recognizability and good memorability were selected as important criteria for the design of modern license plates. The standard symbols are able to present the identity in a short form, so that they can be easily interpreted. The euro banderole is followed, from left to right, by the regional distinctive sign, which allows the car to be assigned to a specific region. One or two letters are then written down before the series of numbers with up to four digits follows. This structure, which is always the same, makes it possible to recognize and assign a license plate even with a cursory glance.
From registration to license plate
But what steps do german drivers have to take before they get the license plate they need to participate in road traffic?? The basic prerequisite for this is the conclusion of a motor vehicle insurance policy, the confirmation of which must already be available. With the right documents, a visit to the vehicle registration office is now necessary to register the new vehicle. The decisive factors are:
- Vehicle registration document (registration certificate part I)
- Vehicle registration document (registration certificate part II)
- insurance certificate with evb number
- identity card or passport
Over the past few years, the desire to have your own combination of letters and numbers immortalized on the license plate has become established. Therefore, it is now common practice for the clerks to ask for specific requests. If no other driver has yet decided on the combination, it is now possible to secure the desired license plate for a one-time special fee of ten euros.
After the registration office has issued a license plate, it only needs to be embossed in duplicate. Near the registration office, there are usually several stores offering their services for this purpose. After the digits and letters have been inserted into the embossing machine, only a few moments pass before the finished license plate can be handed over. Back at the registration office, it is now possible to receive the stickers that complete the award.
What does my license plate cost?
The issuance of new license plates also entails costs. On the one hand, this is the fee for registering or re-registering the vehicle at the registration office. But even for the production of the plates must be paid separately. Depending on the provider, a fee of between 20 and 30 euros is charged. the total price for the re-registration, including new plates, is therefore around 30 to 60 euros.
If you like your original license plate, you can keep it and use it for your new vehicle. Whereas a blocking period once prevented a license plate from being issued again after a short time, this is now possible the very next day. The safest way to make the license plate usable for the new car is to make the reservation. Many counties offer this option for a small fee of just three euros.
Exception 3D license plate
already since 2013 it is possible in germany to choose a plastic license plate, which is offered alternatively. The different material alone marks a difference to the regular plates made of sheet metal. Advantages are to be found in the durability: plastic license plates do not dent and scratch less. Since no classic varnish is applied to the plate, it remains in good condition for a longer time.
During production, the numbers and letters are anchored to a plastic base plate. This is why they later protrude a little more, which led to the colloquial term 3D license plate. Of course, the plastic alternative has the same validity and entitles the holder to participate in road traffic. Only the costs are a little higher than for the classic products made of aluminum. The cost of a pair of plates is between 50 and 60 euros, which has so far prompted only a few car owners to opt for this variant.
Special license plate in the field of vision
In addition to the classic version of the license plate, millions of which can be admired on german roads, there is also one or two other special forms. In the following, we would like to take a look at these various options, which can bring advantages for the vehicle owner in certain scenarios.
Since september 2015, there has been the opportunity to provide vehicles with the so-called e-license plate. Its structure is the same as a classic license plate, the main difference being the letter "E", which is attached behind the last digit of the identification number. Purely electrically powered vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and hybrid vehicles that can be charged externally are eligible for registration. The main advantage lies in the tax rebates that can be claimed through this registration. this is an attempt to strengthen electromobility in germany.
The seasonal license plate
The opportunity to use seasonal license plates has been available in germany since 1997. This was designed for the owners of vehicles that are used seasonally, such as a convertible. Since the introduction of the seasonal license plate, it is no longer necessary for this group of drivers to make regular trips to the registration office.
A so-called operating area is defined at the office, for which the car is registered in the future and which can be chosen by the driver himself. The black indication on the edge of the license plate then indicates the two to a maximum of eleven months during which the vehicle may be operated. Outside this period, however, participation in road traffic and parking in road traffic are prohibited.
Short-term license plate
The short-term license plate is intended for a maximum period of five days. This can be applied for if test or transfer drives are pending. The key feature is the expiration date, which is indicated by three numbers written one below the other on the right-hand side. The exact expiration date from which the license plate loses its function can be read off here. If you want to use the short-term license plate, you have to reckon with costs of about 40 euros. The cost of producing the pair of plates and the associated processing fee that has to be paid.
Interchangeable license plate
Since July 2012, it has been possible to register two different vehicles with only one license plate. This is possible on the condition that both vehicles are owned by the same owner and that both vehicles can be assigned to the same class. On the one hand, the interchangeable license plate consists of an interchangeable element that has to be changed before the vehicle can be driven. In addition, there is a fixed part for both vehicles. The "changeable license plate" was once designed to offer owners of several private vehicles the chance to save money. However, not every insurer offers the possibility of benefiting financially from the choice of a changeable license plate. These days, only a few drivers decide to have their vehicles marked in such a flexible way.
License plate for classic cars
The so-called classic car license plates, which can also result in financial savings on registration, have long since become well-known. The decisive factor is that a separate operating permit for vintage vehicles has been issued on the basis of an expert opinion. For this purpose, only vehicles that have been registered for road traffic for at least 30 years and that are to be used for the "preservation of the motor-vehicle cultural heritage" can be considered. Furthermore, the vehicle must be in a condition worthy of preservation and contain at least 90 percent original or original components. Due to the H-plate, the tax of the vehicle is not calculated according to the exhaust gas value and the engine capacity. Instead, a flat fee of 192 euros per year will be charged.
Car dealers and other professionals in the vehicle industry also have the option of applying for a dealer plate for previously unregistered vehicles. In this way, the vehicles are tax-privileged and only a lump-sum vehicle tax is due for them. The red license plates that can be seen on the roads from time to time are also issued with a time limit in some cases. The license plate number always starts with "06" in this special version.
In principle, the red dealer license plates are not assigned to a specific vehicle. In this respect, they can be used several times, provided that all journeys marked with them are carried out by only one company. Once again, the focus shifts to transfer journeys, test journeys or trial journeys. It is not possible for private individuals to obtain such license plates.
Tax exempt license plate
Green license plates also have a certain meaning, which in this case indicates that the vehicle is tax-exempt. Vehicles belonging to non-profit organizations, tractors used in agriculture and forestry, and some trailers can be registered in this way at a favorable price. In order to obtain a green license plate at the registration office, it is necessary to present the corresponding authorization, which is the responsibility of the customs authorities.
License plates from the internet
In recent years, a lively market has developed on the Internet, which also specializes in the stamping of license plates. Numerous companies have since been advertising for orders, which can be submitted directly via the internet. Even there offered prices can be seen mostly. Due to the strong competition, a pair of plates is often available at a much lower price than at the regional exhibitors near the registration office.
If you decide to buy from a reputable online dealer, you also have the option of obtaining a fully valid license plate. The only minor drawback is the delay that can creep into the period between the purchase of the vehicle and its first participation in public road traffic. However, some internet vendors advertise next-day delivery of the plates, which now only need to be fitted with the stickers.