Road traffic is not just about correct behavior towards other participants. The car and its license plate are also subject to legal regulations, specifically the Regulation on Vehicle Registration (FZV). There are sanctions that not everyone knows about.

Car license plate: This can be considered misuse

The license plate is primarily used to identify the owner of a vehicle and is therefore mandatory. In addition, the attached TÜV label provides information on when the next general inspection is due. According to the catalog of fines, anyone caught without a license plate on their car can receive a fine of 60 euros.

However, in other cases it is even more expensive. It is not only the lack of registration that can be punished. If it is not recognized correctly, you may also face fines. Drivers whose license plate is “covered with glass, foil or similar covers” pay 65 euros. According to ADAC (via “these changes can even be considered improper use of license plates.”

Always remember to have a clean license plate

Therefore, it is not only important that you have a license plate on your car, but also that it can be clearly read from a distance. For example, if it is so dirty that it can no longer be read even after cleaning, you will have to apply for a new license plate, as reported by

Catalog of fines regarding car registration (excerpt)

rape good
The license plates are difficult to read. €5
Label/test mark is covered or dirty €5
The rear license plate does not comply with regulations. €10
The front license plate does not comply with regulations. €10
The license plates are not in good condition. €10
License plate lighting does not comply with regulations €10
Registration is missing €60
The license plate is supplied with glass covers, sheets or similar. €65

If you want to keep your license plate really clean, you can use car wash detergent and warm water. However, be careful with overly aggressive cleaning products, such as wheel cleaners. These can attack the surface of the license plate and cause the black letters and numbers to fade. This may even invalidate the signals.

Sources: Catalog of fines,

By Dana Neumann