Getting a ride in Germany

Getting a ride in Germany

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

Whether your shipping your car from back home or buying a new one in Germany, Stars and Stripes Europe has everything you need to know. 


  • 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.
  • A max of three vehicles are allowed per active duty member along with their dependents during their tour in Germany.


  • You need a USAREUR license to drive in Germany.
  • Training & testing can be done on JKO (Joint Knowledge Online).
  • Wiesbaden area requires training & testing in-person.
  • You must pass with an 85%.
  • Bring certificate and U.S. license to Driving Testing Center.
  • Fee is $20.
  • 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 DTC for an application.


What to bring:

  •      ID card and USAREUR license (temp is acceptable)
  •      Orders or employment letter
  •      Shipping documents from IAL
  •      Title or previous state registration
  •      Proof of insurance
  •      $35 - payable by check, money order or card
  •      4 You will receive a 30-day temporary plate


What to bring:

  • Valid registration
  • First aid kit, warning triangle and reflective vest
  • If your vehicle passes, you will be issued permanent plates.

Note: During the winter, cars must either have winter or all-season tires, designated with a snowflake or M+S (Mud+Snow).


  • Check, yard-sale 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 for 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.
  • Benefits 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 for 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’ll 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 www.odin.aafes.coom/esso, 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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