What does the Marking Ordinance regulate?
The Marking Ordinance of the German Federal Government regulates the marking of vehicles by dividing them into emission groups using windshield stickers. It also provides for exemptions from the driving ban. The Marking Ordinance defines four emission groups, which apply to cars as well as to trucks. Consequently, the ordinance allows for the introduction of environmental zones with driving bans based on emission levels.
No environmental zones or driving bans can be established by the Marking Ordinance (pdf; 168 KB)
itself. This can only be done by the relevant authorities of the federal states if the pollutant limit values have been exceeded and if road traffic is a major cause.
How are emission groups defined?
The four groups are based on the Euro-norms for diesel-powered vehicles. Through retrofitting with a particulate filter these vehicles can achieve higher emission groups.
For vehicles with petrol engines there are only two levels:
- Emission group 1 without a sticker for vehicles worse than Euro 1 or
- Emission group 4 for all vehicles with Euro 1 or better, which means with a regulated catalytic converter.
||Euro 1 or worse
||Euro 2 or
Euro 1 + particulate filter
|Euro 3 or
Euro 2 + particulate filter
|Euro 4 or
Euro 3 + particulate filter
||Without a reg. cat according to Ann. XXIII StVZO
||Without a reg. cat according to Ann. XXIII StVZO or. Euro 1 or better
Due to the complexity of emission standards for petrol vehicles and particularly for diesel-engined vehicles more detailed differences can appear. A vehicle is therefore classified according to its emission key number.
Who is allowed to drive in the environmental zone?
The following requirements are effective for the whole area of the environmental zone.
Stage 1 from 1.1.2008:
Vehicles (trucks and cars) must at least be up to the standards of the emission group 2.
Vehicles of emission groups 2,3 and 4, i.e. with red, yellow or green stickers, are allowed to drive.
Stage 2 from 1.1.20010:
Only vehicles of emission group 4, i.e. with a green sticker, are allowed to drive.
Which emission group does my vehicle belong to?
The assignment of a sticker to a vehicle results from the emission key number, which is recorded in the car documents and, as the case may be, may be issued when a particulate filter is retrofitted.
Where can I find my key number in the German car documents?
Assignment of the key number to the emission groups
(petrol, petroleum-/liquified gas, ethanol)
||Truck/Buses Commercial vehicles
|Truck/Buses Commercial vehicles
|Truck/Buses Commercial vehicles
||Level PM 01:
19, 20, 23, 24
Level PM 0:
14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 34, 40, 77
|25 to 29, 35, 41, 71
||20, 21, 22, 33, 43, 53, 60, 61
||Level PMK 01:
40 bis 42, 50 bis 52
Level PMK 0:
10 to 12, 30 to 32, 40 to 42, 50 to 52
||Level PM 0:
Level PM 1:
14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 25 to 29, 34, 35, 40, 41, 71, 77
|30, 31, 36, 37, 42, 44 to 52, 72
||34, 44, 54, 70, 71
||Level PMK 0:
Level PMK 1:
10 to 12, 20 to 22, 30 to 32, 33, 40 to 43, 50 to 53, 60, 61
||01, 02, 14, 16, 18 to 70,
-71 bis 75- 1)
|30 to 55, 60, 61
-70, 71, 80, 81, 83, 84, 90, 91- 1)
|Level PM 1:
27 2), 49 to 52
Level PM 2:
30, 31, 36, 37, 42, 44 to 48, 67 to 70
Level PM 3:
32, 33, 38, 39, 43, 53 to 66
Level PM 4:
62 to 70
|32, 33, 38, 39, 43, 53 to 70, 73 to 75
as well as - independently from SN - all cars which are marked as PM 5
|35, 45, 55, 80, 81, 83, 84, 90, 91
||Level PMK 1:
Level PMK 2:
10 to 12, 20 to 22, 30 to 33, 34, 40 to 44, 45, 50 to 54, 55, 60, 61, 70, 71
Level PMK 3:
33 to 35, 44, 45, 54, 55, 60, 61
Level PMK 4:
33 to 35, 44, 45, 54, 55, 60, 61
For gas driven vehicles according to Guideline 2005/55/EG (formerly 88/77/EWG)
Car with key number "27" (or rather "0427") and the text "99/69/EG I" with an permitted total weight exceeding 2500 kg must receive (according to Annex 2, Clause 1, Number 4 of the Marking Ordinance) a green sticker after verification that the car meets the requirements of Level PM1 of Annexe XXVI StVZO.
