Know before you go: Vehicle inspection & registration in Germany

Know before you go: Vehicle inspection & registration in Germany

by: 569th USFSPS | .
Ramstein.af.mil | .
published: August 16, 2017

The 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron Privately Owned Vehicle Inspection Center on Kapaun Air Station provides a free POV mechanical inspection to the Kaiserslautern Military Community. With more than 30,000 vehicles inspected each year, our goal is to ensure POVs are maintained and operated in accordance with USAREUR Reg 190-1.

You may be asked to replace, repair, or clean an item in order to pass the inspection. These measures are to ensure proper safety conditions and requirements. To make your POV inspection stress-free, please read on.

When you arrive at the inspection station:

  • Normal operating hours are 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Take a minute to review the informative signs posted along the driveway and ensure you have the following required items in your vehicle:
  1. First Aid Kit (DIN 13164)
  2. Warning Triangle
  3. Reflective Vest
  • These items are inspected at the beginning of the inspection process.
  • Without an AE Form 190-10 or 1901AA (Renewal Application), the inspectors will not begin the inspection.
  • For safety reasons, please wait at the stop sign until an inspector waves you forward.

You've got questions? We've got answers:

■ Is the Kapaun POV inspection part of 569th U.S Forces Security Police Squadron Vehicle Registration office?
o No, POV Inspection personnel are assigned to the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron
(See the "What you need to register your vehicle" section below)

■ Do the civilians speak only German?
o No, our civilians are fluent in English and German

■ When are the busiest times to get my vehicle inspected?
o Lunch time (1100-1400) is the busiest time to get your vehicle inspected

■ Is the inspection free?
o Yes, inspection is free.

■ If I roll down my windows, will the inspector notice the tinted glass?
o German law has strict requirements for tinted glass on windows. The inspectors will need to see all your windows to ensure compliance.

■ Can I stay in the car while the mechanic test drives the vehicle?
o No, all individuals and pets must exit the vehicle. A waiting area is available.

■ I need to attach my temporary plates. Does POV inspection have tools for me to use?
o Sorry, the POV inspection station doesn't have any tools.  The Vehicle Registration Sub Stations office next door has limited amounts of tools available to sign out.

Top 10 reasons vehicles fail inspection:
1. Oil Leaks
A vehicle will be rejected if there is evidence of an ongoing slow leak of oil or antifreeze or saturation of the underbody of the vehicle. If there is evidence of a slow leak, the undercarriage must be cleaned or re-inspected to verify whether or not there is still a slow leak.

2. Worn Tires
The tread depth of the vehicle tires must be at least 1/16 of an inch (1.6 mm). Inspectors will use a tread-depth gauge at any two adjacent major grooves at three areas spaced approximately equally around the outside of the tire. If at any point the tire tread is less than 1/16 of an inch (1.6 mm), the tire is excessively worn. Tires must be free of chunking, breaks, bumps, knots, or bulges showing cord or tread separation from the casting or other adjacent materials. 

3. Lights/Incorrect turn signals
Installed and required lights specified in the 190-1 must work properly. Exterior lights with broken or missing lenses are not considered working properly. Light color, position, or intensity not according to regulations

4. Brakes inspection
Brake-test machines will be used when operational. Braking effort from any wheel less than 70% of maximum effort recorded from another wheel on the same axle. In addition, if during road testing, the vehicle deviates excessively from a straight line.

5. Window Tint
Vehicles found with after-market tinting on the windshield or the driver and passenger front door windows during inspection will be rejected.

6. Exhaust Leaks/Noise Level
Insecure or leaking exhaust system. All exhaust systems (manufacturer installed, or after-market) of motorcycles and automobiles will be inspected for noise level according to the procedures in paragraph C-30. Motor vehicles exceeding a noise level of 95 decibels will be rejected.

7. Body/Frame Corrosion/ Ride Height
POVs must meet the minimum standards of exterior condition acceptable in the military and civilian community. Deficiencies (for example, extensive body damage, missing component parts, deterioration) will prevent a POV from meeting these standards. Minimum body ground clearance must not be less than 90 millimeters (mm) for flexible body parts and hard parts such as exhaust, frame components, and suspension.

8. Windshield Damage
Vehicle glass must not have breaks. Glass in the front, rear, and side windows directly to the right and left of the driver must not have cracks that impair or distort the driver's vision. The windshield must be free of damage (except for scratches or chips) in that part of the windshield located in the driver's view. Cracks outside the driver's view that are over 6 in (150 mm) in diameter, star-shaped fractures over 1 in (25 mm) in diameter, and any conditions concerning glass breaks or cracks cited in the 190-1 will be determined to obstruct the driver's visibility and will cause the POV to be rejected.

9. Windshield Wiper/Washer System
Wipers not operating. Wiper blade missing or obviously defective. Washers not operating adequately.

10. ABS/Airbag Lights
ABS warning device malfunctioning. ABS warning device shows system malfunction. Airbags in vehicles equipped with airbags must be operational. A vehicle will be rejected if the light that indicates the airbag has been activated stays illuminated or is missing.

What you need to register your vehicle: 
The 569th USFSPS has created a pamphlet to answer the frequently asked questions about vehicle registration. Also provided is AE Regulation 190-1 (Chapter 3) to answer additonal questions about registering a car in Germany.

For customer checklists and more, visit www.ramstein.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/303632/vehicle-inspection-registration

Tags: Car, Inspection, Germany, POV
Related Content: Prepare for winter driving in Germany, Be prepared for a random car inspection in Germany