Tuv sticker: how to read the date of the next main inspection

TuV-Plakette: How to read off the date of the next HU. MOT sticker: The year of the due date can be read from the color of the sticker and the two digits in the middle. (Source: dpa/tmn/Alexander Heinl)

The inspection sticker – also known as the TuV sticker – is always affixed to the rear license plate of the car and looks quite similar to the dial on a large wristwatch. With one difference – the digits run counterclockwise, i.e. to the left. The design is chosen so that representatives of the regulatory authorities can easily recognize, even from a distance, when the vehicle is due for the MOT.

TuV sticker: reading the year and month of the due date

The year in which the HU is due can be read from the two digits printed in the middle of the sticker. Example: a 21 in the inner circle means that the next inspection date for the main inspection is due in 2021.

The number at the top of the outer circle indicates the month of the inspection date. For example, if the number 10 is in the outer circle at the top center, the test is due in october.

The color sequence blue, yellow, brown, pink, green and orange is repeated every six years. (source: KuS/t-online.De)

TuV badge: what the colors mean

The color of the sticker also indicates when the next TuV inspection is due. The color sequence blue, yellow, brown, pink, green, orange repeats itself every six years. In 2020, for example, vehicles with a blue sticker were tested, and in 2021 it is the turn of cars with a yellow sticker. As soon as the next year begins, the previous color loses its validity.

TuV badge: in 2019, the badges were orange. (Source: imago images/Manfred Segerer)

TuV sticker: in 2019 the stickers were orange. (source: manfred segerer/imago images)

reading the tuV sticker: an example

The year of the due date can be seen from the color of the sticker and from the printed digits in the middle of the sticker. The rotation of the sticker indicates the month of the due date. The sticker is marked in black around the number 12. Because the inspector positions the number for the due month at the top, the black marker moves to a new position – namely, to the position that the month would have had on a dial. This allows the sticker to be read like a clock.

TuV-plakette: whoever drives with a blue sticker has to go to the HU in 2020 in the month indicated – the driver of this car in december. (source: alexander heinl/dpa/tmn)

In the example of this blue sticker, the 12 and the black markings are at the very top. So the car had to go to the main inspection in december 2020.

Expired TuV sticker: The green sticker was only valid in 2018. (Source: Alexander Heinl/dpa-tmn)

Expired MOT sticker: the green sticker was only valid in 2018. (source: alexander heinl/dpa-tmn)

A better way to describe it is this green badge from 2018. Here, the number 10 is at the top, the black marker is in the 10 o’clock position of a dial. So the car had to go to the general inspection in october 2018.

For the due month of march, the number three would be at the top. The black marker would point to three o’clock. This is recognizable even when driving fast behind on the highway. Drivers can also easily tell from the sticker when the test date is approaching. However, a look in the vehicle registration document or in the registration certificate would be sufficient.

TuV sticker expired: warning and fine imminent

You should not drive with an expired sticker for longer than two months, otherwise you will be fined.

  • A HU delay of between two and four months could result in a 15 euro fine.
  • Between four and eight months it is 25 euros fine.
  • If you have been tuned for more than eight months, you will be fined 60 euros and receive one point in flensburg.

Those who are more than two months late also pay 20 percent more for the HU – due to a larger scope of testing. In the event of an accident, the insurance company could also assume a breach of the duty of care if the car had defects and is in arrears with the main inspection.

Quiz: are you a license plate expert??

Can you buy a TuV badge?

Drivers can only obtain a valid TuV sticker for their vehicle if it is classified as roadworthy at the main inspection. As a rule, you have one month to remedy any deficiencies found. For the so-called re-examination, you should bring the inspection report as well as the vehicle registration certificate and certificates for all modifications.

The HU is carried out only by state-approved testing organizations. That’s why you can’t legally buy MOT stickers without a previous MOT. Testing organizations include, for example:

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