Notes concerning the particle reduction levels
The highway traffic act (StVZO) regulates the requirements for the retrofitting of particle reduction systems.
It also defines the assignment to the particle-reduction classes PM 01 to PM 4 (for cars) and PMK 01 to PMK 4 (for heavy vehicles). Fitted particulate filters must meet the specified requirements so that the vehicle is allowed to display the appropriate sticker.
Particle reduction classes for cars:
- PM 0 and PM 01 are intended for the retrofitting of Euro-1 diesel cars. Through the retrofitting with a particulate filter the particle limit value of Euro-2 diesel cars of 0.1 g/km must be achieved. Heavy vehicles can also achieve the particle limit value of the Euro-3 Norm.
- PM 1 is intended for the retrofitting of Euro-1 and Euro-2 diesel cars. Through the retrofitting with a particulate filter the particle limit value of Euro-3 diesel cars of 0.05 g/km must be achieved.
- PM 2 is intended for the retrofitting of Euro-3 diesel cars. Through the retrofitting with a particulate filter the particle limit value for Euro-4 diesel-cars of 0.025 g/km must be achieved.
- PM 3 is intended for the retrofitting of Euro-4 diesel cars not fitted at factory. According to the Euro-4 Norm they only maintain a particle limit value of 0.025 g/km. With the retrofitting of a particulate filter the emission must be halved and a limit value of 0.0125 g/km must be achieved.
- PM 4 must achieve the 0.005 g/km particle limit value which is planned by the proposed Euro 5 Norm. This level was created for the retrofitting of Euro-4 diesel cars currently in use which were prepared accordingly at factory.
- PM 5 applies to Euro-3 and Euro-4 diesel cars which already meet the 0.005 g/km particle limit value at factory required by the proposed Euro-5 Norm. These vehicles also obtain the green sticker.
Particle-reduction classes for commercial vehicles / trucks:
- PMK 01 and PMK 0 are intended for the retrofitting of Euro-1 diesel trucks. Through the retrofitting with a particulate filter the particle limit value of Euro-2 diesel trucks must be achieved. Some vehicles with PMK 01 achieve the particle limit value of the Euro-3 Norm.
- PMK 1 is intended for the retrofitting of Euro-1 and Euro-2 diesel trucks. Through the retrofitting with a particulate filter the particle limit value of Euro-3 diesel trucks must be achieved.
- PMK 2 is intended for the retrofitting of Euro-1, Euro-2 and Euro-3 diesel trucks. Through the retrofitting with a particulate filter the particle limit value for Euro-4 diesel trucks must be achieved.
- PMK 3 and PMK 4 are intended for the retrofitting of light trucks. The emission criteria correspond to the particle reduction classes of PM 3, which means PM 4 for trucks.
When is a different sticker assignment permitted for petrol engines of emission group 1?
Are vintage cars without a sticker and certificate of exemption allowed to drive in the environmental zone?
Since 3.12.2007 even cars with a catalytic converter of the first generation (Annexe XXIII StVZO) with the emission key numbers 01, 02 and 77 (with retrofitting) can finally obtain the green sticker from all authorized issuing offices
. This means an end to the wait for a green sticker for around 100,000 motorists.
Petrol engine trucks can also obtain a green sticker if the registration document states that that the vehicle meets the requirements of "Anneex XXII" of the highway traffic act (StVZO) with the unchanged limit values for cars. Here is an example for a corresponding record in the registration documents. In the example on the right no sticker can be assigned because the vehicle only meets changed, higher pollutant limit values instead of the original values of Annexe XXII.
