Importing (re-registering) our motorbikes from Ireland to Germany

We have moved and taken our bikes with us. We are now living in Baden-Württemberg, Germany where we are a couple of hours from the Alps and have the Black Forest on our doorstep.

As we are intending to stay in Germany for longer than 6 months, we are obliged to register our bikes in Germany. You may only stay using foreign registration plates if your stay is temporary and under 6 months.

I have found numerous guides on importing motorbikes into Germany, and some of these were contradictory. Therefore I thought it would be helpful to document our experience in November 2014.

The same process should apply to anyone else arriving with a motorbike currently registered in another EU country.

The process:

  1. TÜV inspection
  2. Purchase Insurance
  3. Registration

TÜV Inspection
This was pretty straight forward, and we did not even require an appointment. We arrived at our local TÜV testing station with our documentation:

  • Current (Foreign) Registration Certificate
  • Passport
  • €92.46

They wanted to see a certificate of European conformity, however this proved to be unnecessary. We helped the guy identify our bikes in his database, using the make, model, year and engine number. Provided that the exact same bike is sold in Germany, European conformity is assumed.

The inspection is a standard vehicle inspection and is valid for two years. Good luck.

After passing the TÜV inspection they gave us a printout of technical data (Bestätigung der technischen Daten). You will need to supply the fields 2.1, 2.2 (first part only) and E to your choosen insurance company.

Purchase Insurance

Before you can register the bike, you must first purchase German motorbike insurance. I used HUK and phoned them up.

They required the above fields supplied on the TÜV technical data sheet, and the usual personal data.

They also accepted my no claims bonus from Ireland. However note that in Germany there are two no claims bonus values, a general one and one for Vollkasko (number of NCB years at fully comprehensive).

At the end of the process they gave me a code over the phone. This code can be used immediately as proof of insurance, to complete the registration process.


Visit your local Bürgerbüro with:

  • Original (foreign) registration certificate
  • Physical number plate (yes, you must remove the existing number plate from your bike and take it with you to the Bürgerbüro)
  • TÜV certificate
  • Insurance code (see above)
  • Passport
  • Anmeldung/Anmeldebestätigung (citizen registration)
  • Bank Account IBAN (to pay the road tax)
  • €58.60 (slightly less if you don’t mind a large number plate)

This took me 1 hour of waiting and then ½ hour sat with the council officier as she tapped away on her keyboard. I got the trainee, and it’s probably not everyday that she deals with someone wanting to re-register a motorbike from Ireland.

I was given the option of which number plate I would like, either a regular size plate or a smaller one for a little bit extra. I went for the smaller plate, total cost €58.60

She finally handed me my new registration plate, the process complete.

The registration plate has two stickets attached to it, which look like discs. One is to show that the plate has been officially registered with the city, and the other is the TÜV pass certificate. The TÜV sticker displays the expiry year in the centre, and the month at 12 o’clock is the expiry month.

Rory had a little bit more difficulty at the Bürgerbüro. He presented the TÜV Technical Data sheet which said that the vehicle had not been tested (as the technical data sheet was printed before the inspection). After some persuasion, the guy at the desk phoned the local TÜV office to confirm that the bike had indeed passed testing.