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United States Army
ID Cards / Passports (USAG Graf MPD) – Tower Barracks
Grafenwoehr Germany 92655
Figuring out the best way to get around is important when you’re in a new installation. It’s useful to understand the various regulations, local laws as well as license and registration requirements. Whether you need a driver’s license, transport a car overseas or want help buying a car, there are people to assist you at your new installation. Check out the topics below to find information and regulations on vehicles and registration at your base.
Department of Defense ID cardholders in Germany (service members, family members, and assigned civilians and some contractors) are allowed to register their personally-owned vehicles (POV) with the U.S. Military. These vehicles are not subject to German taxes or German vehicle registration.
DoD ID card holders are eligible to obtain a USAREUR (United States Army, Europe) driver's license. With this license, ID card holders are authorized to drive a USAREUR-plated vehicle or other German-registered vehicles. They are also authorized to purchase a limited amount of gasoline or diesel fuel without paying taxes. For more information on vehicle licensing, visit the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles website.
Vehicles brought from the U.S., or purchased locally, must be registered with USAREUR. All shipped vehicles and used vehicles purchased in Germany must pass a safety inspection before they can be registered. Personnel leaving (ETS or PCS) or individuals who have lost logistical support must turn in their plates to vehicle registration (not MP Station) prior to leaving the Bavaria community.
Accompanied personnel are authorized three Privately Owned Vehicles (POVs) and two motorized and non-motorized recreational POVs. Unaccompanied or single personnel are authorized two POV and one motorized recreational POV. Requests for waivers to the limit of POVs registered must be approved by the Garrison Commander.
Basic vehicle registration requirements: AE Form 190-1AA, stateside registration/title, double white insurance card, USAREUR driver's license, ID card, DD Form 788, registration fee $30.
Traffic -- In order to drive in Germany, either on or off-post, individuals on orders in Germany must have a valid USAREUR Driver's License. Individuals on TDY may utilize their stateside license along with TDY orders to operate a rental vehicle. Without a valid USAREUR license, individuals are not authorized to drive USAREUR plated vehicles.
Seat Belts -- All occupants in a vehicle are required to wear their seat belt. If the child is between the ages of zero and twelve they are required to use another form of restraint. If the child is too large for a car seat then he/she must use a booster seat until the age of twelve or until they are 5 feet tall. You can usually find these safety items at the Post Exchange, but merchandise is limited. It may be wise to bring one from CONUS. 1st violation of this policy results in an automatic suspension of driving privileges for 7 days. 2nd offense is 30 days and 3rd offense and subsequent offenses is 90 days.
Mobile or Cellular Phones -- Vehicle operators may no longer use mobile or cellular phones while driving if they have to pick up or hold a receiver or the telephone itself. This also applies to dialing, sending short messages (SMS), and calling up data. Hands-free devices and/or headsets are authorized under the same provisions and if hearing is not reduced, therefore solely systems with only one earphone are authorized. If the vehicle is parked or if engines of motor vehicles are turned off, the use of mobile or cellular phones is authorized. This also applies to bicyclists. Violators are subject to a fine.
Vehicle Checks -- Vehicles must pass inspection to be registered and eligible for USAREUR license plates. Whether these inspections are conducted annually, bi-annually or every three years depends on the age of the vehicle. NOTE: Tinted windshield and front windows are illegal in Germany. The only exception to this rule is if the vehicle is manufactured with the tint. Also any kind of fluid leaks will result in failing vehicle inspection.
Winter Driving Requirements -- Enforced winter tire requirement - German Road Traffic Ordinance stipulates that a POV may only be operated on icy or snowy roads, on black ice, or slush if all wheels are equipped with M + S tires or approved all season tires. Winter tires must have M & S letters or a snow flake symbol, all season tires must show the symbols for all four seasons. Make sure all lights are in good working order, brakes properly adjusted and battery charging properly and battery terminals are clean and tight. Be sure all fluids are at proper levels, including anti-freeze at the right level and concentration and ensure windshield wiper blades are cleaning properly.
Mandatory items to have in your vehicle while driving in Germany are an approved first aid kit and warning triangle.
Suggested check-list of winter items to have in your vehicle while driving in Germany are: snow shovel, ice scraper and a brush, tow chain or strap, tire chains, flashlight (with extra batteries), jumper cables, abrasive material (cat litter, sand, salt, or traction mats), a flashing yellow light, and reflective vest.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) requires that all U.S. personnel and family members assigned to Germany first have a valid stateside license, German, or other recognized country license in order to receive a United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Privately Owned Vehicles (POV) license. Personnel without a valid license will have to attend driver's training on the local economy at their own expense (~$2000). The minimum age for operation of a POV in Germany is 18. Individuals with graduated/provisional/limited drivers licenses will usually have the same restrictions issued on their USAREUR driver's licenses.
To drive in Germany, U.S. personnel must have a valid stateside driver's license and obtain a USAREUR driver's license. The driving age is 18 and above in most European countries. USAREUR driver's licenses are valid for five years. If someone's tour extends beyond five years, they must renew the license and pay the fee. Personnel must carry U.S. license with USAREUR license. Keep in mind, only USAREUR license holders are authorized to drive a USAREUR registered vehicle. Not all NATO countries recognize USAREUR licenses. Personnel planning to travel should obtain an international driver's license.
In order to obtain a USAREUR POV license, you must attend an orientation class. You will need to study the online Driver's Testing Manual (AE Pamphlet 190-34) prior to attending the orientation. Everyone should study rigorously -- test material is significantly different than Stateside driver's tests. Approximately half of all test takers initially fail the 100 question test.
Personnel who pass the test need to pay a ten dollar charge to receive their driver's license. The Drivers Training and Testing Station (DTTS) accepts credit cards, personal checks, or money orders.
Personnel assigned to Germany traveling outside of the country are able to drive on their USAREUR certificate in Allied countries only. Personnel driving in East Block countries must be in possession of a valid International Driver's Permit. Permits can be issued against the USAREUR license and are obtained from local county offices (Fuehrerscheinstelle).
State and local laws regulate the operation of motor vehicles, and these laws can vary by location. Many states regulate the following:
USAG Bavaria follows German driving laws and USAREUR Regulations on operating a vehicle in Europe.
Learn more about motor vehicle laws in your state at the Distraction.gov State Laws page.
The government may ship one Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) for you at their expense to your new overseas location. This is handled through your transportation office. Remember to review your POV needs at your counseling session.
Move.mil has a whole section devoted to POV shipping information. The shipping contractor has established a website where you can track the location of your POV throughout the shipping process.