The German vehicle registration document, also known as registration certificate part 1 since 2005, consists of 6 pages and must be carried in the original on every journey wihtin Germany. It is used by the police to identify the vehicle and provides information about who the vehicle is registered to and whether there are any entries for it. In addition, the German vehicle registration document also helps to determine the correct spare parts. Therefore, the vehicle registration document is also often needed for workshop appointments.
But how can a layman read the German vehicle registration document correctly? What information is given where and what is it needed for? How can you find the right spare parts with the help of the vehicle registration document? All these questions are answered in this article. The vehicle registration document explanation refers to the new vehicle registration document, the registration certificate part 1, as this has replaced the old one since 2005. In addition, you will find further useful information about the German vehicle registration document at the end.
How to select the vehicle with the KBA number?
How is the vehicle selection made with the vehicle identification number?
How can spare parts be determined with the help of the vehicle registration document?
Things to know about the vehicle registration document
Vehicle registration document declaration at a glance
The first page of the German vehicle registration document contains the license plate number and the details of the vehicle owner. The two inside pages are more interesting when you open the vehicle registration document.
On the inside left are the important details of the KBA number (2.1 and 2.2) and the vehicle identification number (field E). The KBA number is the so-called key number for a car. It is a fixed sequence of numbers and letters that can be used to identify the vehicle in general. Therefore, the KBA number is very helpful in identifying the correct car parts. It is also called HSN / TSN number and is located on the inside left side of the vehicle registration certificate at the top center and right. HSN is the manufacturer key number, while TSN is the type key number. Together, the make, model and type can be uniquely determined. When entering the KBA number, all 4 characters from field 2.1 are required for the HSN number field and the first 3 characters from field 2.2 are required for the TSN number. The remaining numbers from field 2.2 are key numbers for the body shape, the engine and the fuel type. These numbers are not needed for the selection of the vehicle when purchasing parts.
Based on the KBA number from the German vehicle registration document, you can thus select your vehicle in our store. Alternatively, it is also possible to select your vehicle individually with make, model and type via the drop-down fields in our store. For the correct type you need the indication of the cubic capacity. This can be found on the left inside of the vehicle registration document in the lower half in the field P.1. This is rounded up to the frontmost figure in the dropdown mask. For example, a displacement of 1.598 corresponds to the specification 1.6. The KW specification from the vehicle registration document is also required, i.e. the power, in order to select the correct vehicle. This value can be found on the inside right of the vehicle registration document, 1st line, in the center of field P.2. Last but not least, field B (top left) is also important for the vehicle selection, since the date of first registration allows a conclusion to be drawn about the year of manufacture.
By selecting the vehicle on our store, our range is reduced to only suitable items for your vehicle. Thus, it is even easier for you to find the right products with us.
As mentioned above, a general vehicle selection is made via these channels. However, it may well happen that the vehicle manufacturers make adjustments to the vehicle within a series. Thus, it is possible that a later built car requires different spare parts than the previously built vehicles of the same series. For this reason, our products have corresponding notes and possibly restrictions that should be observed before purchase. These can always be found in the vehicle list below on the respective product page in our store and for the most part also as an extra note field at the top of the page. These notes can refer to information on year of manufacture, chassis numbers or the like. In the case of a restriction with a chassis number, this is to be placed from behind on top of the vehicle identification number.
Vehicle identification number for an Opel Insignia is: WOLGXSEG2M1XXXXXX
The image displayed below shows the restriction from chassis number K1067825
The last 8 character strings are now taken from the vehicle identification number M1XXXXXX and compared with the chassis number
The chassis number starts with K. The M comes after the K, so this item is suitable for the vehicle with the above VIN number.
If you are unsure here whether the product fits your vehicle, please feel free to contact our customer service.
When you contact our customer service, they will ask you for the vehicle identification number. This is also abbreviated as the VIN number and is the successor to the chassis number. It is a way to uniquely identify the vehicle. Our colleagues have access to special databases where it is stored for each vehicle exactly which parts were installed. This enables our service team to find the exact parts you need. Asking for the vehicle identification number is thus necessary to provide you with the best service and offer you the correct spare parts.
In addition to the information relevant to vehicle selection, there are other fields in the vehicle registration document that are important for purchasing suitable spare parts.
Permissible support load according to vehicle registration certificate: 75 kg
Dead weight of the bike carrier: 20 kg
75kg – 20 kg = 55 kg
This means that a maximum of 55 kg of weight may be added by the bicycles, regardless of whether the bicycle carrier is permitted for a higher load. The decisive factor is the weight that the trailer coupling can withstand. If extensions are used, the dead weight of the additional carrier must also be taken into account in the calculation.
Information such as the roof load and the braking system is not specified in the vehicle registration document. The roof load is relevant for the use of roof racks and roof boxes. This information can be found in the service booklet. The calculation of the possible payload of the roof box is calculated in a similar way to the drawbar load. Here, too, the dead weight of the carrier and the roof box must be deducted from the permissible roof load.
