Clear your car before you ship it

A military police officer directs traffic on Panzer Kaserne near the Vehicle Processing Center. Photo by Rick Scavetta

By U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

There are a number of steps that must be taken to properly clear vehicle registration.

Whether 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.

Shipping a vehicle

There are two ways to ship a POV; by 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 $45 (no inspection is required and the transit plates don’t have to be returned).

The regulations are similar if using an independent or private shipping company. Bring a bill of lading from the shipper with the same vehicle information, USAREUR plates, and expect the same rules about more or less than 90 days of remaining registration, inspection and not returning the transit plates.

The Boeblingen Vehicle Processing Center is located on Panzer Kaserne across the street from Patch Elementary School.

If the sponsor is running out of time, they can have an agent from the same unit, appointed by the unit commander, 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 and 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 $45.

Pfc. Maxwell Mattingly attaches temporary plates to his vehicle outside of the registration office on Panzer Kaserne. Photo by Rick Scavetta.

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 or 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 emailed 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 $45 if less than a year’s validity remains on the registration and $90 if more than a year.

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 building 2913, room 303 on 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.