USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
What is the diesel traffic ban?
As part of its Clean Air Act, the City of Stuttgart implemented a traffic ban for all diesel vehicles with a Euro emission standard 4 / IV and lower beginning January 2019. The City of Stuttgart may also extend the traffic ban to include Euro emission standard 5 /V diesel vehicles beginning in 2020.
Stuttgart military community members residing within the Stuttgart City limits will have a transitional period until March 31 before the ban takes effect on April 1.
What are the impacts on U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart community members?
Currently, 620 of the 4,970 vehicles registered with the USAG Stuttgart Vehicle Registration Office are diesel vehicles (6. 5 percent). Of those, 131 are U.S. specification diesel and 489 European specification vehicles. Information currently retained in the U.S. Army Europe Registry of Motor Vehicles database, does not identify the Euro emission rating for registered vehicles so the exact number of vehicles impacted by the diesel traffic ban cannot be determined.
Transportation Motor Pool and military vehicles are exempt from the diesel traffic ban. Vehicles belonging to non-German NATO allies are exempt when performing official military duty travel. Police and fire department vehicles as well as commercial delivery vehicles are also exempt.
How do I determine my vehicle’s Euro emissions standard?
There is not an easily identifiable way to determine the Euro emission standard for a U.S. specification diesel vehicle. For many Euro spec vehicles registered through U.S. Army Europe, owners can locate the respective Euro standard on a data plate inside the passenger, or driver, doorframe.
For many Euro spec vehicles, the emission standard is listed on the registration/ownership documents (Fahrzeugschein) under section 14 and 14.1.
Numbers listed in section 14.1 ending between 00 and 88, indicate that the respective vehicle complies with emission standards Euro 1 to Euro 4. The combinations 35AO to 35 MO are defining the emission standard Euro 5. The series of numbers from 36N0 to 36Y0 define the most current Euro 6 standard. However, there are various versions of this standard/norm. Since September 2018, all newly registered cars must comply with version 6c. Starting in September 2019, the version 6d-TEMP will follow, and in 2021, the version 6d will apply to all newly registered vehicles (in the German system). See table below to determine the Euro emission standard based on the model code.
Model Code Emission Standard
36NO to 36YO Euro 6
35AO to 35MO Euro 5
32, 33, 38, 39, 43, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70 Euro 4
30, 31, 36, 37, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61 Euro 3
25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 34, 35, 40, 41, 49, 71 Euro 2
01, 02, 03, 04, 09, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 77 Euro 1
00, 05,06,07,08, 10, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 88 others
Lastly, if determining the Euro emissions standard is not feasible through the above-listed methods, vehicle owners should contact their local dealer or vehicle manufacturer to provide information on year, make, model, and the Vehicle Identification Number.
Emissions testing performed by most local TÜV inspection stations is pass/fail only and does not provide a Euro emissions rating. USAG Stuttgart has identified a TÜV emissions testing facility in Heimsheim capable of providing an emissions rating for vehicles without a documented Euro emissions standard, but the location does not have any available appointments for almost a year with costs likely to exceed €1,500.
Does the green environmental sticker in my windshield mean my vehicle is a Euro emission standard 4?
No. The green sticker issued at the Vehicle Registration for placement on the vehicle’s windshield is the German environmental sticker that has been required for all cars, buses and trucks since 2007 in order to drive in designated environmental zones (Umweltzone) in cities across Germany. The environmental sticker indicates adherence to fine particle (Feinstaub) standards regardless of fuel type. The diesel traffic ban only applies to diesel vehicles with a Euro emission standard 4 / IV and lower and only within the Stuttgart City limits.
Open source information and coordination with the U.S. Army Europe Registry of
Motor Vehicles indicate that there are no current plans for Germany to change its environmental stickers to correspond with, or indicate, a Euro emissions standard. USAG Stuttgart remains in close contact with the USAREUR RMV to obtain and issue revised stickers if they are adopted and produced for use across Germany.
What areas does the diesel traffic ban currently affect?
The diesel traffic ban currently affects all areas within the Stuttgart city limits including Patch, Kelley, and Robinson Barracks. This area extends beyond the existing environmental zones – see link below for the affected areas:
According to Stuttgart officials, the boundaries of the diesel traffic ban do extend beyond the environmental zone, with very few exceptions that allow accessing areas outside the city limits by transiting through the city. Signs informing motorists of the diesel ban are located alongside major roadways, including A81 between Panzer Kaserne and Patch Barracks.