Alternatively, a manufacturer's certification can be furnished. Likewise, this can be done with retrofitted G cat trucks according to 52nd exemption ordinance of the StVZO. In such cases a modification of the emission key number is not necessary. The assignment of stickers can only be done through the technical examination centres (TÜV/DEKRA etc.) because they are the only ones who have the necessary knowledge to effect the correct classification. Here is a data sheet for handling vehicles of emission group 1 (pdf; 223 KB)
The amendment of the Marking Ordinance also includes a general exemption from the driving ban for vintage cars with the H code or a red mark and for equivalent foreign vintage cars. Since 1.1.2008 vintage cars have been allowed to drive in the environmental zone without a sticker or certificate of exemption.
How are foreign vehicles assigned to the emission groups?
The group for the certificate of emission for foreign vehicles and thus the assignment of a sticker is regulated by the Marking Ordinance (35th ordinance for the execution of the federal emission law) in § 6. If the car documents state the European emission standard that the vehicle was allowed to drive under in another EU country, classification can occur in accordance with Annexe 2 of the Marking Ordinance, otherwise classification will occur on the basis of the initial registration of the vehicle.
The following table gives an overview of the classification of foreign vehicles on the basis of the date of initial registration: (there may be variations in individual cases)
|Initial registration car
||Initial registration truck
|Euro 1 or older
||from 01.01.1997 to 31.12.2000
||from 01.10.1996 to 30.09.2001
||from 01.01.2001 to 31.12.2005
||from 01.10.2001 to 30.09.2006
|before Euro 1 (without G-Kat)
|Euro 1 and better
Where can residents of Berlin, Germans and foreigner visitors to the city obtain the sticker (including Sundays)? How can it be ordered?
are the licensing authorities (Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten -LABO), the emissions inspection centres such as TÜV, DEKRA, GTÜ, FSP, KÜS and the around 850 workshops specifically authorised for emission inspections of the car maintenance association
. Autodienst Biesdorf GmbH (ADB), Alt-Biesdorf 64, 12683 Berlin, tel. +49(0)30-5143565, is also open on Sundays
For in vehicles registered in Germany, the stickers can be ordered via internet from the vehicle registration issuing office Berlin
by indicating the vehicle's registration. The sticker can be sent by post within a few days against the remittance of a fee of 6 euros.
Foreign vehicle owners
can also order the sticker via internet from the vehicle registration issuing office Berlin under
provided that the necessary information for the assignment of the sticker can be identified from the car documents, e.g. by a manufacturer's certification (see How are foreign vehicles assigned to the emission groups?
). The required car documents or registration document must be scanned and attached to the email or photocopied and sent by post.
Summarised information for foreign tourists is available in this flyer (pdf; 182 KB)
Dutch vehicle owners can order the sticker in writing in their own country from the TÜV-Nord under www.tuev-nord.nl/Keuringen/Umweltplakette.htm
In Berlin many hotels also offer to obtain the sticker as a service for their guests.
Is my sticker only valid in Berlin?
Where can I have an overview of other environmental zones in Germany and Europe?
The sticker is not only valid in Berlin but in the whole country. The website of the Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt UBA
) gives an overview of other planned environmental zones in Germany.
The website of the environmental zones network of European cities http://www.lowemissionzones.eu
provides information on implemented or planned environmental zones in around 70 European cities as well as on requirements which must be fulfilled by the vehicle in the respective zone.
Does the validity of the sticker expire at any time?
The validity is not restricted in time. But you will need a new one if you re-register your car and the vehicle registration changes. The number written on the sticker must match the vehicle's registration number.
How much does the sticker cost?
No standard charge was determined in the federal Marking Ordinance as in other federal regulations. Private issuing offices can therefore charge freely. For the Berlin issuing authorities the cost for the sticker was set at 5 euros. This covers the production price and the administrative costs, so that the costs need not be borne by the public. Because of the higher expenses and postal charges, online ordering costs 6 instead of 5 euros.
What happens, if I drive in the environmental zone without a sticker or a certificate of exemption?
Driving without a sticker or a certificate of exemption is an offence and results in a 40 € penalty and also one point in the Traffic Register in Flensburg.