The brake system, on the other hand, is important to buy the right brake pads. Not every brake pad fits every brake system, because the brake systems can differ from each other. The specification for this can be found on the brake caliper. Depending on the type of rim, the tire must be removed once to take a look at the brake caliper.
At the VAG Group, so-called PR codes are required to identify the correct spare parts for the brake system. These numbers are also not in the vehicle registration document, but can be found on a sticker in the trunk or in the service booklet.
On a few vehicles, the engine code can also be found in field D.2 of the vehicle registration document. This code is important for spare parts such as the water pump, the timing belt set or the timing chain, as these directly affect the engine. If the engine code cannot be found in the vehicle registration document, the information can be found under item 21 in the chain of custody document. The CoC paper should be included with the purchase. Otherwise, it can be requested from the car manufacturer.
In addition to vehicle selection as well as identifying the correct spare parts the vehicle registration document can also be used to calculate the maximum payload.
The formula for this is:
Field F.2 (permissible total weight) minus field G (unladen weight) gives the maximum payload. Both fields can be found in the German vehicle registration document on the right-hand side in the upper half. Caution: The body weight of all passengers must also be taken into account here. In addition, the permissible axle loads must also be observed when loading. These can be found under item 8 in the vehicle registration document on the right-hand side, approximately in the middle.
Calculation example from the illustration:
Permissible total weight: 1.802 kg
Empty weight: 1.274 kg
1802 - 1274 = 528 kg Payload possible incl. passenger weights
Reading a German vehicle registration document correctly is therefore not that difficult. Much of the information is general data about the vehicle and therefore only of interest to the authorities. Nevertheless, the vehicle registration document contains helpful information for you as well. A complete vehicle registration document explanation of all fields, you will find in the lower area of this page clearly arranged in a table.
Now that you know how to read the German vehicle registration document correctly and where to find which information, here are some important Q&A about the German vehicle registration document.
We have once again provided you with an overview of all the fields in the vehicle registration document. In addition to the field number and the associated designation from the back of the vehicle registration document, we have listed two other items in the overview. Firstly, the position of the field on the German vehicle registration document and secondly, an explanation and / or examples of where the designation is not self-explanatory. With this we would like to make it even easier for you to read the vehicle registration document. Unfortunately, the designations of the fields with the letters and digits in the vehicle registration document are sorted neither chronologically nor alphabetically. Therefore, it is difficult to find the correct fields, even if the number or digit of the respective field is known. On the back of the vehicle registration document, you can only find the designation of the fields, but not their position on the front. Our overview is therefore sorted alphabetically according to the contents, e.g. vehicle identification number, HSN, engine capacity, power, drawbar load etc.. This way you don't have to search through the German vehicle registration document line by line, but can go specifically to the field you need.
|Field name||Field digit / letter||Field position||remarks / examples|
|Axle load: technically permissible maximum axle load / mass per axle group in kg
7.1 axle 1 – 7.3 axle 3
6. Row left, middle and right
|Specifies how much weight per axle may be transferred to the road. (What can the car technically withstand?)|
| Axle load: permissible maximum axle load in the member state of registration in kg
8.1 axle 1 – 8.3 axle 3
7. Row left, middle and right
|Indicates how much weight per axle is permitted by the authorities. (What is legally allowed?) This value is the decisive one.|
|Towing load: technically permissible trailer load, braked, in kg||O.1||Right side
9. Row left
|Specifies the maximum weight of a trailer that has its own brake system.|
|Towing load: technically permissible unbraked trailer load in kg||O.2||Right side
9. Row linke Middle
|Specifies the maximum weight of a trailer that does not have its own braking system.|
|Number of axles||L||Right side
1. Row left
|For passenger cars in general there is a 2|
|Number of drive axles||9||Right side
1. Row linke middle
|In most cases, this is a 1 for passenger cars, unless the vehicle has all-wheel drive.|
|Type of construction||4||Left side
2. Row right
|What type of body style is it. For example, open like a convertible or closed like a sedan, station wagon etc.|
|Remarks and exceptions||22||Left side
Ab Row 17
|Additions and notes on, for example, conversions or retrofits, etc.|
15.1 Achse 1 bis 15.3 Achse 3
10. – 12. Row
|Bspw.: 195/55 R16 (91)H
The first value is the tire width in mm.
The second value is the height to width ratio in percent.
R indicates a tire type in the case Radial.
The number next to it is the rim diameter in inches (relevant for rims and hubcaps).
The number in brackets indicates the load index / maximum load capacity.