How do I request a special permit/exemption to the diesel traffic ban?
Individual vehicle owners may apply for a special permit/exemption from the diesel traffic ban on a case-by-case basis through the Office for Public Order of the City of Stuttgart. Some examples of when a special permit may be warranted include a non-compliant diesel vehicle as the sole means of transportation to/from work with requirement travel through the city, trips by shift workers who cannot use local public transport, and select individuals with disabilities.
Information provided by Stuttgart city officials indicates that special permits will only be valid for one year, with no guarantee that the permit will be approved or renewed. Applications for a special permit/exemption can be submitted in person at the City of Stuttgart Office for Public Order (Jägerstraße 14, 70174 Stuttgart) or online. The online application is currently in German only, so those seeking a special permit should consider using translation services/assistance available through Army Community Services in Bldg. 2915 on Panzer Kaserne (DSN: 314-431-3362 / Tel: +49 (0)7031-15-3362) – see link below for more info on applying for a special permit:
The Ministry for Transportation Baden-Württemberg and the District Government Stuttgart have strict and clear guidelines to implement the diesel ban – all part of Stuttgart’s and the EUs Clean Air Act – so there is little room for exemptions, other than what is stated on the official website and/or individual circumstances.
How is the Host Nation going to enforce the Diesel Traffic Ban?
According to Stuttgart City officials and the local Polizei, the diesel traffic ban will be primarily enforced through illegal parking, speed cameras, and roadside compliance checkpoints.
Beginning in January 2019, the City of Stuttgart and Polizei begin distributing diesel ban information cards for observed violations but still intend to issue fines after Feb. 1, 2019. The City of Stuttgart website indicates an €80 fine for violating the diesel traffic ban, with the final cost of a violation adding up to €108, 50 including processing fees. Officials have also indicated an anticipated increase in compliance checkpoints beginning Feb. 1, 2019, to show an emphasis for the diesel traffic ban.
What is USAG Stuttgart doing to prevent diesel vehicles from being shipped and registered here?
Currently, there are no restrictions on registering diesel vehicles with USAG Stuttgart’s Vehicle Registration Office. Some members of the military community who live or work outside of Stuttgart may still choose to own and register a diesel vehicle in areas where operating these vehicles remains permissible.
While registering a diesel vehicle may still be authorized, USAG Stuttgart is taking several steps to inform incoming personnel on the impacts of shipping a diesel vehicle to Germany. One way to informing newcomers of the diesel traffic ban is through sponsorship. The Directorate of Human Resources is incorporating this information in ongoing sponsorship training as well as working to have the information added to inbound military members’ orders. The garrison is also working with the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center to have similar diesel traffic ban warnings added to civilian employee orders. Lastly, USAG Stuttgart is working with the local Vehicle Processing Center (the government contractor that ships vehicles to/from OCONUS) to inform customers of the diesel ban with verbiage similar to the recall warning information that customers should understand and acknowledge before shipping a vehicle overseas.
What can I do if I have a diesel vehicle banned from driving in Stuttgart?
Selling diesel vehicles may soon become challenging in the greater Stuttgart area. Members of the Stuttgart Military Community have already reported private buyers offering significantly less money to those attempting to sell diesel vehicles with a Euro emission standard 4 / IV and lower.
Diesel vehicle owners may want to consider selling their vehicles outside of the Stuttgart area, for example using a resale lot in Kaiserslautern or Grafenwöhr instead of Panzer Kaserne. Diesel vehicle owners are encouraged to contact their local dealer as some are currently offering vehicle buy-back programs due to the diesel traffic ban. Some owners may consider converting the vehicle to another acceptable fuel source for use within the City of Stuttgart, though conversion costs will likely vary significantly based upon the make, model, year, and current performance of the vehicle. Lastly, USAG Stuttgart’s Directorate of Family Morale Welfare and Recreation operates a vehicle donation program for vehicle owners who wish to dispose of their diesel vehicle at a cost.
USAG Stuttgart has requested the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles update its registration database software to accommodate the Euro emissions standards. Once USAREUR updates its database, USAG Stuttgart will encourage vehicle owners to visit the Vehicle Registration Office to update their registration documents – primarily during registration renewals.
USAG Stuttgart is also working with Stuttgart city officials to determine if U.S. government rental vehicles are impacted by the diesel traffic ban.
Information provided by USAG Stuttgart’s Directorate of Emergency Services, Public Affairs Office and the city of Stuttgart’s Public Order Department. For more information, visit the official Stuttgart website here.