Environmental badge – what you need to know

Where you can buy the environmental sticker, how much it costs and how best to remove it: we explain what you need to know about the fine dust sticker.

General information about the environmental sticker

– why is there an environmental badge?

– which environmental badges are?

– which german cities have an environmental zone?

The environmental sticker on your vehicle

– which environmental sticker do i need?

– where can i buy the environmental sticker?

– how expensive is the environmental sticker?

– what is written on the environmental sticker?

– how do i put the environmental sticker on?

– how to remove the environmental sticker?

Legal information on the environmental sticker

– who checks the environmental sticker?

– are there exemptions?

– how long is the environmental sticker valid?

General information about the environmental sticker

The environmental badge is also known as the fine dust badge. It is intended to reduce pollution in cities.

Why is there an environmental badge?

Car exhausts contain fine dust and nitrogen dioxide. These substances endanger health and harm the environment. The aim is to reduce the pollution caused by road traffic in major German cities. Since 2008 there are environmental zones. They are in the center of 55 german cities and may only be driven on with a valid environmental badge.

Which environmental badges are available?

Depending on its type and age, a vehicle emits more or less pollutants. Each vehicle is assigned one of three environmental badges, or none at all. Only if the sticker proves that a vehicle does not emit too many pollutants, it is allowed to drive in the zone. The badges have different colors.

– pollutant group 1: no sticker

– pollutant group 2: red sticker

– pollutant group 3: yellow sticker

– pollutant group 4: green sticker

Vehicles in pollutant group 1 do not get a sticker. You emit too many pollutants. These include, for example, petrol vehicles without a regulated catalytic converter and some diesel vehicles. They cannot be fixed to a certain year of construction. Entry into an environmental zone is prohibited without a sticker.

The red environmental sticker the pollutant group 2 is valid for old diesel vehicles. Normally you will get models from 1995 to 2003. entry into an environmental zone of level 1 is allowed.

The pollutant group 3 receives a yellow environmental sticker. Only diesel vehicles can get it. You are allowed to drive in the environmental zones of level 1 and 2. Entry into a zone of stage 3 is prohibited.

A green sticker vehicles in pollutant group 4 receive. They emit the least pollutants and are allowed to enter any environmental zone. If older vehicles are retrofitted with particulate filters, they can receive the green environmental badge.

Which German cities have an environmental zone??

The environmental zones in germany are divided into three levels. A zone may only be entered with the appropriate sticker:

– environmental zone stage 1: red, yellow and green stickers allowed

– environmental zone stage 2: only yellow and green stickers allowed

– environmental zone level 3: only green sticker allowed

Since 2016, there has been only one level 2 environmental zone in germany. It is located in new-ulm. In all other 54 german environmental zones the level 3 is valid. Level 1 environmental zones no longer exist. You can see where the 55 environmental zones are located in germany in the overview of the federal environmental agency (status 10.07.2017).

Traffic sign for low emission zone

environmental zones are marked by large signs. They also say which stickers are allowed. © istock/ednam

The environmental badge on your vehicle

You can often buy the environmental sticker at the gas station. You only need your vehicle registration document.

Which environmental sticker do i need?

The pollutant group of your vehicle is determined by the so-called emission code number. it determines which environmental sticker your car gets. The emission key number is in your vehicle registration document: in the old vehicle registration document in field 1, in the new one in field 14.1.

You can also find your pollutant group online. Enter the emission key number, for example, in the badge check the DEKRA one. the fine dust sticker is also mandatory for electric cars.

Where can I buy the environmental sticker?

You can buy the environmental sticker at TuV, DEKRA, citizens’ offices, registration authorities and most gas stations. Show your vehicle registration document with the key number. This is the only way to get the right sticker. you can also buy the sticker online and have it sent to you by mail. This service is offered, for example environmental badge.Org an.

How much is the environmental sticker?

The fine dust sticker costs between 5 and 8 euros. Online it can be a little more expensive.

What is on the environmental badge?

The sticker must show the registration number of your car. The workshop or the registration office registers your license plate. The fine dust sticker will not be issued if the license plate is not registered.

How to apply the environmental sticker?

The fine dust sticker is affixed to the windshield from the inside. stick them in the lower area on the passenger side.

1. First spray glass cleaner on the spot and wipe it dry with kitchen paper.

2. You can remove the sticker from the foil on the bottom right.

3. Stick the sticker legibly on the window and make sure that there are no air bubbles.

How to remove the environmental sticker?

you need glass cleaner, kitchen paper and a hotplate scraper.

1. Put the kitchen paper on the tray under the windshield and spray the glass cleaner on the sticky sticker.

2. Take the scraper, put it from above diagonally on the edge of the sticker and loosen it.

3. If you have removed the sticker a little bit, pull it off additionally with your fingers.

4. to remove possible remains, spray again glass cleaner on the window and scrape the rest off.

5. wipe the glass dry with the kitchen paper.

Legal information about the environmental sticker

If you drive into an environmental zone without a valid sticker, you will have to pay a fine.

Who checks the environmental sticker?

The environmental stickers are checked by the police. Either at the entrance to the environmental zone or on parked cars. If you drive into an environmental zone without a sticker or with the wrong sticker, you will be fined 80 euros.

the largest city without an environmental zone is hamburg. © istock/tzahiv

Are there exceptions?

Cars without a green environmental sticker can apply for a special permit at the municipal office for environment and traffic. But only if you are instructed to drive through an environmental zone. Exemptions are limited to a maximum of one year. Depending on the permit, costs of between 10 and 100 euros are incurred.

An exemption may be granted,

– if your car is in front of the 1. was registered on august 2014.

– if your car cannot be technically retrofitted to meet the requirements for a green environmental badge (proof is required).

– if your financial means for a replacement vehicle are missing (proof is required).

– if you have very important individual interests, for example regular visits to the doctor.

– if you supply vital products or services, for example for pharmacies or nursing services.

– if you have to drive special vehicles. This includes heavy goods vehicles, cranes, vintage cars, towing vehicles of showmen or cars with regulated catalytic converter and the code numbers 04, 09 and 11.

Depending on the city, there may be different rules. You can find them out from the competent administrative authority.

How long is the environmental badge valid??

The environmental badge is valid indefinitely. However, the writing may fade with time. If the sticker is no longer legible, for example because the license plate is no longer recognizable, you need a new environmental sticker.

You also need a new sticker if your license plate changes. license plate and sticker must always match, otherwise you will be fined.

Well informed about the environmental badge

Now you are prepared: you know where to buy an environmental sticker, which fine dust sticker you need for which environmental zone and how to remove your environmental sticker again

Remember that you will not pass the MOT with the wrong sticker. More about the MAIN EXAMINATION learn more in our guide. you should already find out when buying a car whether it will receive the required environmental sticker. Find out what else you should watch out for in our car buying checklist.

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