Munich Greeter

What is…? – Umweltzone

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In Munich as well as in other German cities you’ll find a traffic sign reading “Umweltzone”. Find out what an “Umweltzone” is and what you as a tourist has to know about it.

In the early 2000s, a huge discussion about particulates began in Germany and Europe. Dozens of studies revealed that particulates can have an effect on the human health. In Europe, these studies led to the “European emission standards” containing limits for particulates in the air. Many German cities checked their gaging stations and saw that the limits were really often exceeded.

Umweltzone - Low Emission Zone

Umweltzone – Low Emission Zone

[„Zeichen 270.1“. Lizenziert unter Public domain über Wikimedia Commons.]

Therefore in 2008 the city created a low emission zone and called it “Umweltzone”, which translates to “environmental zone”. All areas within the “Mittlerer Ring” (“Middle Ring” – the ring shaped city highway of Munich) became a low emission zone. This zone is restricted for all cars, buses, mobile homes and trucks that do not comply with specific European standards of toxic emission (Euro 1 – Euro 6).

Munich decided as other German cities to indicate the Euro standard by using a red, yellow or green sticker. Green stickers are indicating that a vehicle complies to the Euro 4 standard (or higher)

For tourists who want to visit Munich with their own car, bus or mobile home there are a some main questions about “Umweltzone”, we want to answer here:

1. I am a tourist. Do I need a green sticker to enter the inner city?
Yes you do! It doesn’t matter if you’re just visiting Munich and it doesn’t matter if you’re from Germany or not. Every car/bus/mobile home needs a green sticker to enter the area within the “Mittlerer Ring”.
If you enter the low emission zone without a sticker, you can be fined.

2. Am I allowed to use “Mittlerer Ring” without a sticker?
Yes. The Umweltzone begins inside of Mittlerer Ring

3. Are there any exceptions?
Yes there are, for example for classic cars (in Germany called: “Oldtimer”) or ambulance cars.

4. Where do I get a sticker?
At the local licensing administration or service stations with garages and inspection agencies such as Dekra, GTÜ and TÜV (Technical Inspection Authority). These also offer online buying.

5. Do I need stick the sticker to the car? Where?
You do have to stick it to your car. You’re not allowed to carry it around with you.
You need to stick it inside of the front window (passenger side, lower right corner)

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