The last letter is a symbol for the maximum allowed speed of the tire. H means a maximum speed of 210km/h.
|Designation vehicle class and the body||5||Left side
|Here the data from J and 4 are written out again in words. E.g. vehicle for passenger transport with up to 8 seats|
|width in mm without mirrors and attachments||19||Right side
2. Row right
|Ex: The value 1.767 in field 19 corresponds to 1.767 m|
|CO² in g/km combined value||V.7||Right side
5. Row left
|The value indicates how many grams of CO² are emitted per kilometer. This value is important for calculating the car tax.|
|Code to P.3||10||Left side
16. Row left
|E.g. 0001 for gasoline|
|Code to V.9||14.1||Left side
16. Row middle
|Is the code for the EU regulation|
|Date of first registration||B||Left side
1. Row left
|This field indicates the year of manufacture. It can happen that the car manufacturers change the spare parts suppliers within a series and thus year of manufacture restrictions can be found in the products.|
|Date to K||6||Right side
15. Row left
|Is the date when the permission was granted.|
|Speed in min-1 to U.1||U.2||Right side
8. Row middle
|Measured speed for measuring the stationary noise|
|Speed: Rated speed at min-1||P.4||Right side
1. Row rechte middle
|Is the speed at which the specified power is achieved.|
|Emission class: Designation of the national emission class||14||Left side
|E.g. Euro 6|
|Driving noise in dB (A)||U.3||Right side
8. Row right
|How loud is the vehicle when driving|
|Vehicle identification number||E||Left side
3. Row left
|Is the successor to the chassis number. It is used to uniquely identify the vehicle. The 17-digit number is also referred to as the VIN number.|
|Vehicle class:||J||Left side
2. Row left
|Determines the purpose of the vehicle and whether special driver's license classes are required, e.g. for bus or truck.|
|Color code to R:||11||Right side
13. Row right
|In the field, a corresponding key number is assigned to the color series by the Federal Motor Transport Authority.|
|Vehicle color:||R||Right side
13. Row left
|The defined basic colors for passenger cars are summarized here in color series. Two specifications mean that there is one main and one secondary color or two main colors.|
|Total weight: Total permissible mass in kg in the member state of registration||F.2||Right side
5. Row right
|Permitted total weight of the vehicle including passengers and load. (what is officially allowed in max. weight by the authorities) This is the decisive value.|
|Total weight: Technically permissible maximum mass in kg:||F.1||Right side
5. Row middle
|Technically possible total weight incl. occupants and load (what the vehicle can "handle")|
|Trade name:||D.3||Left side
|Manufacturer short name:||2|| Left side
|Maximum speed in km/h:||T||Right side
1. Row right
|The specified maximum speed is a value minus possible tolerances that applies to all vehicles of the same series. Occasionally, a vehicle of this series may be able to drive faster than the specified value.|
|Height in mm:||20||Right side
3. Row left
|If, for example, roof rails are possible for a vehicle, the information in the field can consist of two values. Once the value with roof rails and once without.|
1. Row middle
|This is the first part of the KBA number, with the help of which you can select your vehicle in our store.|
|Displacement in cm³:||P.1||Left side
16. Row right
|E.g. 2000 cm³ displacement corresponds to a 2-liter engine|
|Fuel type:||P.3||Left side
|E.g. gasoline, diesel etc.|
|Length in mm:||18||Right side
2. Row left
|Bps.: The value 04390 in field 18 corresponds to 4.39 m|
|Empty weight of the vehicle in kg:||G||Right side
3. Row right
|The value represents the tare weight of the vehicle with the selected equipment, without occupants or load.|
|Performance: Nominal power in kW||P.2||Right side
1. Row rechte middle
|This is the power of the vehicle. From this, the PS can be calculated by multiplying the value by 1.36.|
|Power to weight ratio in kW/kg (only for motorcycles)||Q||Right side
4. Row right
|Field applies only to motorcycles|
4. Row right
|Specification of the car brand|
|Operating permit features||17||Right side
15. Row middle
|Provides information on how the operating permit was issued. E.g.:
K = compliant, EC type approval
A = deviating, modifications have been made to the vehicle.
E = individual approval, vehicle does not have type approval and has been individually inspected and approved by an expert.
Z = Vehicle has been registered on the basis of a registration certificate part 1 from another member state.
|Number of the EC type-approval or ABE||K||Right side
|Is the permission that the vehicle type may be built in series and thus is roadworthy.|
|Number of the registration certificate part 2||16||Right side
15. Row right
|This is also found on the registration certificate part 2 and thus represents a direct link between the two documents.|
|Check digit for VIN||3||left side
3. Row right
|Calculated by the car manufacturer and controlled by the registration authority. This is to prevent counterfeiting and false entries.|
|Volume of the tank for tank vehicles in m³||12||right side
4. Row left
|Applies only to tankers, otherwise the field is empty.|
|Pollutant class: relevant for EC type-approval||V.9||left side
|Pollutant class: relevant for EC type-approval|
|Seats including driver's seat||S.1||right side
9. Row rechte middle
|For most passenger cars 4-5|
|Other notes||21||right side
Ab Row 16
|Modifications, changes, etc. can be listed here.|
|Stationary noise in dB (A)||U.1||right side
8. Row left
|How loud is the vehicle when stationary|
|Standing room||S.2||right side
9. Row right
|Generally only relevant for buses|
|Trailer load in kg||13||right side
4. Row middle
|Indicates how much weight may rest on the trailer coupling.|
1. Row right
|This is the second part of the KBA number, with the help of which you can select your vehicle in our store. However, only the first 3 characters are needed for the input, because they determine the type.|
|Type / Variant / Version||D.2||left side
|Sometimes the engine code is also specified here|