Emission Sticker France and Germany

Emission Sticker France and Germany

Last week I made the decision to order an Emission Sticker for France and Germany. I have to admit, it’s simply because I don’t want us to get a fine!

Bearing in mind, we rarely enter cities in France or Germany, instead avoiding them where possible. But, what if we accidentally enter a “zone” or find we do need to drive in one of the effected locations?

If London’s ULEZ fine that we got in the post last Autumn is anything to go by, we know how difficult these zones are to understand, especially when you’re a tourist. By the way, our ULEZ fine was after leaving Crystal Palace Club Site despite us being an exempt vehicle!

Yes, you read that right and proving it otherwise took several weeks. However, like a dog with a bone, I was not letting them get away with it, and after much perseverance, they admitted our vehicle was indeed exempt.

So, with this bitter ULEZ experience still fresh in my mind, it was time to get our Emission stickers for France and Germany. After all, once bitten twice shy when it comes to driving anywhere near these “clean air” zones.

France’s emission sticker is actually known as a Crit’Air Sticker. According to the official website, this has to be on display in a prominent position which is visible on the windscreen.

Vehicle Classification Table

The classification is based on emissions of the vehicle, so our 2015 Mercedes Sprinter 316 TDI is a Euro 6.

This, falls under Category 2, the Yellow sticker. All together, there are 6 different types of classification.

Thankfully, the same classification is in effect throughout France, so one sticker fits all.

And the fine for not displaying a Crit’Air sticker? Well this ranges from between 68 and 135 Euro depending on your vehicle.

In a nutshell, it seems only major cities and towns in France are included at the moment, but in 2025, all those with over 150,000 inhabitants will be added. So, knowing where these are without looking or stumbling across them isn’t always easy.

August 2023 list of affected locations

Knowing exactly where a zone is, without the finer details of which section it starts and ends isn’t always as easy as it seems. This is always a difficult question in my mind, because being a tourist and a transient one at that, means it’s really hard to keep up.

Not only that, but very often, we really don’t know for sure where we’re going to from one day to the next. Even then, when we have a location in mind, it can change as the journey’s underway.

In reality, unless you plan things meticulously, which we don’t with our van travels, then more often than not, we can find ourselves in a totally different destination to where we initially intended.

We ordered our emissions sticker for France on the official website .

This cost 4.61 Euro and took 6 days to arrive.

You need to order on the form for vehicles registered abroad, which is simple to use but does require specific documents to upload. It’s easier if you have these ready in advance.

Refer to the V5 Registration document for all information
Note the CO2 question – this isn’t needed we left ours blank
This final section is where you upload the document evidence

Also, we have a separate letter which we obtained from Mercedes Benz Vans Homologation Department. This we had to request from Mercedes Benz homologation department in The Netherlands, when we had our incorrect ULEZ fine last year.

Because our V5 document doesn’t have much information on with regards to Emissions or Euro Status, we need this to prove our Mercedes Sprinter 2015 Euro 6 status.

So, we also uploaded a copy of this letter along with the V5 Registration document.

Although I tried to find this figure out to submit on the form, I just couldn’t find it. In the end, I submitted the form without it, leaving this question blank and the application was still approved.

However, I did e-mail Mercedes Benz Homologation department to ask for the figure and they did provide this the following day. In the meantime, I’d already submitted the form without it.

I was told by our Mercedes Benz service garage that sometimes this figure is on the chassis plate. I couldn’t check this on our campervan because our van is still at the repair garage after our accident in Croatia earlier this year.

After paying the 4.61 Euro fee and submitting the application, we received an e-mail confirmation of the application, followed by a receipt for the payment showing which sticker we would be getting.

A letter with the Crit’Air sticker attached arrived by post 6 days later. Our Sprinter campervan has the Yellow, category 2 sticker.

The sticker also displays your vehicle registration and lasts for the lifetime of the vehicle (or it does at the moment!).

I found this a little more difficult to order than the emissions sticker for France.

To begin with there isn’t one overall direct government department to apply to, instead it’s in states, for example Berlin.

So, I opted to order at TÜV SÜD but it was efficient.

The emissions sticker for Germany is called “Umweltplakette” and it comes in Red, Green or Yellow, depending on the emissions.

An Umweltzone sign tells you when your’e entering a zone and what colour sticker is allowed. Usually only Green are permitted as Red and Yellow are rarely allowed.

The majority of vehicles manufactured after 1992 will have a Green sticker.

As for which towns or cities have Green zones, the same problem for us motorhome tourists as highlighted already exists. It’s just not easy to always know, but generally expect them in most major towns. Here’s a list from the Green-Zone EU website.

Ultimately, being prepared and buying one is the easiest option in today’s world.

Currently, the fine for entering a zone in Germany without the emissions sticker is €100.

You’ll need the same proof as France, so the V5 document and in our case, the copy of the proof of emissions letter from Mercedes Benz.

However, I found you could only upload one image and I had more! So, despite submitting the application and paying the €17.50 fee, I soon had an e-mail from TUD SUD asking for more proof.

In response, I e-mailed them the whole V5 document as well as a copy of the Mercedes Benz emissions letter.

After that, our emissions sticker was authorised and issued, and we had a further e-mail confirmation.

Link for Application Form with TUD SUD

  • The sticker is linked to your vehicle
  • Holders of European disable parking badges are exempt (don’t know how you prove this or the application process)
  • A sticker isn’t needed at the moment for motorways or main roads.
  • You can order a sticker online or buy from a ANWB shop and some fuel stations and TUV stations in Germany. You’ll still need the relevant documents.
  • The emissions sticker for Germany is also valid in Spain.

The emissions sticker for Germany has to be displayed inside the windscreen on the passenger side towards the bottom.

Our sticker arrived in the post after 5 days.

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