By Robert Szostek
U.S. Army Europe Office of the Provost Marshal
U.S. forces personnel in Germany can now get seasonal license plates for vehicles they do not use throughout the year.
“Seasonal license plates have two small numbers on the right side of the plate indicating the months between which the vehicle is legal to drive, with the registration being valid from the first day of the upper (first) month to the last day of the ending month (second),” said Tom Lorenzini, chief registrar at the U.S. Army Europe Vehicle Registry. “This will be a very easy process for the end user,” he added.
Lorenzini said owners of motorcycles, campers, convertibles or vintage collector cars that do not have historical plates will benefit most from the seasonal plate system.
The new system means owners will no longer have to make extra trips to their local vehicle registration offices and register seasonal use vehicles as nonoperational during the periods the owner does not drive them. It can also reduce the cost of liability insurance during the time the vehicle is off the road, depending upon the insurance company.
License plates will be valid for up to three years for new vehicles, two years for vehicles less than 10 years old and one year for vehicles older than 10 years.
The plates will allow German and military police to easily see when a vehicle should not be on the road and punish violators.
The seasonal plates have been available since April 1. However, registry officials said vehicle owners will have to be a little patient when ordering the new plates because each must be made individually to match the months the owner intends to drive the vehicle.