Getting a Car in Germany

Getting a Car in Germany ()


  • Ship your vehicle six-to-eight weeks before you PCS to ensure it gets there soon after your arrival to Germany.

  • Decide between selling your other vehicles, keeping them in storage or leaving them with a friend or family member.

  • The government will pay to ship only one privately-owned vehicle (POV) from your current duty station. If you choose to ship more than one, it will be at your own cost.

  • A maximum of three vehicles are allowed per active-duty member or civilian sponsor during their tour.


  • You need a USAREUR license to drive in Germany.

  • Training and testing can be done on JKO (Joint Knowledge Online).

  • Wiesbaden area requires training and testing in-person.

  • You must pass both tests with a score of at least 85 percent.

  • Bring certificates, orders, DoD ID and unexpired U.S. license to Driving Testing Center.

  • Fee is $30.

  • You will receive a temporary license.

  • Permanent license will be mailed to your APO.

  • Note: Not all NATO countries recognize USAREUR licenses. You will need an international license to drive outside of Germany. Contact your Drivers Testing office for an application.


What to bring:

  • ID card and USAREUR license (temporary is acceptable)

  • Orders or employment letter

  • Shipping documents from International Auto Logistics (IAL), the contracted shipping company

  • Title or previous state registration

  • Proof of insurance

  • $35 - payable by check, money order or card

  • You will receive a 30-day temporary plate


Items required for ALL Inspections:

  • Registration (unexpired)

  • Completed Form AE190-1O or AE190-1AA

  • First Aid Kit (DIN 13164) [unexpired], with two medical masks, warning triangle and reflective safety vest

  • License plates securely mounted to vehicle (screws, brackets, nuts and bolts)

Hours of operation: Monday–Friday, 7–11:30 a.m. and 12:30–3 p.m.

Last duty day of the month: 7–11 a.m.

DSN: 489-6400 | COMM: 0631-536-6400

On-installation inspection stations throughout Germany provide free vehicle inspections to SOFA members per IAW USAREUR 190-1. Inspections from local TÜV inspection sites can be accepted as long as they are not older than 30 days.

Note: Cars must either have winter or all-season tires in the winter, designated with a snowflake or M+S (Mud+Snow). These tires are legally required in winter weather conditions and you will be fined if using summer tires in the winter. The German rule is remembered as “von O bis O” or “from October to Easter (Ostern).”


  • Check, yardsale websites or your installation’s “lemon lot.”

  • Cars older than 10 years need to be inspected before a sale between ID cardholders.

  • Newer cars must have at least 60 days left on the registration to retain the current inspection expiration date.

Required documents for vehicle registration on a used vehicle:

  • Same as shipped POV, minus shipping document

  • U.S. title/registration document is needed for U.S. specification vehicles

  • A Bill of Sale with signature of seller and buyer, as well as the vehicle’s make, model, year and chassis number

  • Sales between ID cardholders may also require a lien release


  • Ask owner to complete inspection before de-registration.

  • Have owner keep insurance until registration is transferred.

  • Get proof of exhaust emission testing, service record, previous vehicle defects and inspection pass guarantee.

  • Sales between government ID cardholders require presence of all buyers and sellers.


Buy from a dealer participating in the Military Car Sales Program (Military AutoSource or MAS). Benefits can include tax-free transactions, worldwide shipping, U.S. specifications and prices lower than U.S. MSRP prices.

Required documents for vehicle registration on a new vehicle:

  • Same as shipped POV, minus U.S. title/registration and shipping document

  • Bill of Sale or purchase order with name and signature of seller and buyer, as well as the vehicle’s make, model, year and chassis number.

  • You have 60 days to provide additional documentation, such as the German title book and customs form.


Sign up for the duty-free fuel program managed by AAFES. Money can be added to a prepaid card for future purchases. Registered vehicles have a monthly ration based on the size and weight noted on your vehicle registration.

Program Details:

  • Only available in Germany at any on-installation AAFES facilities and off-installation Esso fuel stations.

  • Only good for one assigned vehicle and the type of fuel the car uses.

  • More than one vehicle may be registered, and up to two ID holders may be assigned to a fuel card for each vehicle.

  • Prepaid cash balance is shared across owners and vehicles.

  • Exceeding your fuel ration allowance or prepaid balance, or buying with an expired card will result in paying the taxed, economy fuel price.

Using the Card

  • On-installation: Use prepaid balance or another form of payment.

  • Off-installation: Must use prepaid balance.

  • Pump gas, then take the fuel card, vehicle registration and ID card to the attendant.

  • Know your 4-digit PIN.

  • Amount purchased is deducted from monthly ration.

Payment for Transaction

  • Know your ration and card balances:, toll-free number on card or last receipt.

  • Add money to card: Cash, check, Military Star card, debit or credit card at AAFES locations. You can also visit, call the number on the back of the card or use automatic bank payment.

  • Lost or stolen card: Immediately call AAFES at 0800-181-9945. 

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