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Berlin-specific Exemptions from the Driving Ban

Exemptions that apply only to the Berlin low-emission zone have been established in order to lessen any social or economic hardship caused by the driving ban.

Because the low emission zone with the green sticker was introduced already in 2010, individual exemptions can be only granted for severely disabled persons with the mark “G” on low incomes and for some special vehicles. In any case it must be shown, that the vehicle cannot be retrofitted to achieve a green sticker.

Individual exemptions therefore can only be granted if some particular conditions are fulfilled.

Additional general order exemptions apply for people with dual amelia or phocomelia, for test vehicles and for vehicles with special registration numbers.

Other low-emission zones in Germany may have their own exemptions that do not apply to Berlin.

Individual exemption permits

Only vehicles with a green sticker are allowed to enter Berlin’s low emission zone since 1 January 2010. An individual exemption permit may be applied for in certain circumstances in order to soften any social or economic hardship caused by the driving ban.

Each exemption permit to the driving ban for cars and trucks with high pollutant emissions lowers the effects of the low emission zone. As the low emission zone with the green sticker was introduced already in 2010, individual exemption permits are limited to the following cases:

  • for vehicles belonging to people suffering from impaired mobility (severely disabled persons with the mark “G”) on low incomes.
  • for special vehicles with attributed business idea or with extensive vehicle conversions and low mileage within the low emission zone.

The exemptions are usually granted for a maximum of two years. Thereafter a new exemption permit can be applied for, if no new regulations will be enacted.

The following general conditions must be met for an individual exemption to be issued:

  • The vehicle cannot be retrofitted to obtain a green sticker.
  • The vehicle was registered in the applicant’s name
    • before 1 March 2007:
      vehicles of emission group 1 (without sticker) or 2 (red sticker)
    • before 1 November 2014:
      Euro 3 vehicles that cannot be retrofitted (yellow sticker) and special vehicles with attributed business ideas independent of their emission group.

Further details and information on the documents to be submitted can be found in the leaflets relating to the application forms:

Which forms and documents do I need to present for an individual exemption permit

The prescribed application forms must be used for the application. They can be obtained from the relevant borough offices or downloaded:

In cases, where one of the reasons for an exemption is the impossibility of retrofitting the vehicle, a certificate confirming that the vehicle cannot be retrofitted must be issued by a technical inspection centre for motor traffic, i.e. TÜV and Dekra in Berlin, the TÜV inspection agencies in the former West German federal states and Dekra in the new Eastern States of Germany.

Note: certificates issued by workshops or manufacturers confirming the impossibility of retrofitting will not be recognised.

You can download a list of technical inspection agencies in Berlin here:

List of technical inspection centres

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (115.6 kB)

Further information on the required documents can be found in the information leaflets.

The data required to approve the application are subject to data protection legislation and will be treated confidentially.

Where can I apply for an exemption for the low emission zone?

The boroughs in the low emission zone are responsible for issuing individual exemptions. These are the boroughs of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Lichtenberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Pankow, Tempelhof-Schöneberg and Treptow-Köpenick. The application for an individual exemption needs to be submitted only to one local borough road traffic authority. An exemption issued by one borough is valid for the entire low emission zone in Berlin.

You can find a list of the addresses here:

List of relevant boroughs with addresses

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (124.1 kB)

What fees will be charged for an individual exemption?

The fees vary according to the requisite administrative effort and the economic benefit. An economic benefit arises from the fact that the costs of retrofitting are not incurred or that the purchase of a compliant vehicle can be delayed. The fee therefore depends on the type of vehicle, its use (private or commercial) and the duration of the exemption. The following document contains a summary of the probable levels of fees Table.

Fees table

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (481.4 kB)

For more information, please ask the responsible boroughs or write an email to umweltzone@senuvk.berlin.de

Exemptions by General Order

The Federal State of Berlin has established a number of exemptions by general order for the Berlin low-emission zone. The following vehicles may accordingly drive in the low-emission zone without a sticker:

  • Electric vehicles with an E-license plate (license plate with the letter “E” as an official addition after the identification number in accordance with Section 9a of the Vehicle Registration Ordinance – FZV)
    Attention: Electric vehicles registered in Germany, which meet the requirements of Section 2 of the Electric Mobility Act but do not have an E-license plate, still require a green sticker for the low emission zone.
    Electric vehicles with a foreign registration that meet the requirements of § 2 of the Electric Mobility Act may drive in the low emission zone without a green sticker, if they are marked with a blue E-sticker in accordance with Annex 3a FZV.

Official journal no. 22/2019, p. 3361, dated 24 May 2019

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (237.4 kB)

  • Vehicles driven by or with persons with dual amelia or phocomelia in possession of a EU parking permit

Official journal dated 6 December 2013

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (79.3 kB)

  • Vehicles with red trade licence plates (identification number beginning with 06) and vehicles with temporary licence plates (identification number beginning with 04) provided these vehicles could be awarded a sticker on the basis of their exhaust emission standards

Official journal no. 56/2007, p. 3293

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (30.8 kB)

  • Vehicles of foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations whose licence plate number begins with 0, and vehicles of professional consular representatives with a licence plate number between B-900 and B-999 and between B-9000 and B-9999

Official journal no. 58/2007, p. 3399

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (29.6 kB)

  • Test vehicles according to Article 70 Section 1a or Article 19 Section 6 of the German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO)

Official journal no. 56/2007, p. 3294 and official journal no. 3/2008 p. 124

(German only)

PDF-Dokument (29.8 kB)

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Umweltzone Berlin Regelungen für den Auto­verkehr

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