By Public Affairs
There are a number of steps that must be taken to properly clear vehicle registration. Even if the vehicle has German specs or you just want to get rid of it instead of shipping it to the U.S., it still has to be cleared locally in Stuttgart.
There are two ways to ship a POV: Government or private/independent shipping.
When using government shipping, bring a bill of lading from the shipper with the vehicle’s information (the year, make, model vehicle identification number, and color) to vehicle registration, along with the U.S. Army Europe license plates and current POV registration. If the current registration has 90 days or more left, temporary transit plates will be issued at no cost. However, if there are less than 90 days left on the current registration, temporary transit plates will cost $35 (no inspection is required and the transit plates don’t have to be returned).
The regulations are similar if using an independent/private shipping company, i.e., bring a bill of lading from shipper with the same vehicle information, USAREUR plates, and the same rules about more or less than 90 days of remaining registration, inspection and not returning the transit plates.
If the sponsor is running out of time, he/she can have an agent from the same unit appointed by the unit commander to ship, sell or dispose of vehicles after owner has departed. The appointed person must be at least one rank higher if military or a logistically supported civilian. A signed memorandum is needed from the unit commander. Both the owner and designated agent must be present to complete the transaction. A power of attorney can be used on a case-by-case basis if the owner has already departed if the agent provides a copy of the orders showing when the owner left. Spouses are not authorized to be agents.
Agent-owner registrations are only valid for 90 days. During that time, the agent has the ability to transfer the title solely into their name prior to the end of the 90 days. Departing owners must maintain insurance for the vehicle until it is shipped, sold or otherwise disposed of. The cost is $35.
Selling a vehicle
If a seller has a joint-owner on the vehicle, both parties must be present or have a power of attorney. If the vehicle has a lien on it, a lien release signed/stamped by the bank representative or a clear title is required. The buyer must have insurance for a vehicle no older than 120 calendar days going by the issue date. Insurance must be electrically sent to the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles if your provider is USAA or MIRASCON. If your provider is a local German insurance provider, it must provide you with two copies of your insurance confirmation cards.
If the registration is current and has more than 60 days on it, a Department of Defense ID cardholder buyer can accept the current expiration date on the registration without having an inspection. The transfer cost is $35.
If the vehicle is sold to a local national or someone who does not have individual logistical support, there are a few more steps involved. The seller must visit the U.S. Customs office in Bldg. 2913, Room 303, Panzer Kaserne, and obtain a permit to transfer (Army Europe Form 550-175B). The seller must go with the local national or non-ILS buyer to the local German customs office so the local national can pay taxes on the vehicle. The permit to transfer must have the blue stamp from German customs. The seller must return the USAREUR license plates to vehicle registration, the bill of sale, and permit to transfer to clear the vehicle out of the USAREUR system. If the vehicle has a lien, a lien release letter is requested to complete the transaction.
If an owner has a vehicle that isn’t going to be shipped back or sold, it can be donated to the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Auto Skills Center on Panzer Kaserne for $75 (includes towing for vehicles on Panzer). The vehicle must have a current non-operational or permanent registration. Once donated, the owner will receive a receipt and paperwork showing that the vehicle was turned over to FMWR. The receipt, paperwork from FMWR and license plates (if applicable) go to the Vehicle Registration Office to clear the vehicle. If the vehicle has a lien, a lien release letter is required.
There are consequences if the vehicle is abandoned. Service members will be charged with “abandoned vehicle” under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the command can potentially take non-judicial actions. Civilians, too, will be titled with abandoned vehicle under Army Europe Regulation 190-1 and local commands can take disciplinary actions. Both service members and civilians are required to reimburse a towing fee of €97.
Answers about shipping your POV
Vehicle Shipping is located in Bldg. 2931, Panzer Kaserne. Call 431-2617 or 07031-15-2617, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you have questions about turning-in license plates or de-registering a vehicle for PCS, contact Vehicle Registration in Bldg. 2930, Panzer Kaserne. Call 596-2833 / 2495 or 09641-70-596-2833 / 24952883, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or send an email.
You can also find registration answers on the garrison’s official website.