Buy & Register Your Motorcycle in Germany
You’re living in Germany and ready to get a motorcycle! This guide will take you through the steps of how to buy and register your motorcycle in Germany.
Steps to follow:
Step 1: Buying the motorcycle
You’ve found the motorcycle you want – now it’s time to buy it.
The person selling you the motorcycle will either ask you to pay in cash or through a bank transfer.
The seller should give you the following documents:
- Purchase contract (Kaufvertrag)
You should request that the seller give you a purchase contract (also called a sales contract). Every sale of a used motor vehicle should include a purchase contract. It’s a written report of the condition of the car, any defects and other standard information. You can use this contract template from ADAC.
- Check that all equipment and accessories to the motorcycle are listed in the purchase contract.
- The seller is required by law to make the buyer aware of any accident damage. You can examine the condition of the motorcycle yourself and take a test drive.
- Registration certificate, part 1 (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I)
- This certificate can be folded to fit in your wallet. It includes information about your motorcycle, your license plate number, and your address. You should have this certificate with you every time you drive.
- Registration certificate, part 2 (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil II)
- Keep this certificate at home in a safe place. Anytime there is a change of ownership or you change your license plate, you must show the vehicle registration office this certificate. It is made of counterfeit-proof paper.
You should also ask the seller for the following documents:
- All maintenance documents
The seller should give you all written reports of the motorcycle’s oil changes, repair work and inspections. Hold on to these documents.
- Copies of the key to the motorcycle
- The owner’s manual
Step 2: Purchase motorcycle insurance
You need to insure your motorcycle to legally drive it in Germany. In addition, you need an eVB number to register your motorcycle.
Your insurance provider gives you the eVB number. Take this with you to the registration office. This number proves that you have vehicle insurance.
Furthermore, you can read about your insurance options here.
Step 3: Go to the registration office.
You will register your motorcycle at your local registration office (Kraftfahrzeug Zulassungsstelle). To find your closest registration office, you can go to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority website. They have a PDF of all the registration offices in Germany. Click here to go to their website. You should know, however, that the PDF is in German.
You can also find your local registration office here. Directly below where it says “Behörden – Suche” enter the name of your city, and click the search button. Afterwards, you will be shown a list of all the registration offices closest to you.
Step 4: Submit documents to register your motorcycle
When you go to your local registration office, you will need to bring several documents with you. The documents you will likely need to register your motorcycle in Germany include the following:
- Valid driver’s license
- Foreign registration certificate (for imported motorcycles)
- Certificate showing you own the motorcycle
- Registration certificate (proof that you’re registered at a German address)
- Motorcycle insurance (and the eVB number)
- SEPA direct debit form for vehicle tax payment
Once the registration office approves your documents, your motorcycle is officially registered! Then you will be given another document that lets you get a German license plate.
What is the SEPA direct debit form?
The SEPA direct debit form that you gave to your local registration office is used pay taxes on your motorcycle. This tax is known as the motor vehicle tax. You can find a PDF version (form #032021) of it here.
The Main Customs Office is the governing authority for the motor vehicle tax in Germany. The amount you owe for your motor vehicle tax is debited from the bank account you put on the SEPA form. This amount is taken automatically from your account for one years worth of motor vehicle tax. In other words, you make one payment per year for the total amount owed for one year.
Motorcycle insurance (eVB number)
You will receive an eVB number when you buy motorcycle insurance. You have to give this number to your local registration office to prove that you have motorcycle insurance.
Furthermore, there are 3 levels of motorcycle insurance in Germany you can choose from. Motorcycle insurance is the same as car insurance.
You can read about car insurance (which is the same insurance you’ll need to purchase for your motorcycle) in our article, “Car Insurance In Germany: What You Need To Know.”
Lastly, if you live in Germany you must register your address at your city’s registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt). Afterwards, you will receive a German tax ID number in the mail. You will need this number to pay your motor vehicle tax.
You can read about the German tax ID number in our article, “German Tax ID Number: A Guide For Expats.”
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